Tennis Prose



Wimbledon Comets

Out of the four Grand Slam majors, Wimbledon seems to be the one tournament where the most unlikely players emerge out of obscurity to challenge for the title.

In the last 25 years several “comet” like players have flashed into the second week at the AELTC and achieved their best career results.

The first such player that comes to mind is Vladimir Voltchkov, the Belarusian who made the semis in 2000, beating Chela, Ferreira, Pioline, Byron Black and El Aynouai before losing to Pete Sampras.

Ricardo Acuna made the quarters in 1985, losing to Jimmy Connors in three sets.

Richard Matuszewski made the round of 16 at 1993 Wimbledon, losing to Stefan Edberg 76 62 62 after beating Adams, Delaitre, Frana.

Alexander Popp made the quarters at Wimbledon twice in the early 2000s but he never did anything notable at any other major. Popp lost 46 46 63 63 86 in the fifth in 2003 Wimby QF to Mark Philippoussis, the year the Aussie lost in the final to Roger Federer 76 62 76. A couple of points go the other way and maybe Popp could have won 2003 Wimbledon.

Andre Sa made the Wimbledon quarters in 2002, defeating Feliciano Lopez in four sets before losing to Tim Henman in four sets.

Even Bernard Tomic had his best result at Wimbledon in 2011, losing in four sets in the quarterfinal to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

On the women’s side, maybe the three most memorable comets have to be Mirjana Lucic, Alexandra Stevenson and Anna Kournikova who each made the semis.

This year we have perhaps the largest batch of comets into the R 16 with Guido Pella, Mike Kukushkin, Joao Sousa, David Goffin, Sam Querrey, Tennys Sandgren, Ugo Humbert, Matteo Berrettini with Goffin, Q Ball and Pella surviving into the quarters.

Can you think of any other Wimbledon comets who posted their career best major results on Wimbledon grass?

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  • Harold · July 9, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Chris Lewis getting to the final. Tauziat for the women

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 9, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Lewis’s best result in the 3 other majors was 3R at each. Good call. In the 83 final he got smoked by McEnroe 62 62 62, the same score Rios got bounced by Korda in AO98. Tauziat made F of 2001 Wimby and US Open and SF of Roland Garros five times.



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