True Champions refuse to back down even under insurmountable pressure. It is the insatiable hunger that pushes them to the pinnacle of glory. Here are 5 such amazing comeback stories from the World of Women’s Tennis.
Williams was ranked no. 1 at the time of her maternity leave in April 2017. Just 5 months after giving birth, she returned to Tennis. She made her return to Grand Slam Tennis at the 2018 French Open. In July 2018, with a ranking of 181, she entered the Wimbledon Championships and was controversially seeded 25. She eventually went on to reach her 10th Wimbledon Final, and her first after giving birth. She went on to reach the finals of the US Open. Her comeback was difficult, but her determination helped her in ending her 2019 season with a rank of World no. 10. Her first singles title as a mother was at the 2020 ASB Classic. Her comeback story is an inspiration to all.
Novotna’s 1993 Wimbledon loss has been described as the biggest choke in the entire sporting world. She played a big game against Steffi Graf and had a point to go up 5-1 in the final when the worst happened. Graf took the following five straight sets to win the coveted title. It was feared that Novotna could never recover from that loss.
It took her four long years to reach a Wimbledon Final, and she secured the title in her third appearance in 1998. She finally won by beating France’s Nathalie Tauziat in straight sets. She overcame the greatest opponent that anyone can face- themselves.
Jennifer Capriati’s career comeback was one of the biggest as she suffered a mortifying fall of a kind that few sportsmen ever have to endure. Capriati had everything going well in her career at the age of 14 and was deservedly known as the ‘golden girl’ of the sport. Her fall of grace was complete when she was arrested for shoplifting and possession of marijuana.
She eventually retired from tennis at the early age of 18. However, the road to comeback for Capriati was difficult. Her long and enduring comeback saw her secure two titles in 2001 when she won the Australian and Frech Open tournaments. Nevertheless, she retained her Australian Open title in 2002. She achieved one of the greatest turnarounds in Tennis that any player has enjoyed.
The former World no. 1 in women doubles took a maternity break for two years. In her very first tournament in 2020, she bagged the WTA Hobart International trophy with Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok. This was a dream comeback for the Indian. The 33-year-old also made a comeback at the Fed Cup and helped India qualify for the playoffs for the first time in history.
Kim took a two-year break from 2007-2009. During this period, she got married and had a baby. After she agreed to compete in an exhibition match with various renowned players, she began to feel an urge to play at the International level again. Within two months of her comeback, she won the 2009 US Open, becoming the tournament’s first-ever wildcard and the first mother to win the tournament. From 2010-2011, she became a better version of herself as compared to her pre-retirement phase. she won two more Grand slams, one WTA finals trophy, and briefly became World no. 1.
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