8 impossible 5-sets come back victories on the Slams history

The final between Jannik Sinner and Daniil Medvedev is not the only Major final to be overturned, starting from a two sets down

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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8 impossible 5-sets come back victories on the Slams history
© Daniel Pockett / Stringer Getty Images Sport

It was the second time in his career that Daniil Medvedev lost a Slam final in the fifth set after leading in the first two sets. This year the feat of Jannik Sinner, who won the Australian Open 2024 by coming back from a deficit of two sets to zero against Daniil Medvedev, does not have many similar episodes in the Open Era since 1968.

It has also happened on other occasions that a tennis player who had lost the first two sets in the final of a Grand Slam tournament and then won the title. Of these comebacks, 5 occurred at the Roland Garros, 2 at the Australian Open, 1 at the US Open and none at Wimbledon.

In total it has only happened eight times in the history of Open Era tennis, including the Australian Open final between Sinner and Medvedev.

Medvedev and Sinner
Medvedev and Sinner© Graham Denholm / Stringer Getty Images Sport
 

The 8 impossible Slams final come back victories

The first of these took place at the Roland Garros 1974: Bjorn Borg beat Manolo Orantes with a score of 2-6 6-7 6-0 6-1 6-1. The second occurred in one of the most exciting Slam finals ever, when John McEnroe came very close to winning the Roland Garros, a tournament that has always eluded him in his career.

Ivan Lendl, however, turned the match around by winning the final 3-6 2-6 6-4 7-5 7-5. To find the third case we need to get to the Roland Garros again, but this time in 1999. Andre Agassi completed his Career Grand Slam by winning the only Slam he was missing, beating the Ukrainian Andrei Medvedev (coincidentally another Medvedev) , defeated with a score of 1-6 2-6 6-4 6-3 6-4.

A further time leap is needed to get to the Roland Garros 2004. Here, in a dramatic final, in an all-Argentine derby, Gaston Gaudio overcame Guillermo Coria, also canceling two match points and won 0-6 3-6 6-4 6- 1 8-6.

From 2004 we must then move on to 2020 to find a new comeback from two sets to zero down in a Slam final. And this time we go to the US Open. Dominic Thiem overcame Alexander Zverev by winning 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6.

The following year it was again the Roland Garros. This time Novak Djokovic in the 2021 edition reverses the final against Stefanos Tsitsipas by winning with a score of 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. The last two episodes feature Daniil Medvedev as a negative protagonist.

In 2022 he was overtaken by Rafael Nadal: 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 the score. And in the 2024 edition there will be an encore with yesterday's defeat against Jannik Sinner who, after losing the first two sets 6-3, won the third quarter and fifth 6-4 6-4 6-3.

Jannik Sinner Daniil Medvedev
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