It is one of the most heroic feats in the world of tennis to win a Slam after saving championship points. In the women’s game, there have been five such instances in the history of Grand Slam tennis. A separate article on the site details the list of men who have achieved this feat.
1) 1935 Wimbledon Championships
It was a clash between Helens as Helen Wills Moody faced Helen Jacobs in the finals of the 55th edition of Wimbledon. Moody took the first set 6-3 and Jacobs replicated the scoreline in her favour to take the second. In the decider, Moody saved a Championship point and won the set 7-5 to win the sixth of her eight Wimbledon singles titles.
2) 1946 French Championships
In the first event at Roland Garros after the second World War, the women’s singles draw saw two Americans meet in the final. Margaret Osborne duPont was facing Pauline Betz in the final. DuPont lost the first set 6-1 but staged a fightback to take the second 7-5. Betz had two Championship points in the decider to win her maiden title at Roland Garros but it was duPont who saved them and won the first of her two women’s singles French Championships.
3) 1956 Australasian Championships
Mary Carter Reitano was facing fellow Australian and two-time Australasion Championships winner, Thelma Coyne Long in the final. Reitano saved a match point to win the match 3-6 6-2 9-7. Reitano would later win the title again in 1959.
4) 1962 French Championships
Margaret Court had already won three grand slam titles before reaching the finals of the French Championships in 1962. She was facing another Australian, Lesley Turner Bowrey in the finals. Court saved a Championship point to win the match and title 6-3 3-6 7-5. Bowrey won the French Championships twice in her career (1963 & 1965) and was ranked as high as World No.2 in the world.
5) 2002 Australian Open
Defending champion and top seed Jennifer Capriati was facing third seed and three-time Australian Open Champion Martina Hingis in the finals. Capriati dropped the first set 6-4 and was facing four Championship points in the second set. Hingis failed to capitalise and Capriati won the tiebreak 9-7 to level the match. The American dominated the third set 6-2 and successfully defended her title.
6) 2005 Wimbledon Championships
In an all American final in the ladies’ singles at the 2005 Wimbledon Championships, Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport put on the longest women’s final in Wimbledon’s history. Both players had tasted a title victory at the Championships in the past. Davenport was the top seed and had taken the first set 6-4. Venus, seeded 14th won the second set 7-6. In the decider, both the former top ranked players played their heart out, with Williams saving a Championship point and after 2 hours and 45 minutes winning the set 9-7. This was Venus’ third of five titles at Wimbledon.