This Date in French Open History: May 28

Monday, May 28, 2012 /by

Every morning of the French Open, we'll take a look back at a memorable match that occurred on that calendar day at Roland Garros.

May 28, 1983: Kathy Horvath d. Martina Navratilova, 6-4, 0-6, 6-3

Martina NavratilovaSeventeen-year-old Horvath spoiled the pursuit of perfection and sealed one of the most shocking French Open upsets in Open era history in handing the world No. 1 her first loss of the season. Navratilova entered the fourth-round match with a 36-0 record on the year and had won 126 of her prior 129 matches since the start of 1982, with her only losses coming to Sylvia Hanika, Pam Shriver, and Chris Evert.

The 45th-ranked Horvath, who grew up in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., had failed to win a set in three prior meetings with Navratilova, but she had reached the Berlin final the week before, falling to top-seeded Evert. Schooled by legendary Aussie coach Harry Hopman, Horvath won the first set, shrugged off a love loss in the second, then won the final three games of the third to hand Navratilova what would be her lone loss in an 86-1 season. Afterward, Horvath summed up her strategy simply: “I was playing to win.”

It was a historic triumph in denying the world No. 1 a perfect Grand Slam season: Navratilova won 50 consecutive matches to close 1983, when she won three of the four major titles. It would be Navtrailova's only loss to Horvath in 11 career meetings. Horvath now spends some of her time working with elite American juniors, including her son, at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows.


May 27 (1992): Connors goes down swinging
May 28 (1983): Horvath spoils perfection
May 29 (1998): Safin shocks the champ
May 30 (1999): Agassi defeats Moya
May 31 (2003): Robredo's remarkable rally
June 1 (1993): Fernandez foils a friend
June 2 (1994): Pierce pummels Graf in semis
June 3 (2001): Kuerten's comeback vs. Russell
June 4 (2005): Henin, the Queen of Clay
June 5 (2010): Francesca wins the final
June 6 (1989): The underdog's underhanded serve
June 7 (1981): Borg's final final-round triumph
June 8 (1996): 10-8 in the third: Graf vs. A. S-V
June 9 (2001): Capriati's 12-10 win over Clijsters
June 10 (1990): Gomez denies flashy Agassi

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