This Date in French Open History: June 9
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.
June 9, 2001: Jennifer Capriati d. Kim Clijsters, 1-6, 6-4, 12-10
Blown out in the opening set, a combative Jennifer Capriati found her range and rhythm in a memorable rally to capture her second straight major championship.
The fourth-seeded American, who beat Martina Hingis to win the 2001 Australian Open title, swept the top-seeded Swiss in the semifinals to reach her first French Open final. Clijsters, so young she was still wearing Nike apparel (before switching to Fila), made a rousing semifinal comeback. The 12th-seeded Belgian trailed compatriot Justine Henin, 6-2, 4-2, before rallying for a 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory to reach her first Grand Slam final. Moving beautifully and striking shots with confidence, Clijsters lost the first game of the final, then reeled off seven consecutive games to take a 6-1, 1-0 lead.
Capriati's running forehand was a key shot in her comeback, but the 18-year-old Clijsters continued to fight. Capriati served for the match at 7-6, but was undone by an unforced error. She again served for the match at 10-9, but Clijsters prevailed in that game when she drilled a forehand that hit the top of the tape and dribbled over like a drop of water from a leaky faucet. But after breaking again for an 11-10 lead, Capriati fired a ferocious inside-out forehand winner to become the first woman since Monica Seles in 1992 to win the first two majors of a season.
Capriati's inspiring career comeback seemed inconceivable a few years earlier when personal problems plagued her, and a stint in drug rehab forced her off the tour. Capriati crafted redemption on the red clay in a moving victory that left her nearly at a loss for words afterward.
"Right now I just want to scream at the top of my lungs," said Capriati, who become the fourth woman to win both French Open junior and senior titles. "I just want to jump out right now. I'm just like really excited. There's nothing more I can say."
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