This Date in Wimbledon History: June 26
Every morning during Wimbledon, we'll take a look back at a memorable match that occurred on that calendar day at the All England Club.
June 26, 2000: Vince Spadea d. Greg Rusedski, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (8), 9-7
|Spadea snapped a massive losing streak with an epic upset. (Wikimedia Commons)|
Spadea endured more highs and lows than the bar in a limbo contest during his career, but the quirky American scored one of his most memorable wins in the opening round of the 2000 Championships. In surprising the 14th-seeded Briton, he also ended an ATP record 21-match losing streak.
Spadea fought back from a break down to win the final three games, snap an eight-month slide, and seal an emotional triumph that still resonated the next morning when the Daily Mail delivered the news with the headline: "Rusedski Falls to World's Biggest Loser." Spadea thrust his arms in the air like a man stretching his shoulders after finally shirking a heavy weight he carried for months.
"It doesn't ever come until the time when you're not ready for it. Then all of a sudden you're just like, 'Oh, my gosh, what's happened to me?'" Spadea said afterward. "But it was outrageous. I thought I won 16 times, man. I felt like freaking––the guy got every first serve in. It's a great time. I was doing everything I could out there. Hey, I'm still here. I'm in London."
Serving for the match at 7-6, 30-all in the decisive set, Rusedski was two points from victory, but could not close the stubborn Spadea.
"He's too good a player to lose as many matches as he lost," Rusedski said. "He played well."
Though Spadea's family was not on hand to witness history, former Wimbledon winner John McEnroe embraced him with such emotion that "I felt like my kid was born or something," Spadea said.
June 25: Craybas stuns Serena (2005)
June 26: Rusedski falls to World's Biggest Loser (2000)
June 27: Zheng slays No. 1, reaches milestone (2008)
June 28: Henman's last hurrah (2007)
June 29: British Invasion: Wade beats Evert (1977)
June 30: Bjorn, Vitas collaborate on a classic (1977)
July 1: Tarango walks out (1995)
July 2: Borg fends off Connors in fifth set (1977)
July 3: Sharapova becomes a star (2004)
July 4: McEnroe finally beats Borg (1981)
July 5: Venus defeats, then defeats with, Serena (2008)
July 6: Rafter catches Agassi at the end (2001)
July 7: Becker becomes youngest champion (1985)
July 8: Mauresmo denies Henin Wimbledon (2006)