Selected to receive their sport’s highest honor, Goran Ivanisevic, Conchita Martinez and Lleyton Hewitt can find common ground in two areas. The first: seeing their International Tennis Hall Of Fame enshrinement impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ivanisevic and Martinez were due to be inducted in 2020, while Hewitt was forced to defer his special day in Newport, R.I. to 2022 as a result of travel restrictions between Australia and the U.S.
The second is a much more uplifting link: Wimbledon glory. Here's a look at their title-winning runs, which played a large part in shaping their respective legacies:
A Rare Feat
While Bjorn Borg dominated at Wimbledon for five years running, the tournament wasn't particularly hospitable to baseliners. After Borg, JImmy Connors and Andre Agassi were the only two players to win from the back of the court in 1982 and '92, respectively. With Pete Sampras dominating after Agassi's win, and big servers Richard Krajicek and Goran Ivanisevic picking up titles, too, it appeared that the aggressive players were going to keep reaping the rewards. That changed in 2002 when Hewitt, the reigning US Open champion and world No. 1, came out on top of an upset-plagued draw to win the title, defeating another baseliner, 28th-seeded David Nalbandian, for the title. In the process, Hewitt became the first Australian male champ since Pat Cash in 1987—though he went about it in a completely different way than his scampering-to-the-net countryman.