After Wimbledon ends, it’s not an automatic pivot to hard courts for everyone. Over the years, a large contingent of ATP tour players has stayed in Europe to take part in the late-summer clay-court stretch. And during that time, some future stars have gotten their first taste of title-winning glory. Here’s a look at five of them who have used their initial tournament triumphs as a springboard to further success.
Coming off a first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the French Open and a round-of-16 showing at Wimbledon, the 19-year-old from Serbia had been racing up the standings in 2006. Ranked at a career-high No. 36 entering the Dutch Open, Djokovic didn’t drop a set all week, beating former top-tenners Guillermo Coria and Nicolas Massu in his last two matches to claim his first title.