Saturday, 29 March 2014


There has been some rather fortunate stories of pro tennis players missing flights or cancelling flights which in the end either helped them win a tournament or in some cases , saved their lives , here's some trivia;
In 1986 two Swedish  players , the legendary Mats Wilander and countryman Joakim Nystrom made it through to the quarter final stage of the Men's doubles at Wimbledon. They were due to face American pair Ken Flach and Robert Seguso who were seeded 2 and were ranked the best team in the world a year earlier. Mats reportedly booked a flight home the next day as he was certain that he and his good friend and partner Joakim were to be no match for the Americans. After losing the first two sets easily the Swedish duo fought back and won a remarkable match 11-9 in the fifth set . They went on to win the title two matches later which ultimately gave Mats a career Grand Slam , either a singles or doubles title at every major. Perhaps his booking of the flight made them play without fear , after all, they were heading home.....
Swiss player Mark Rosset won the Olympic Gold Medal in Barcelona for tennis in 1992 and rose to a career high of World number 9 in singles in 1995 . He also reached World number 8 in doubles which was no surprise as he owned one of the biggest serves in the game . In 1998 he lost in the first round in the US Open and was booked on a Swiss Air flight to take him back home. He changed his mind at the last possible moment and decided to stay in New York and practice instead . His would be flight crashed in the Atlantic Ocean killing all on board . Rosset famously told his buddy the next day that he was " looking for a boat to Geneva". Marc was in no hurry to catch another flight...
American star Derrick Rostagno was a tennis pro known for driving to tournaments in a Winnebago Motor Home with a surfboard strapped to the back , a real character . Rostagno reached a career high of 13 in 1991 and defeated among others John McEnroe and Pete Sampras at Wimbledon , his game suited to grass with a strong serve and volley. He also held two match points on eventual Champion Boris Becker at the US Open in 1989. Derrick was particularly unlucky not to convert the second one as he was all over a pass by Becker that unfortunately for him clipped the top of the net , saving the match for Boris.
In 1986 Rostagno was in Mexico and had a connecting flight through to Los Angeles booked yet he decided to stay and play another tournament instead of taking the flight. Lucky for Rostagno he chose to stay in Mexico as the connecting flight crashed not long after take off killing all on board. I remember reading this article at the time and saw a picture of Rostagno running along the beach not long after ,making the most of life. Rostagno always played with a bit of flair , probably even more so after this event.
Wilander , Nystrom , Rosset and Rostagno were all brilliant tennis players who booked flights and cancelled them for different reasons , lucky for them......

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