As the world gears up to prepare for the French Open 2017, there is one noticeable absentee. Last month it was revealed that Serena Williams is pregnant with her first child, and as such she will not be attending this pivotal tennis tournament.
The World Number One will be sorely missed throughout the tournament, but she has vowed to return after she gives birth. Her trainer is confident that she’ll continue to perform at the highest level. With Serena’s tenacity and impressive form, there is no doubt that she will reclaim her throne as the Queen of Tennis.
Whether or not Serena returns, she wouldn’t be the first to make an impressive comeback to the game. Here are the top four surprising and emphatic tennis comebacks:
- Juan Martin Del Potro
Del Potro is a firm fan favourite. He’s friendly, gracious and a pleasure to watch, but he’s had many obstacles to overcome throughout his playing time. In 2014 and 2015, Del Potro had not one but three operations on his wrist, which understandably weakened his wrist and left his backhand almost useless. Never giving up, Del Potro took charge in 2016, claiming a silver medal at the Rio Olympics. He next reached the US Open quarterfinals and contributed to Argentina winning their first Davis Cup title.
- Kim Clijsters
Before motherhood, Kim Clijsters had won just one grand slam. While some predicted that she might retire from tennis in favour of motherhood, she did anything but. After giving birth, Clijsters competed in the US Open as her first grand slam tournament since her baby was born. Not only was Clijsters in impressive form but she claimed victory over Caroline Wozniacki to secure another grand slam win. As a mother, Clijsters has now won three grand slams. What was the secret in changing nappies, or simply the sheer strength and determination it takes to be a mother? No matter what, she is force to be reckoned with!
- Andre Agassi
As the admired World Number One in 1996, Agassi encountered multiple problems in 1997. These problems ranged from a very public marriage breakdown and divorce, drug use scandals and a hatred of the sport. These troubles all led his ranking to drop to 141. After a couple of years away from the sport, Andre Agassi returned in extraordinary form winning the French Open and finding love with fellow champion tennis player, Steffi Graf.
- Monica Seles
As the incredible teenage tennis playing phenom, Monica Seles was unstoppable. Seles won eight major titles and held the top ranking for over 100 weeks. However, at just 19 years old, a spectator stabbed Seles during a match in 1993. While Seles never fully recovered psychologically, over two years later, Seles returned to tennis and won the Australian Open. Seles is truly a brave, admired and incredible talent of the tennis world. She deserves all of the success and happiness that she has achieved!