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5 players who made their Grand Slam breakthrough at the Australian Open

ANALYST
Modified 12 Jan 2020
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#4 Petr Korda - 1998

Petr Korda at the 1998 Australian Open
Petr Korda at the 1998 Australian Open

After going down to American Jim Courier in straight sets in his maiden Grand Slam final at Roland Garros 1992, Petr Korda made his second Grand Slam final at the 1998 Australian Open.

Contesting the first all-lefty Grand Slam final since John McEnroe beat Jimmy Connors at 1984 Wimbledon, Korda took on Marcelo Rios of Chile. Rios holds the rather ignominious record of being the only World No. 1 never to have won a Grand Slam title; this would be Rios' first and last opportunity to do so.

The final itself between the two left-handers turned out to be rather dull. Korda beat Rios for the loss of two games in each set, for the most lopsided Grand Slam final since the 1991 US Open (where Stefan Edberg beat Jim Courier 6-4, 6-2, 6-0).

With the win, the then 31-year-old Korda ascended to a career-high of World No. 2, in the process becoming the fifth oldest player to make his Grand Slam breakthrough.

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Published 12 Jan 2020
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