5. Justine Henin “thought she was going to die”
Belgium’s Justine Henin caused considerable alarm during the fourth round of the 2003 tournament when she was reduced to writhing about in agony on the floor of Rod Laver Arena. The scores were tied at one set apiece and 7-7 in the deciding leg against American Lindsay Davenport, but it was briefly in question as to whether she’d would be able to go on after suffering cramp in her leg.
“I thought I was going to die but I played with my heart,” said Henin—who went by Henin-Hardenne at the time—after she surged back to edge the final set 9-7. “I thought the match was over for me but I wanted to give everything I had.” Henin went on to lose against eventual runner-up Venus Williams in that year’s semi-finals.
6. Williams defeats sister to complete ‘Serena Slam’
It’s easy to forget there was a time in tennis when the name ‘Williams’ dominated every corner of the sport. More specifically, sisters Serena and Venus were on the tip of everyone’s tongue when they contested four straight Grand Slam finals against one another between 2002 and 2003.
That quartet of major clashes concluded with the former beating her sister in January 2003 to complete the ‘Serena Slam’ and hold all four Grand Slam trophies at once. The Williams sisters are hardly the first sibling duo to succeed in tennis, though after winning 23 titles together and each holding world No. 1 status at some point, it’s difficult to argue against them being the best of all time.