On this day in sport: Maiden Roland Garros title for Nadal, Jordan defies belief in NBA Finals

By Sports Desk June 05, 2020

Rafael Nadal has celebrated plenty of times on Court Philippe Chatrier, but the jubilation he felt on June 5, 2005 is likely to live with him forever.

It was on this day 15 years ago when 'The King of Clay' won the first of his, to date, record 12 French Open titles.

Novak Djokovic and Francesca Schiavone were also crowned champions on June 5 in years gone by, while Michael Jordan produced one of the shots of his career in the 1991 NBA Finals.

Here we take a look at the most memorable sports events to have occurred on June 5.

 

1991 - Mid-Air Jordan switches hands for stunning lay-up

At this point 29 years ago Jordan was still the nearly man; a two-time MVP who had yet to win a championship ring.

The Chicago Bulls had lost Game 1 of the 1991 NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers too, but they would level the series at home with a convincing 107-86 victory in Game 2 as Jordan scored 33 points.

But his display that night is best remembered for a single shot in the third quarter. Jordan drove towards the basket ready for a right-handed dunk, only to switch the ball into his left hand in mid-air upon seeing Sam Perkins and somehow flip a shot up off the glass and through the net to astound those in Chicago Stadium.

The Bulls would go on to win the series 4-1, beginning a dynasty that would see them dominate the NBA for most of the next decade.

 

2005 - Nadal begins French Open dominance

At this point 15 years ago Nadal was still a promising teenager hoping to win his first grand slam.

However, he was considered the favourite in the final against Mariano Puerta, having won three clay-court tournaments in the build up to the French Open and, despite dropping the first set, he would emerge victorious 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-1 7-5.

Nadal has won all but three French Opens since, though on June 5, 2016, it was Djokovic lifting the trophy as he beat Andy Murray in four sets to complete a career grand slam.

 

2009 - England stunned in World Twenty20 opener

Eleven years ago England suffered one of their most humiliating losses in any format.

In the opening game of the second World Twenty20 tournament, the hosts were expected to encounter few difficulties against the Netherlands at Lord's.

With England, who failed to hit a single six, having made 162-5 first up after being restricted to 73 in the second half of their innings, it came down to the chasing side needing two off the final ball to clinch a famous victory.

And they got them in farcical fashion as Stuart Broad's overthrow allowed Edgar Schiferli to scamper through for a second, sealing an incredible four-wicket win for the Netherlands.

 

2010 - Schiavone makes grand slam history

Tennis fans had become accustomed to the sight of Nadal winning grand slams by 2010 when Schiavone became the first Italian woman to reach a major singles final.

The 17th seed was up against Australia's Sam Stosur – who had beaten Justine Henin and Serena Williams along the way – and it was Schiavone who came out on top 6-4 7-6 (7-2).

Schiavone not only became the first Italian woman to win a grand slam singles title, but she was also the second-lowest ranked woman to win at Roland Garros in the Open era.

Related items

  • Wizards confirm Westbrook capture as Wall joins Rockets Wizards confirm Westbrook capture as Wall joins Rockets

    The Washington Wizards confirmed the acquisition of former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook in a trade that sent franchise favourite John Wall to the Houston Rockets.

    Westbrook leaves the Rockets after just one season alongside James Harden in Houston, the nine-time All-Star moving to Washington in exchange for Wall and a future lottery-protected first-round draft pick on Wednesday.

    The shock trade comes amid uncertainty over Rockets superstar Harden, who is reportedly eyeing a move to the Brooklyn Nets, while the Philadelphia 76ers have also been linked.

    Wall heads to Houston, having not played since rupturing his left Achilles tendon in January last year. He initially underwent season-ending left heel surgery.

    The five-time All-Star, who has appeared in just 73 games since the start of the 2017-18 season, is fourth for career points for the Wizards after being drafted first by the Washington franchise in 2010.

    "Having the opportunity to acquire a player of Russell's calibre and character was something that we could not pass up when looking at both the immediate and long-term future of our team," said Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard as Westbrook prepares to team up with Bradley Beal.

    "With that said, the decision to part ways with John, one of the greatest players in franchise history, was extremely difficult. What he has meant to our organisation and our community is immeasurable and will not be forgotten."

    Harden and Westbrook – who played together at the Oklahoma City Thunder – became the first pair of team-mates in NBA history to average 25.0-plus points and seven-plus assists per game in the same season.

    Westbrook averaged 27.2 points and seven assists per game for the Rockets, who had their 14th consecutive season at .500 or better but failed to reach the NBA Finals – the longest streak of its kind in NBA history.

    But Westbrook's struggles were evident in the playoffs – shooting just 24.2 per cent from three-point range and 53.1 per cent from the free-throw line.

    Westbrook was the first player in NBA history to shoot under 25 per cent from three and under 60 per cent from the line in a single postseason (minimum 30 attempts in both categories).

    Houston had a 29-13 record when Westbrook shot less than five times from beyond the arc compared to 10-13 when attempting five or more.

    Westbrook, meanwhile, has a career average of 19.6 points, 9.0 assists and 6.1 rebounds in Washington.

    Wizards head coach Scott Brooks added: "Russell's accomplishments and honours on the court speak for themselves, but his drive and will to win are what separate him as a truly unique player.

    "As much as I'm looking forward to reuniting with him, I'm equally sad to say good-bye to John. He is one of the toughest and most gifted players I've ever been around and we all wish him nothing but the best moving forward."

    In 573 career games with 561 starts for the Wizards, Wall averaged 19.0 points, 9.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.70 steals. He joins Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history with career averages of at least 19.0 points per game, 9.0 assists per game and 4.0 rebounds per game.

    Over the past six seasons, Wall is the only player in the league to have averaged at least 20.0 points per game and 10.0 assists per game.  

  • Kawhi eager to bounce back after Clippers' failures – Lue Kawhi eager to bounce back after Clippers' failures – Lue

    Tyronn Lue said star Kawhi Leonard is eager for the season to get underway after the Los Angeles Clippers' failures in 2019-20.

    Lue will lead the Clippers in 2020-21 after replacing head coach Doc Rivers following the team's stunning Western Conference semi-final exit in the NBA playoffs.

    The Clippers were one of the favourites to claim their maiden title following the arrivals of All-Stars Leonard and Paul George but squandered a 3-1 lead against the Denver Nuggets at Walt Disney World Resort amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Keen to make amends after last season's woes, Lue – who guided the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first championship in 2016 with a team headlined by LeBron James – hailed two-time NBA winner Leonard.

    "Just as far as me talking to Kawhi, he is excited to get back on the court," Lue said during his virtual news conference on Wednesday.

    "When you are dealing with great players, when you lose early on in the playoffs, you are always eager to get back. That is what great players do. We all failed at our goal last season and we all know that.

    "Kawhi has done a great job of taking [initiative] to get guys on the phone, talking to guys, seeing guys more.

    "He has done a great job of that. He is excited to get back on the floor just from talking to him and we are all excited as well."

    Th 2019-20 campaign was the ninth consecutive season they finished with a winning record (49-23) but failed to reach the Conference finals – the longest streak of its kind in NBA history.

    Former Clippers assistant Lue is no stranger to working with superstars, having enjoyed a successful partnership with James in Cleveland.

    "Anytime you coach LeBron James, there is a lot of media scrutiny, a lot of pressure to win," Lue, whose Clippers will begin their season against defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers on December 22, said.

    "And just being able to deal with that calibre of player, with Kawhi and PG being our two best players on the team, I think it translates over to just being the Clippers coach and being able to relate to those guys, understanding stars in this league, how they perform, what they like, what they want to do. Just being around guys like that, it's definitely helped me out a lot."

    George – who averaged 21.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists in the regular season – struggled to produce when it mattered most and shot the ball much worse in 2019-20 when he shared the court with Leonard. The difference was even greater during the playoffs.

    With Leonard on the court in the regular season, George's field-goal percentage was 41.1 compared to 48.2 without him. During the playoffs, George boasted a 53.8 shooting percentage while Leonard was sidelined, a significant improvement on the 36.8 per cent he managed together with the former Toronto Raptors favourite. 

    Combined, George has a 48.8 percentage while Leonard is off the court, compared to 39.9 during the duo's time together.

    "It was tough because we were confident," George said on the All The Smoke podcast when discussing the Clippers' collapse against the Nuggets. "We went up 3-1, we felt like, we're going to win the next one. We lost. We [were] like cool, we're up 3-2, we gonna win the next one.

    "We lost. But during that whole process, we never worked on adjustments. We never worked on what to do differently. We just literally having the same s*** happen over and over again. It started to play a trick on you like man, what's going on?

    "We are talking amongst each other like the conversation is, we are going to be all right. The conversation should have been like, nah, we need to change this, we need to switch this up. I don't think we deserved it. We wasn't prepared enough going into it. ... We didn't put the work into it. It was kind of just like, yo, we got PG, we got Kawhi, Lou [Williams], Trezz [Montrezl Harrell]. We going to be straight, we are going to figure it out."

    There are some news faces for the Clippers after Montrezl Harrell joined city rivals the Lakers – Serge Ibaka arriving from the Raptors and Nicolas Batum landing in Los Angeles after clearing waivers, while Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris re-signed.

  • Warriors star Curry 'excited' for season-opening clash with Durant's Nets Warriors star Curry 'excited' for season-opening clash with Durant's Nets

    Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is relishing his reunion with former team-mate Kevin Durant on the opening night of the 2020-21 NBA season.

    The NBA announced its national TV schedule for the first three days of the season, with the Warriors-Brooklyn Nets clash part of a December 22 doubleheader also featuring defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers and city rivals the Los Angeles Clippers.

    Durant – who won two championships and as many NBA Finals MVP awards in the Bay Area – is set to make his long-awaited debut for the Nets as he returns from an Achilles injury.

    Former MVP Durant left the Warriors via free agency ahead of the 2019-20 season, but he missed last term through an Achilles injury sustained with Golden State in the 2019 Finals.

    The Warriors will also face reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Christmas Day and Curry told reporters on Wednesday: "It's exciting.

    "Throw us right into the familiarity with K [Durant] but also with teams that are expected to be at the top of each conference, or the Eastern Conference.

    "And then, we kind of get a good gauge of where we are right out the gate.

    "We're going to have to play every team at some point. I know the excitement around the NBA being back and the Christmas Day slate and all that ... it's going to be dope."

    Golden State – coming off a forgettable campaign – will be without star Klay Thompson again due to a ruptured Achilles, having missed the entire 2019-20 season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

    The Warriors reached five straight NBA Finals between 2015 and 2019, winning three titles, but slumped to a 15-50 record at the bottom of the Western Conference in 2019-20.

    Curry's own injuries limited him to just five games last term and he added: "I've got to figure out what we're going to do in Milwaukee for Christmas.

    "But other than that, it's going to be pretty awesome just to be playing basketball again. I'm excited, man, it's going to be here before you know it."

    "Watching the bubble was weird," Curry said. "It was nice to be a fan for a little bit, but I definitely want to be playing competitive basketball and in games that matter."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.