Tennis' biggest upsets

There have been several moments where an underdog bucked long tennis odds to shock the world. 
Here are the top five biggest upsets in tennis.

Sampras - The King of Wimbledon Stunned

Peter Sampras came into his quarter-final clash with Richard Krajicek as a clear favourite to reach the semi-finals at the 1996 Wimbledon.
The legendary American tennis player was looking to go all the way and clinch his fourth successive Wimbledon title and therefore, he was expected to brush aside Krajicek.
Dutchman Krajicek had never previously progressed beyond the fourth round at the tournament and had also missed out on the seedings for the 1996 competition.
However, Krajicek shocked the tennis world by defeating Sampras in straight sets, becoming the only player to beat Sampras in a Wimbledon singles match in the eight-year period from 1993 to 2001.
This was until Sampras' fourth-round loss to a certain Roger Federer in the 2001 tournament.

Little known Razzano humbles Williams

Serena Williams came into the 2012 French Open having never lost in the first round of a singles competition in a Grand Slam tournament.
The accomplished American superstar took on French player Virginie Razzano, who ranked 111th in the world, in the first round encounter.
Williams came to the French Open as the heavy favourite for the title and everyone expected her to ease past Razzano, and advance to the next round.
However, Williams shockingly lost to Razzano in three sets, marking this as the first time she lost in a Grand Slam opener in her career.
Razzano was up 5–0 in the final set at one point and needed eight match points to close out the match. Some believe that it is the biggest upset in the history of the women's game.

“I had to dig deep against a great champion and you could see until the end that she gave away nothing. I had to go and get the victory. I had to be mentally strong, and I gave my everything," Razzano told the reporters.

While Williams said: “I was just thinking, if I can break here we’ll be back on serve. You know, those are the kind of things that are going through your head."

Stakhovsky Shocks Tennis Icon Federer

Roger Federer was looking to continue his run of 36 consecutive Grand Slams where he had reached at least the quarter-finals when he took part in the 2013 Wimbledon.
The Swiss superstar, who was a seven-time winner and the defending champion at the time, played 116th-ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine in the second round.
Federer had a one-set lead before dropping the next three sets and losing the match, unable to hold leads, and convert on crucial points.
This also marked Federer's earliest loss at a Grand Slam tournament since the 2003 French Open where he was eliminated by Peruvian player Luis Horna in the first round.
Also, the record 20-time Grand Slam winner's first loss to a player ranked outside of the top 100 since losing to Richard Gasquet in 2005 (ranked 101st at the time).

Querrey Ends World Number One Djokovic's Hopes

Novak Djokovic, who was holding all four tennis majors, began his 2016 Wimbledon quest as the two-time defending champion and top seed.
The Serbian superstar defeated James Ward and Adrian Mannarino, in straight sets in his first two matches, and he was pitted against Sam Querrey in the third-round match.
American player Querrey listed as high as a 30-1 underdog and was seeded at 28 coming into the tournament.
Querrey upset Djokovic in four sets to snap Djokovic's streak of reaching at least the quarterfinals in every Grand Slam since the 2009 French Open.
Djokovic's streak of 30 consecutive Grand Slam match wins also came to an end and this remains one of the biggest upsets in the history of the game.

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Soderling Surprises French Open King Nadal

Rafael Nadal is known as the most successful player in history on clay courts having won a record 12 French Open (Ronald Garros) titles.
The Spanish superstar set a record of 31 consecutive wins at Roland Garros, beating the previous record of 28 by Björn Borg (1978–81 French Open) by beating Lleyton Hewitt in the third round of 2009 French Open.
Furthermore, Nadal had won 32 consecutive sets at Roland Garros - the second-longest winning streak in the tournament's history behind Björn Borg's record of 41 consecutive sets.
However, Swedish player Robin Soderling, who was seeded 23rd, secured a 6–2, 6–7(2–7), 6–4, 7–6(7–2) win over world number one Nadal in the 2009 French Open fourth-round match.
Women's tennis legend Martina Navratilova described the match as one of the greatest upsets in tennis history.

“The only chance for any player now is to be really aggressive. To beat him in five sets on clay is even more difficult," Soderling said on the Ronald Garros website.

“It's an extremely difficult task to do. You have to take a lot of risks, but nothing is impossible.”

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Published: 04/21/2020