Chase Rubin: Top 4 Shocking and Unexpected Upsets

Hi, everyone! This is Chase Rubin for another blog update. Today I’ll be rounding up my top 4 biggest upsets in tennis. I’m sure there have been plenty more in the sport’s long history but these matches always come to mind for different reasons:

#1. Stakhovsky vs. Federer at 2013 Wimbledon 2nd Round – Wimbledon’s poster boy Roger Federer suffered a major upset in 2013 against Ukrainian player Sergiy Stakhovsky, bowing out in the 2nd round. Before their fated clash, the Swiss Maestro had amassed 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarter finals appearances and was the defending champion that year. Stakhovsky lost the 1st set but bounced back seemingly out of nowhere to claim the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th set. The Ukrainian failed to capitalize on his run, but at least he’s got bragging rights that he once beat the world’s No. 1 and on his territory no less.

#2. Delpo vs. Federer at US Open Finals 2009 – It may seem unfair that Fed is bound to encounter more upsets than most because he’s set the bar so high for himself, but the US Open Finals in 2009 turned out to be a shocker for many fans. It was the first time the Swiss Maestro had lost on the cemented court in over five years—and to a new kid on the block at that. For others, they remember this match as a rare moment wherein they got to see the ever-calm and nice Fed lose his cool and swear at the umpire. Well, if you had won the US Open title straight from 2004 to 2008 like Roger had, wouldn’t you blow a fuse if things weren’t going your way?

#3. Stosur vs. Serena at US Open Finals 2011 – Even Serena fans will concede that their favorite player really lost the US Open finals, both in terms of the match and proper decorum. It’s unfortunate that Sam Stosur’s first Grand Slam title may be overshadowed by Serena’s outburst and “tantrums” at the umpire. She was penalized for screaming “Come on!” at Stosur while in play, which was considered an intentional verbal hindrance. Of course the ever-fierce No. 1 seeded Williams did not take the penalty lightly and had to talk out her feelings. Meanwhile, Stosur kept her cool and played excellent tennis over the following sets, proving to everyone, including Williams, that she was the best player in women’s singles that year.

#4. Vinci vs. Serena at US Open Semi Finals 2015 – Another Serena match that tennis fans will remember in the years to come: Roberta Vinci vs. Serena Williams at the US Open Semi Finals; Vinci crushed Serena’s hopes of achieving that elusive calendar-year slam, which only three other women have done in the history of the sport. Vinci lost the first set 2-6 pretty quickly but even Williams ran into problems herself, with clumsy mistakes that translated into free points. Once the Italian veteran had finally found her rhythm, there was no stopping her run to a spectacular 3-set finish against one of the greatest female athletes of her generation.

What do you think should have made the list? Feel free to leave me a comment.

Stay tuned for more tennis thought pieces by Chase Rubin.