What are the Biggest Upsets in Tennis history?
Photo by Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Biggest Upsets in Tennis History
Tennis Stats and Record
Upsets in tennis happen all the time, week in, week out. However, some upsets you just don't see coming and if someone told you about them you would not believe them. Tennis is a sport where anyone can beat anyone on their day. Here are the biggest upsets in modern-tennis history.
1. Robin Soderling vs. Rafael Nadal - 2009 French Open Fourth Round
- Rafael Nadal is the King of Clay, he has won 12 titles at the French Open and he is just unstoppable at this tournament. Nadal won his first French Open title in 2005 at 19 years old. Nadal was not going to be a one hit wonder as many youngsters end up being, and he continued his dominance in Paris, winning the title again in 2006, 2007 & 2008. Nadal now had 4 consecutive French Open titles and he was looking for a firth in 2009. If you would have asked anyone prior to the tournament who could have upset Nadal at the French Open, most people, if not everyone, would have said Roger Federer. However, it was Robin Soderling who did it. Soderling defeated the defending champion in 4 sets (6-2/6-7/6-4/7-6). Nadal was shocked, as was the entire crowd, and he had to get himself back on track. The following year Nadal got his revenge in Paris, in the Final of the French Open, defeating Soderling 6-4/6-2/6-4.
2. Roger Federer vs. Pete Sampras - 2001 Wimbledon Fourth Round
- In 2001, Roger Federer was an up and coming player who had only begun to make a name for himself on the tour. Federer says that he still didn't know if he was good enough to make it in tennis, and his victory against Pete Sampras was the confidence boost he needed to free him of nerves and play his best tennis. Sampras was the more experienced player here and no one would have thought he would lose. Federer came out and stayed with Sampras, winning the match in 5 tight sets (7-6/5-7/6-4/6-7/7-5). Federer and Sampras only met once in their careers, but they surely put on a show.
3. Stefanis Tsitsipas vs. Roger Federer - 2019 Australian Open Fourth Round
- In more recent times, Roger Federer was looking to make it 3 Australian Open titles in a row as he took the court in the fourth round of the 2019 Australian Open. His opponent, the young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, had been in great form to close out his 2018 season, but not a form which you would have thought would allow him to beat arguably the greatest of all time. Tsitsipas came out all guns blazing, and although the Greek lost the first set, he won the next 3 to steal the match (6-7/7-6/7-5/7-6). Federer and the entire tennis world was shocked, but we knew we just witnessed one of the new players making a statement.
4. John Millman vs. Roger Federer - 2018 US Open Fourth Round
- This is one of the most shocking matches you would ever think possible, however it did happen. in 2018 at the US Open, Federer put on one of the worst performances of his career. Although the Swiss won the first set with what seemed ease, in the following 3 he did not seem to know how to win a point against Millman. Federer looked gassed and his body looked so tired. Federer was not in his best shape and he was sweating buckets, a thing we never see Federer do. Millman ran away with the match and he took advantage of what was in front of him, beating Federer in 4 (3-6/7-5/7-6/7-6). Federer got his revenge in Australia in 2020 but he had to work extremely hard to do so.
5. Nick Kyrgios vs. Rafael Nadal - 2014 Wimbledon Fourth Round
- Ranked 144 at the time, Nick Kyrgios pulled off the upset of his young career when he beat Rafael Nadal in 4 sets in the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2014. Nadal has always struggled to find his best form at Wimbledon since his two victories in 2008 and 2010, but an upsets as big was never expected. Kyrgios defeated Nadal (7-6/5-7/7-6/6-3) and has ever since become one of the most exciting tennis player to watch.