The past three days have seen countless upsets at Wimbledon. From Nadal losing in the first round, to seeing Federer’s 36 Grand Slam Quarter Final end dead. We also saw Sharapova, Jankovic, Azarenka and Wozniacki losing out to lower ranked players. Of course in any grand slam there will be upsets and Wimbledon is no different. The question that will be asked is where the above mentioned upsets fit on the list of the greatest upsets in Wimbledon history. Well here is The Jabu List of the 10 greatest upsets in the history of Wimbledon.
10. Sergiy Stakhovsky over Roger Federer, 2nd Round, 2013
Roger Federer has been a dominating force in Wimbledon but also in the Grand Slams. His 17 titles is the record and more impressively is that he had played in 36 consecutive grand slam quarter finals. That run was always going to end at some point, but Wimbledon would always be least likely. Ranked 116, Stakhovsky played the game of his life to defeat the Swiss maestro and secure his first ever third round match.
9. Lukas Rosol over Rafael Nadal, 2nd Round, 2012
Rafa Nadal is no stranger to disappointments at Wimbledon as he has now been on the receiving end in two successive seasons now. Many will point to his knee problems, but a half-fit Nadal, heck even a quarter fit Nadal would expect to beat Lukas Rosal 99 out of 100 times. Of course this game was that other one and after Nadal led by 2 sets to 1, Rosol charged back. This is the only game I have ever seen Nadal play and be a horrendous loser as he even bumped into Rosol on one of the changeovers. Rosol of course lost the third round and also face 1st round exodus this year.
8. Jill Craybas over Serena Williams, Third Round, 2005
The fact that he highlight of Jill Craybas’ career is that she beat Serena Williams in the third round of Wimbledon surely tells a story already. Jill who was ranked 85th at the time had received a 6-1 6-0 thrashing on their previous meeting. But at 30 years of age Craybas was facing the back end of her career when she produced this classic. The Williams family got revenge though as it was Venus who knocked Jill out of Wimbledon in the end.
7. Peter Doohan over Boris Becker, 2nd Round, 1987
The double defending Boris Becker arrived at Wimbledon as the favourite again and he coasted through the first round. He was expected to do the same in the second round against Doohan, who he had beaten easily at Queens in the build up. But at the All England Club, Doohan emerged victorious with a shock result of note. His victory over Becker was followed by a third round win before only winning one more match in his Grand Slam career.
6. Kathy Jordan over Chris Evert, 6-1, 7-6, Third Round, 1983
Three-time Wimbledon champion Evert had won the last three Grand Slam events leading up to Wimbledon, and had compiled a remarkable streak of reaching 34 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals until her premature exit at the hands of the unseeded American. Jordan had never before taken as much as a set off of Evert in their five previous encounters
5. George Bastl over Pete Sampras, 2nd Round, 2002
Pete Sampras’ dominance at Wimbledon was ended in 2001 when he last to a young hotshot named Roger Federer. Before that Sampras had won 7 titles in the previous 8 years. And even though Sampras was not a favourite for the title, his seeding of 6th meant he was definitely in the running for a Quarter Final. But George Bastl had saved 2 of his 3 main tour wins in 2002 for Wimbledon and after winning in Round 1, played the game of his life in beating Sampras in five sets. Bastl had actually lost in qualifying for Wimbledon but was given a reprieve when Felix Mantilla withdrew. Bastl never won another match at Wimbledon and Sampras never returned.
4. Ivo Karlovic over Lleyton Hewitt, 1st Round, 2003
Lleyton Hewitt won Wimbledon in 2002 and although he had dropped to second in 2003, he was still heavily favourite for a final appearance. He was playing in the first round against the giant that is Ivo Karlovic. What makes the result one of the biggest shocks in Wimbledon history was that Karlovic had won just two main tour matches in his career and had failed to qualify for a Grand Slam in 10 previous attempts. What also made it shocking was that Hewitt won the first set in 18 minutes.
3. Steve Darcis over Rafael Nadal, 1st Round, 2013
Nadal had denied all critics who said he would not return from injury by being dominant in almost every tournament (won 7 of 9) he has played this year. His victory over Djokovic at the French Open en route to the Championship was a reminder of his raw ability. But the Belgian Darcis decided that this would be the year that he finally got a main draw win at Wimbledon. And he did it in style, beating the Spaniard in straight sets in a show of defiance that would make rebelling teenagers proud.
2. Roger Taylor over Rod Laver, 4th Round, 1970
Rod Laver would surely have won more than his 11 grand slam titles if he had not been permitted from entering them for five years as a professional. But when the Open era started in 1968, Laver continued his dominance and in 69 completed the Grand Slam. When he faced Roger Taylor, he had won 31 consecutive matches at Wimbledon, while Taylor had lost in the second round for two consecutive years. Taylor, an Englishman, played the best game of his life in beating Laver in 4 sets.
1. Lori McNeill over Steffi Graf – 1st Round 1994
In the biggest shock in my Wimbledon following life, Steffi Graf became the first woman to be defeated in the first round as a defending champion. At this point McNeill was 30 years old playing a woman who had won 21 straight games at Wimbledon and had won 5 out of the last 6 Championships. McNeill had never made a grand slam final. But in 1994, in straight sets, the 30-year-old sent the future Mrs Agassi packing in the greatest upset in Wimbledon