A look at the biggest upsets in Tennis in 2014. Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have all been at the receiving end.
Nick Kyrgios (WC) vs. Rafael Nadal (2)- Wimbledon, Fourth Round
Rafael Nadal, World No. 1 at the time, having just won his ninth French Open and on a comeback after a knee surgery, was going pretty well in the tournament. Nadal in the first three rounds had lost the first set but managed to come back in the next three sets.
The tradition of losing the first set continued against Nick Kyrgios, a wild card entry, a 19 year old Australian ranked 144. The Aussie started the match with an ace and went on to win the first set 7-5.
In the second set, Nadal was 4-5 down and Nick was serving to gain a 2-0 lead. Kyrgios survived one set point but ultimately Nadal broke his serve to win the second set 5-7. The third set, Kyrgios broke Nadal to go 3-1 up. Nadal ultimately fought back and led the game to the tie-breaker where the Spaniard lost 7-5.
The horror show continued in the fourth set with Nadal ultimately losing the set 6-3 and hence the match in 4 sets with a score of 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3.
It’s not like Nadal played poorly, but his opponent played with the sort of gay abandon that wins over spectators in a jiffy and the underdog eventually prevailed in front of a packed stand.[tps_title]Marin Cilic(14) vs. Roger Federer(2)-US Open, Semi-Finals[/tps_title]
Roger Federer, the World No. 2 at that time, had only lost three sets till now. He was going strong in the tournament until the semi-finals where he faced the Croatian Marin Cilic. Cilic had defeated world number 6 Thomas Berdych in the quarters in straight sets to book his place amongst the last four.
Cilic had played only one more semi-final of a Grand Slam way back in 2010, whereas it was Federer’s 36th. It was a match that lasted a mere 1 hour 45 minutes making it the fourth fastest loss in Federer’s Grand Slam career. The big serving Croatian dominated from start to end with a total of 13 aces and going as fast as 213 kmph. He allowed Federer to break him only once.
Federer went down in the first two sets easily. In the third set, too, Cilic continued his dominance and eventually defeated Federer 6-4 to end the match with a score of 6-3,6-4,6-4.
He finished the match with three aces and a backhand winner thrashing the five-times US Open champion in straight sets and making him look completely out of place.[tps_title]Kei Nishikori(10) vs. Novak Djokovic(1)-US Open, Semi-Finals[/tps_title]
Novak Djokovic, who was the World No. 1, had lost only a single set in the entire tournament until the Semi-Finals. With the defending champion Rafael Nadal out of the tournament due to an injury, he was set to win the US Open a second time until the Japanese World No. 10 Kei Nishikori defeated him in 4 sets, making him the first Asian man to enter a grand slam final.
Despite having played for longer periods in the preceding matches, Nishikori seemed more energetic in the match compared to his opponent. He was a lot more consistent than Djokovic and because of various errors committed by the Serb, won the first set 6-4.
Djokovic bulldozed his way to a quick second set win by countering the Japanese’s defensive game.
The third set went into tie-breaker with Nishikori bettering the world number 1 who struggled under the heat to win the third set.
He continued the momentum in the fourth set and broke Djokovic’s first game. After that, it was just a matter of time for the World No.1. He ultimately lost the fourth set 6-3 and the match with a score 6-4,1-6,7-6(4),6-3. [tps_title]Gabrine Muguruza(20) vs. Serena Williams(1)- French Open, Second Round[/tps_title]
Serena Williams was the defending champion having won her second French open the previous year, but lost to the Spanish Gabrine Muguruza, a 21 year old having turned pro just a couple of years ago.
Williams lost the match in a mere 64 minutes with a score 6-2,6-2, making this her worst Grand Slam performance ever.
Williams had hardly ever been the victim of such an upset in the past, but things never quite clicked for her on this day.
She played a number of false shots and ended with a mere 55% success rate in first serves as well as committing 29 unforced errors. She struggled from start to finish and the four games she won in the match are the fewest she has ever won in 288 major matches.[tps_title]Kristina Mladenovic(103) vs. Li Na(2)-French Open, First Round[/tps_title]
World no. 2, Li Na, who had also won the Rolland Garros went out of the tournament in the first round, losing to French Kristina Mladenovic 7-5,3-6,6-1.
Li Na was a set point away from a 1-0 lead in the game but a number of poor strokes helped Kristina Mladenovic back into the match, and the French lady was brilliant enough to grab all the opportunities that came her way, eventually winning the first set 7-5.
Li Na won the second set easily 3-6 and played much like her supporters had grown accustomed to seeing from her. The third set, however, saw Kristina lead by 5-1.
The crowd was enthusiastic and cheered endlessly for the 21-year-old. Li Na’s troubles never really ended as she gave away 37 unforced errors. It was a milestone victory for the Kristina in front of her home fans.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez(41) vs. Stan Wawrinka(3)-French Open, First Round
The newly crowned Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka after having won the Australian Open earlier in the year, had huge expectations to live up to.
He failed though, crashing out in the first round to a rookie Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, losing the game 6-4,5-7,6-2,6-0.
He gave away a massive 62 unforced errors during the course of the match. After losing the first set and having won the second, the highest ranked Swiss player of that time, Wawrinka, totally lost his momentum and managed to win a mere 2 games. With this he became the highest ranked player to be out in the First Round at the Rolland Garros.
To the man who was being considered a strong candidate for the French Open, it all went horribly wrong.