2017 is over, it’s time to look ahead at what 2018 has in store for the world of tennis. 2017 was a memorable and unique one in multiple ways, be it the revival of Federer and Nadal or the homecoming of Grigor Dimitrov. But there were plenty of scenes of disbelief, matches that looked one-sided on paper that ended up giving the biggest shocks of 2017. Here we take a look at the Top Upsets of 2017
David Goffin entered the court for the 7th time against Roger Federer, having lost on all previous occasions. Federer, who had dominated the year looked all set to clinch another ATP World Tour Final as his closest competitor this year, Nadal was already back home.
It looked like a straight set win for Roger as his swept Goffin in the opening set, but a spirited David who was hitting smoothly and chasing everything Roger threw at him, fought his way back to claim the match 2-6 6-3 6-4 and enter the final against Dimitrov.
The Belgian became the first player to beat Top 2 ranked players in the ATP Finals since 2009 and only the sixth to beat both Rafa and Roger in the same tournament.
“Words can’t describe how I am feeling,” Goffin said after beating his childhood idol “So much joy, so much happiness, such a special moment.”
At the end of 3 hours and 34 minutes, it was clear that for the first time since 2009, quarterfinals Down Under won’t feature Andy Murray.
“He deserved to win” – Murray
Mischa won 7-5 5-7 6-2 6-4 inside the Rod Laver Arena. Zverev, then ranked No.50, became the lowest-ranked player to beat Murray at a Grand Slam since the 2006 Australian Open when he lost to Juan Ignacio Chela, also ranked 50th.
“It was kind of easy to stay aggressive but it was tough to stay calm,” said the German, “I was expecting to maybe double fault in the last game but somehow I made it.”
An 18-year-old, in front of his home crowd, took down one of the biggest names in tennis, Rafa Nadal.
After posing with Rafa as a kid for a coin toss in 2008, Denis Shapovalov pulled off the greatest win of his short career 9 years later as he stunned the top seed Rafa with some sizzling shotmaking. Ranked 143 at that time, Shapovalov took the game to Rafa, to beat the man he “grew up watching’. This shock victory by Shapovalov stunned the world and hence makes it to our top 10 tennis matches list.
“Obviously it was a little bit hard with ATP and you guys [the media] coming up with those memories of when I was a little kid shaking Nadal’s hand. That was pretty funny.” said Denis.
Rafa Nadal entered this year’s Wimbledon with two great major runs already, a runner-up in Melbourne and winner of La Decima in Paris. Nadal was looking to reach his first quarter-final at the All England Club since 2011. He then ran into Gilles Muller, a player who had last beaten Rafa 12 years ago. But this was grass, perfectly suiting Muller’s game as he went on to shock the All England Club, claiming the 4hrs 48min(recall 2008!) long match.
“It’s more difficult when you play against a player like him that doesn’t give you a lot of rhythm. I had my chance in the beginning. But when you play against these kinds of players, you cannot have mistakes with yourself,” said Nadal.
One of the biggest upset of the decade came Down Under, when No.117 Denis Istomin knocked out the 6-time Aus Open champion Novak Djokovic, in 5 cracking sets. This victory stretched across four hours and 48 minutes, sending shockwaves through Melbourne Park. Istomin produced the tennis of his life and thanks to some fluctuating level of play from the Serb, send shock waves in the tennis world.Istomin had never moved beyond the 4th round of a major but hours later he was shaking hands with the 12 times major champion at the net.
“It’s a tennis match. On a given day, you can lose. Nothing is impossible. In the game of tennis, one guy beats the other guy.” said Djokovic.
“I surprised myself,” Istomin admitted during an on-court interview in the wake of his win. “First of all I feel sorry for Novak. I was playing so good today. I want to thank my team. Mum [his coach Klaudiya Istomina] did a good job.
“So much emotion, I cannot hold it.”
So those were the biggest upsets of the year!