Biggest US Open tennis upsets

Check out our rundown of the five biggest shocks ever in the US Open.

Canadian duo shining in New York.

The fourth and final Grand Slam of the calendar year is almost upon us and the 2022 US Open will be the 142nd edition of the Stateside competition.

With Emma Raducanu springing one of the biggest shocks in Grand Slam history with her title triumph in the women’s competition last year, we’ve taken a look at five of the biggest recent upsets to take place at the hard-court Major.

Svetlana Kuznetsova v Ekaterina Bychkova (first round, 2005)

Svetlana Kuznetsova was crowned US Open champion in 2004 but what difference a year can make.

The Russian had beaten the likes of Nadia Petrova, Lindsay Davenport and Elena Dementieva on the way to her maiden Grand Slam success, yet was sent packing in the first round of her title defence by 20-year-old compariot Ekaterina Bychkova.

It was bitterly disappointing as Kuznetsova became the first defending champion to lose her opening round match since 1968 and her opponent, Bychkova, crashed out in the next round.

Kuznetsova did, however, go on to taste Grand Slam success once again with her victory in the French Open in 2009.

Ana Ivanovic v Julie Coin (second round, 2008)

Ana Ivanovic had finished runner-up at the Australian Open and been crowned champion in the French equivalent, but her 2008 campaign ended on a low.

The tournament top seed was beaten in the second round of the US Open by Julie Coin, who was ranked 188th in the world and was making her first appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam.

Ivanovic’s defeat to Coin – 6-3 4-6 6-3 – was the first time in 40 years at the US Open that the number one seed in the women’s draw has fell in the second round.

Roger Federer v Juan Martin Del Potro (final, 2009)

Roger Federer had started to make the US Open his own, recording five straight title successes in the States, and was expected to swat aside 20-year-old Juan Martin Del Potro in his pursuit of a sixth consecutive win in 2009.

Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray had all tried and failed to upstage Federer in recent finals, but young gun Del Potro had all the answers. 

The number one seed had not lost a match at the Open since 2003 but Del Potro, who was renowned for his devastating forehand, came through an epic five-setter as he prevailed 3-6 7-6 4-6 7-6 6-2.

The young Argentine, along with Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, remains one of only three men to have beaten Federer in a Grand Slam final, but a career blighted by injuries meant he was unable to add to his Major haul.

Serena Williams v Kim Clijsters (semi-final, 2009)

2009 was a year for surprises and one of the biggest came when wildcard Kim Clijsters upset number two seed and defending champion Serena Williams in the semi-final.

Williams was already a three-time winner of her home Grand Slam event but she was beaten convincingly by Clijsters, who won 6-4 7-5.

The Belgian also won the US Open in 2005 but had retired from the women’s tour in 2007. However, she mounted an extremely successful comeback and went on to win the title again with victory over Caroline Wozniacki in the final.

Serena had won both the Australian Open and Wimbledon earlier in the year but a determined Clijsters ended that run before going on to successfully defend her crown in 2010.

Emma Raducanu v Leylah Fernandez (Final, 2021)

Winning the final for Raducanu wasn’t the surprise but getting to it was as it was only her second ever appearance in a Grand Slam.

Raducanu became the first qualifier in the Open era to win a Grand Slam with her victory over Leylah Fernandez last year, which also ended Britain’s 44-year wait for a women’s Major champion.

What is even more impressive is that the then 18-year-old, who also became the youngest women’s Slam champion since Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004, completed the feat without dropping a set.

Raducanu had beaten 11th seed Belinda Bencic 6-3 6-4 in the quarter-final, outclassed 17th seed Maria Sakkari 6-1 6-4 in the semis and then brushed aside Fernandez 6-4 6-3 in the title decider.

Aaron is Mr Versatile – he covers all sports but with a particular passion for football, tennis and snooker.
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