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This year Wimbledon has thrown out shocks aplenty. The Women’s side of the draw particularly has seen all top 10 seeds being knocked out within the first week. Wimbledon is prone to shocks as grass courts do produce unpredictable results. Over the years we have witnessed some astonishing upsets over the years, so let us take a look at the most memorable.
First round, 2013: The ever so superstitious Rafa Nadal came into the tournament off yet another French Open win (shock) but lost in the first round of a Slam for the first time – to world No 135 Steve Darcis. Big-Hitting Belgium played like a man possessed. Due to his heroics in this game, he sadly had to pull out of Round 2 due to a shoulder injury he’d suffered during this almighty battle.
First round, 2003: The imposing world No 203 Ivo Karlovic – all 6ft 10in of him – shocked champion and top seed Lleyton Hewitt. When Hewitt took the first set, all was passing off as expected. But then the match turned, with Karlovic winning in four sets. Ultimately leading to Hewitt becoming the first men’s defending champion in the Open era to lose in the opening round.
Relive an epic final when Boris Becker conquered SW19, aged just 17.
Ambition in abundance. pic.twitter.com/zEYf5vSbfP
— Anakena Wines (UK) (@AnakenaWinesUK) July 15, 2017
Final, 1985: The flame-haired West German Boris Becker stormed to unexpected success in just his fifth Slam. He beat Kevin Curren to become the youngest at just 17 – and first unseeded – champion.
First round, 1994: Steffi Graf became the first defending women’s champion to be beaten in the first round in a Slam. American Lori McNeil progressing in straight sets. This was her only loss at Wimbledon between 1991 and 1997. Additionally, her first loss in a first-round Grand Slam tournament in ten years. Still, this result hardly unsettled her in future years as she picked up the Venus Rosewater Dish for the next two summers – in 1995 and 1996. Thus ending her career with seven Wimbledon titles, 22 slams in total.
Final, 2001: Controversial Croat Goran Ivanisevic, then world No 125, became the first wildcard to win a slam. Sadly for those hoping for British champions of Wimbledon were left disappointed as he defeated British hopeful Tim Henman in the semi before outlasting Pat Rafter in the final.
First round, 1999: Qualifier Jelena Dokic, a 16-year-old qualifier ranked outside the top 100 faced Hingis, the No.1 seed that summer. She didn’t just lose, but lost heavily, gathering just two games in the most lop-sided of matches. One explanation was that this was Hingis’ first Grand Slam match without her mother Melanie in attendance. The player saying: “We decided to have a little bit of distance.” The greatest gap, though, was between Hingis and Dokic.
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BY - George Tipper
12 July 2018