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The final tennis Grand Slam of the year kicked off on Sunday in New York, as the worlds best slug it out for the much coveted, US Open. On the men’s side of the draw, it’ll be interesting to see if any of the young guns like Denis Shapovalov or Stefanos Tsitsipas can break the stranglehold of the old guard. On the ladies side, everyone will be curious to know if Serena Williams can claim her 24th Grand Slam and overtake Margaret Court’s all-time record. Following on from Simona Halap sensational exit in the first round, let us take a look at some more startling shocks that have occurred at Flushing Meadows.
Let us start with the lady everyone is talking about, Simona Halep. The Romania ace crashed out in her women’s singles first round match against Kaia Kanepi of Estonia on Day One of the 2018 US Open 6-2 6-2. The current French Open Champion and World no1 became the first no1 seed Ladies player to exit in the first round of the US Open, now that is a shock!
Defending US Open champion and top seed Agassi lost in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, to 37th seed Frenchman Clément in the second round of the 2000 U.S. Open. Often considered as one of the biggest US Open upsets. Clément recorded 36 winners on the day to Agassi’s 19. Clément punished Agassi’s lackadaisical approach and ultimately deserved the victory.
— SuperTennis TV (@SuperTennisTv) August 22, 2017
Soviet Volkov, then ranked No. 52 in the world, defeated top seed Edberg of Sweden in the first round of the US. Open, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2. In fact, Volkov, so sure that he would lose, scheduled himself to play at a tournament in West Germany later in the week. He was to fly off on Wednesday. But on Tuesday, the Russian upset the No. 1 seed, Stefan Edberg 6-3, 7-6, 6-2. Volkov had to change his flight plans becoming the first man in 19 years to defeat the No. 1 seed in the opening round.
Julie Coin of France, ranked 188, had never played in a Grand Slam before appearing at the US Open in 2008. Ana Ivanovic, winner of the 2008 French Open, seemingly the tour’s hottest new star lost 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. It marked the first time in 40 years at the Open that the No. 1 seed on the women’s side of the draw lost in the second round. The defeat proved to be a breaking point in Ivanovic’s career as she never quite reached the heights she did at the beginning of the year.
This was supposed to be Roger Federer’s crowning moment. Federer was attempting to become the first man to win a sixth consecutive US Open title after Bill Tilden in 1925 during the Pre-Open era. He had a winning streak of 41 matches at Flushing Meadows. He came up against first time Grand Slam finalist, lanky Argentinian, Juan Martin Del Potro. Many expected Federer to romp to victory. 21-year-old stood tall and held on aginst the great man to win the only major not won by the Big Four between 2005 Australian Open and the 2014 Australian Open, a span of 35 events!
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BY - George Tipper
29 August 2018