Thursday, 21 October 2010

Top 10 upsets of 2010

I have not posted this yet as i was waiting for all 3 parts. Here they are:


This season has been filled with a great variety of surprising moments in the game of tennis.

Not only did the former world number one Serena Williams from the United States of American skip the year’s final major, the United States Open in New York as a result of her foot injury, but Juan Martin del Potro was also sidelined for nearly most of the year due to his wrist injury.

Apart from injuries, a young Danish sensation, Caroline Wozniacki also achieved her career high ranking of world number one, whereas Andrea Petkovic is not only the highest ranked player from Germany, but in fact she is among the top forty players on the tour.

The Grand Slam tournaments in 2010 were quite unpredictable, as they had some of the most unexpected runner-ups and champions like the French Open as no one expected Francesca Schiavone to finish as Roland Garros champion.

Here, takes a look at the top ten greatest surprises on both ATP and WTA tour this season.

10. Juan Martin Del Potro skips most of 2010

The Argentinean tennis ace Del Potro grabbed every one’s attention after his win at the United States Open in New York last year, during which he got the better of both Roger Federer as well as the current number one Rafael Nadal.

Not only did Juan end the last year ranked as number five in the world by ATP but in fact he was also the youngest contender in the ATP top ten list, the number one Argentinean as well as the highest ranked contender on the tour.

Apart from the Flushing Meadows, Del Potro captured two other trophies as well back in 2009 and was also a runner-up at the Masters 1000 tournament held in Canada and the Barclays event in London.

It looked at that time as if the sky was the limit for the tennis new star, however, after a poor start at the year’s first major, the Australian Open in Melbourne, it became crystal clear that Juan was not contesting at his top level of the game.

The six foot six Potro after his Aussie appearance went through a wrist surgery as a result of which he stayed away from the tour for most of the season afterwards.

He didn’t even recover to defend his title in New York and thus his ranking dropped down to as low as number thirty six in the world.

9. Spain kicked out in quarter final round of the Davis Cup 2010

Of course Rafael Nadal was not playing and Fernando Verdasco had played a lot of tennis going into the final eight tie versus France, however still none predicted the two-time defending winner to bundle out so soon.

The Spanish team has been dominant in the Davis Cup competition for the last whole decade. During that period they have not only triumphed on four occasions but in fact they were also the finalists back in 2003.

The French side, on the other hand, has not been in the title battle of the Davis Cup ties since 2002 and they had not outlasted Spain in the annual event since 1923.

The biggest surprising clash in the tie highlighted Michael Llodra and Julien Benneteau who got the better of Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez to seal win for their country, France.

Fernando and Feliciano had been virtually undefeated in the Davis Cup doubles clashes for the past few seasons; however, the French player did well to triumph in the clash in four sets in the end.

8. Rafael Nadal completes Career Grand Slam

During the initial stages of Rafa’s career, he was famously known as a dirt baller.

After the Spaniard captured the Wimbledon title in a marathon five setter clash versus the Swiss tennis master Roger Federer, he proved his doubters, who called him as a clay court player only, wrong.

However, the US Open was also the Spaniard’s nemesis and after the grind of a lengthy year, he always looked to be worn down by the time he arrived in New York.

This time contrary to everyone’s expectations, Nadal did well to manage his schedule and made a strong appearance at the Flushing Meadows by making his way into his first ever U.S Open final and eventually winning the title.

The Spaniard performed brilliantly right from the start of the tournament and particularly in the title battle versus the World number three, Novak Djokovic, in order to complete his career Grand Slam.

As a result, he registered his name as the seventh player in the history of the game to capture all four Grand Slam titles in his career.

7. Andy Murray Still majorless

Right from the start of the year, every one predicted Andy Murray to win his maiden Grand Slam title but sadly that never happened.

Rafael was injured and almost everyone was writing him off. However, in spite of the fact that the Scott made it into the final of the Australian Open in Melbourne, he was outlasted by Federer, who didn’t let him play his natural game in the title battle.

The final loss badly affected the confidence of the twenty-three year old Scott and as a result he couldn’t reach that far in any of the other majors this season. At the French Open and Wimbledon, he was dismissed in the round of sixteen.

However, the most shocking performance was his third round exit at the United States Open in New York. He was sent packing at the hands of Stanislas Wawrinka, who played the match of his life to beat the Scott.

As, the Scott couldn’t win his maiden Grand Slam this season, one wonders if he will ever able to do so in the future?

6. Serena Williams skips the United States Open

World number two, Serena Williams, from the United States of America may not contest in great majority of the tournaments during the year, however, she always take part in the Grand Slam events.

However, this year has been a different story for the top ranked American as after capturing her Wimbledon title at the All England Club, she injured her right foot due to which she couldn’t participate in New York.

It was her last tournament till date, as Williams also withdrew from competitions in Cincinnati, Montreal and Istanbul. However, no one noticed her withdrawal from all these events but when she announced her absence from this season’s U.S Open, things got serious as the United States Open without her is just like peanut butter without jelly.

There is no one in the World, who was not shocked when Williams, came out wearing that massive boot on her right foot after her surgery. Were you not?

5. Andrea Petkovic upset Nadia Petrova

The best dancer on the tour, Andrea Petkovic had a breakthrough season in 2010. The twenty-two year old German posted her best result at the United States Open when she got the better of seventeen seed Nadia Petrova in straight sets.

Andrea is currently ranked number thirty-six in the World by the WTA. This woman has spunk and everyone is hoping to see more of her talent in the next couple of years.

4. Samantha Stosur's stunning year

The Australian tennis sensation Samantha Stosur is widely regarded as one of the most consistent contenders on the WTA tour, however, prior to this year the Australian was unable to breakthrough in a Grand Slam event.

The 26-year-old Stosur, who had been much more successful in doubles as compared to the singles competition right from the start of her professional life, posted her career best finish in three of the four Grand Slams in 2010.

The Roland Garros, without any question was the highlight of her season, as the Australian successfully advanced into the finals for the first time, however her final eight show down at the United States Open in New York also raised a couple of eye brows that never expected her to go that far in one of the most difficult major towards the end of the season.

In the women’s game of tennis, where accuracy and consistency is hard to find, the professional tennis player from Australia is a rarity.

3. Caroline Wozniacki the new number one

The 20-year-old Dane, Caroline Wozniacki is the new top ranked player in the world on the WTA tour, who has yet to grab her first Grand Slam title in her career.

She is the third player after Dinara Safina and Jelena Jankovic to have reached the number one position without even winning a single major which is quite surprising for majority of the tennis fans. A lot of critics have already started raising questions about whether she actually deserves to be the new number one or not?

Anyhow, no matter you like it or not, she is the new top ranked player on the WTA tour at the moment, and it is not because of her major performances but in fact the Dane has played some great tennis in a variety of different tournaments in 2010.

To be more exact, Caroline has taken part in a total of twenty one competitions which is fifteen times more than the world number two Serena Williams from the United States of America.

Williams, undoubtedly is one of the tennis greats, however she is now ranked number two on the tour. One good thing about this young tennis sensation from Denmark is the fact that she performs consistently and contests in a couple of small level events as well apart from the major ones.

2. Jurgen Melzer/Philipp Petzschner lift Wimbledon Doubles crown

This year’s men’s doubles draw was filled with some strong contenders therefore no one thought the unseeded side of Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner to turn out as winner in the end.

Even more surprising was the fact that both of them were playing with each other on the very first occasion in their career. They got the better of sixteen seed pair of Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau to win the title in Wimbledon. The crown came as their first Grand Slam title as pair.

Not only they fell on their knees after hitting the finals shot at the All England Club but in fact they also took the ball they used in the match with them.

"I said that if we win the championship I will take the ball home with me and put it on my wall. But Melzer said what about me? So I said we will take two balls,” reflected Petzschner after the match.

1. Francesca Schiavone triumphs in Roland Garros

The 29-year-old Francesca registered her name as the oldest female tennis contender to capture a Grand Slam title since 1969. Not only her age was a topic of discussion but in fact the way she won it grabbed every one’s attention without any question.

The Italian veteran to be straight played the match of her life to win the title battle where she got the better of Samantha Stosur from Australia in two sets. The final match score was 6-4, 7-6 (2).

Such was the height of excitement, that she first took off her pumps, laughed in delight and then even skipped on the clay court.

It was really an ultimate Cinderella story and everyone was along for the ride.

Courtesy: Bettor

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