UPSETS OF 2012
Upsets Of The Year - Nos. 6-10
2012 Year In Review
by ATP Staff|
ATPWorldTour.com reviews the Top 10 upsets of the year, beginning with Nos. 10-6.
10. Andy Roddick d. Roger Federer, 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-4, Sony Open Tennis, Miami Third Round
Roger Federer always had the upper hand against Andy Roddick. But, in the twilight of his career, Roddick produced a vintage performance on home soil to snap Federer’s 16-match winning streak, which included titles in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells. Federer began the night with a 40-2 record since the 2011 US Open, while Roddick's ranking had slipped to World No. 34, his lowest point since 2001. Roddick broke only once but held every service game in the first and third sets to beat the Swiss for just the third time in 24 career meetings. "There is no script in sports. I think that's what makes it the best entertainment in the world," said Roddick. "Nights like tonight are why you play the matches. You don't know what's going to happen." It also ended Federer’s run of 77 consecutive match wins against players ranked outside the Top 20 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings. "I feel like I lost against a former [World] No. 1, not that I lost against a guy ranked 30 in the world," said Federer. "I'm happy to see Andy play really well. He's a great champion, and enjoy him while you have him. It was a great night for him and America's tennis." Roddick went onto win two titles at the AEGON International in Eastbourne and the BB&T Atlanta Open before retiring at the US Open in September.
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9. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez d. Juan Monaco, 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(6), 7-6(3), US Open, New York City, First Round
In the first three days of the 2012 US Open, nine men came back from daunting two-set-to-love deficits in first-round play. It tied the all-time tournament mark, set in 1989 and 11 days were left to play. Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez came into his clash against 10th seed Juan Monaco with a modest 9-9 record on hard courts in 2012, including an upset-win over Andy Murray at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in March. World No. 68 Garcia-Lopez overcame 75 unforced errors to prevail in a thriller on Grandstand Court, rallying from an 0-2 sets deficit for the first time in his career to beat Monaco - in some of the best form of his life and eyeing a Barclays ATP World Tour Finals berth - in four hours and 31 minutes. Monaco had led 4-1 in the third set before Garcia-Lopez won five straight games to win the set. With the players on serve at 3-2 in the fifth set, there were four straight breaks. Monaco recovered from a 3-5 deficit to force the tie-break, which saw Garcia-Lopez take an insurmountable 6-2 lead.
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8. Ernests Gulbis d. Tomas Berdych, 7-6(5), 7-6(4), 7-6(4), Wimbledon First Round
Ernests Gulbis had lost in the first round in eight of his past nine Grand Slam championships ahead of his Centre Court match against 2010 runner-up and sixth seed Tomas Berdych. "I saw the draw and I was really happy. I wanted to play [a] first round against a tough opponent,” said Gulbis. But when the free-swinging Latvian is on-form, he is an irrestible force. Coached by Gunter Bresnik, who had worked some technical changes to Gulbis’ groundstroke, the mercurial talent caught Berdych cold in a stunning victory over two hours and 34 minutes. World No. 87 Gulbis barely blinked, hitting 62 winners including 30 aces, winning 84 per cent of his first serve and committing 33 unforced errors in a straight-sets win. Asked how he had closed out the match, Gulbis said, straight-faced, “I’m well known for my mental strength, ask around. In practice I beat everybody." It was Berdych's first opening round loss at Wimbledon since his debut in 2004 (l. to Benneteau).
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7. Brian Baker d. Gael Monfils, 6-3, 7-6(9), Open de Nice Côte d'Azur Second Round
Brian Baker’s career resurgence was one of the stories of the season. The American cruised through three qualifying matches at the Open de Nice Côte d'Azur. He grew in confidence when he beat Sergiy Stakhovsky in the first round and then secured the biggest win in his comeback quest, upsetting World No. 13 Gael Monfils in 92 minutes. "I'm very, very excited,” said Baker, who spent six years away from professional tennis due to five surgeries. "This is the first ATP [World Tour] quarter-final I've ever gotten through to. Coming back and being able to play well so quickly, and beat a guy who has been so good, especially on clay, it's amazing." The 27-year-old Tennessee native went onto reach the final (l. to Almagro) and subsequently rose from No. 216 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings to World No. 141.
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6. Jonathan Marray / Frederik Nielsen d. Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan, 6-4, 7-6(9), 6-7(4), 7-6(5), Wimbledon Semi-finals
Jonathan Marray should have competed at Wimbledon with Adil Shamasdin, but the pair didn’t get their paperwork in on time. Teaming up with Frederik Nielsen, the British-Danish wild cards beat a 'Who’s Who' of top doubles teams en route to the semi-finals, where they came up against second seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan. Surely, the defending champions would be too strong? No. Marray and Nielsen saved all eight break points they faced, and, despite letting slip a 5-1 lead in the fourth set tie-break, they triumphed to become the first men's wild card pair to reach the Wimbledon doubles final in the tournament’s history. “They've won all these tournaments many times over. To actually beat them in our first semi-final at Wimbledon is a pretty big thing,” said Marray, who wore and washed one match shirt throughout The Championships. Nielsen, grandson of two-time Wimbledon singles runner-up Kurt Nielsen, admitted, “I was raised in a tennis fanatic house, especially with my Grandad, and Wimbledon was always the thing. It was Wimbledon and everything else.” The pair went onto clinch the title (d. Lindstedt-Tecau).
Coming Thursday: The Top 5 upsets of 2012