Best Grand Slam Upsets Of 2023: Stricker's Strike, Stunner of Sinner Headline

Many of the yr’s most memorable upsets got here on the Grand Slam levels, together with large wins from a house favorite on the Australian Open and a pair of rising stars on the US Open.

As we proceed to look again on the 2023 season, counts down the 5 greatest shocks on the majors this yr — all of which got here in 5 units.


5) Roland Garros R1, Seyboth Wild d. Medvedev 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Brazilian qualifier and Roland Garros debutant Thiago Seyboth Wild scored his first Grand Slam main-draw win in model with a upset of second seed Daniil Medvedev — who entered on a six-match clay-court profitable streak after claiming his first tour-level title on the floor in Rome.

Coming into the match at No. 172 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, an aggressive Seyboth Wild made a dream begin and held two set factors for a two-set lead. But after cramping earlier within the second set, the 23-year-old couldn’t stop Medvedev from levelling the match and storming by means of set three quickly after.

Undeterred, Seyboth Wild rediscovered his attacking sport to surge by means of the ultimate two units. After 4 hours, quarter-hour, he closed out the upset with a giant forehand winner, ending with a 69 per cent win charge (38/55) on web factors.

“I have watched Daniil play for my entire junior career, up until today. Playing on this court against this kind of player and beating him is a dream come true,” mentioned the Brazilian. “Walking on court I just wanted to get to the net as much as possible and use my forehand against his and it worked pretty well.”

Seyboth Wild gained 4 ATP Challenger Tour titles in 2023 — two both aspect of Roland Garros — and reached a career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking of No. 74 in September.

4) US Open R2, Zhang d. Ruud 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 0-6, 6-2
Zhang Zhizhen continued his fast rise on the ATP Tour with a serving to of Grand Slam revenge in opposition to returning US Open finalist Casper Ruud.

Earlier within the season, the Chinese star was overwhelmed by Ruud at Roland Garros, the place the Norwegian reached the ultimate for the second straight yr. But Zhang ensured there could be no repeat last run for Ruud in New York by notching the most important win of his profession in opposition to the fifth seed.

With the assistance of 59 winners, together with 18 aces, Zhang turned the primary Chinese man to earn a Top 5 win for the reason that begin of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 1973. By using his highly effective forehand and serve, Zhang made up for his US Open heartbreak in 2022, when he missed out on seven match factors in a first-round defeat to Tim van Rijthoven.

“Last year at the US Open, I can say it was a bad memory. But this year is a little bit different,” mentioned the 27-year-old, who went on to complete the season contained in the Top 60.

Zhang Zhizhen in action Wednesday at the US Open.

Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

3) Roland Garros R1, Altmaier d. Sinner 6-7(0), 7-6(7), 1-6, 7-6(4), 7-5
In a five-hour, 26-minute marathon, Daniel Altmaier saved two match factors within the fourth set earlier than Jannik Sinner erased 4 within the match’s last sport. The German claimed the primary five-set win of his profession by serving out the victory on the second time of asking, ending the Roland Garros run of the in-form eighth seed, who reached the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo and the quarters in Barcelona.

Altmaier confirmed nerves of metal to avoid wasting 15 of 21 break factors and supreme endurance to get better after Sinner appeared to take command of the match in a one-sided third set. The victory additionally avenged a five-set defeat to the Italian within the pair’s solely earlier Lexus ATP Head2Headvert assembly on the 2022 US Open.

“The competition says it all,” Altmaier mentioned after transferring on to the third spherical in Paris for the second time. “We’ve had historic matches with so many match points… I don’t know if you can call this an ‘historical’ match, but I think it was one to remember.”

Daniel Altmaier

Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

2) Australian Open R2, Popyrin d Fritz 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-2
There was a wave of American success this yr in Melbourne, however on his dwelling turf, Alexei Popyrin made positive Taylor Fritz didn’t be part of the social gathering. The fiery Aussie scored the standout shock of an upset-filled Australian Open with a big-serving show in Melbourne — a consequence made all of the extra stunning by the opponents’ contrasting fortunes within the earlier season.

Popyrin earned simply 5 tour-level wins in 2022 however kickstarted the brand new marketing campaign along with his fourth Top 10 win and his second on the Australian Open (d. Dominic Thiem in 2019). Behind 19 aces, Popyrin reached the third spherical for the third time at his dwelling main. He confronted simply two break factors in a match of razor-thin margins — one within the fourth and fifth units — and recovered after lacking out on a match level within the fourth-set tie-break.

“This is the dream for me, and I don’t want to wake up at all,” he mentioned in an emotional on-court interview. Just earlier than that, he addressed the group as they chanted his title: “You guys were just incredible. Oh my god, this is crazy. I really couldn’t have done it without you guys. This win means so much to me.”

1) US Open R2, Stricker d. Tsitsipas 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 6-3
On the identical day as Zhang’s Ruud upset, Dominic Stricker scored his maiden Top 10 win so as to add to Stefanos Tsitsipas’ US Open woes. The 21-year-old qualifier, who capped his breakthrough season on the Next Gen ATP Finals introduced by NEOM, superior to the third spherical at a significant for the primary time with a gutsy efficiency in his New York main-draw debut.

In a four-hour, 10-minute epic, the lefty battled again from 3-5 within the fourth set and performed his finest tennis down the stretch to maintain the seventh-seeded Tsitsipas looking for his first US Open fourth-round look. Stricker misplaced simply 4 factors on his first serve (19/23) within the last set and struck 78 winners within the marathon match.

“I came out today pretty well. I felt good from the first set on. It was a tough battle but I am just super happy right now,” mentioned Stricker, who rose from World No. 128 in New York to a year-end end contained in the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. “I was down 3-5 and then I came back in the fourth set. I don’t know how, but I did it somehow and then I kept playing very high level tennis. I am a bit speechless but it is a great day.”

Dominic Stricker

Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Read all tales in our Best Of 2023 evaluation.

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