Five Of The Biggest Upsets In The First Week Of 2024 Australian Open

Five Of The Biggest Upsets In The First Week Of 2024 Australian Open

by Nurein Ahmed

It has been an Australian Open of chaos and mayhem, with seeds dropping like insects in possibly the most unpredictable first week to a Grand Slam in recent times.

To put into context just how crazy this tournament has panned out so far, the women's draw could have a first-time Grand Slam finalist ranked outside the Top 50.

The men's tournament hasn't had a seismic shock of equivalence to the women's, but there have been notable eyebrow-raising results. In this article, we list the five players across both the men's and women's draws who lost before the second week.

5. Jessica Pegula

Jessica Pegula was the first big casualty in the women's draw, where an inspired Clara Burel snapped her quarterfinal streak at the Australian Open. An out-of-sorts Pegula won just six games in a dismal second-round performance against the French player, ending her run of three successive quarterfinals at the year's first major.

4. Ben Shelton

Ben Shelton was on a collision course with Novak Djokovic in the pick of second-week matches at the Australian Open. But French veteran Adrian Mannarino never read that line on the script and sliced and diced through the American with some poise.

Mannarino has been aging like fine wine and has been playing his best tennis since turning 35. Remarkably, he has made the second week of the 2024 Australian Open by playing a trio of five-setters, defying biology in the process.

3. Holger Rune

So far, the biggest surprise in the men's tournament has been the eighth seed, Holger Rune's exit. A limp defeat to French youngster Arthur Cazaux is a setback in Rune's ambitions of contending for the Grand Slams.

The fact that it happened after just two rounds of play leaves coach Boris Becker with plenty to do at the end of the tournament when he fulfills media obligations.

2. Elena Rybakina

In the second round, Elena Rybakina suffered a crashing defeat to World No. 57 Anna Blinkova. The Russian had never scaled that stage of the Australian Open in seven previous trips but defied the odds to pull off a major shock.

Blinkova's seismic win was confirmed by winning the longest tiebreak in women's Grand Slam history, saving six match points in the process and needing ten of her own to clinch victory. It was the biggest win of her life, and for Rybakina, it would send her ranking cascading to fifth.

1. Iga Swiatek

The overwhelming favorite to win the women's tournament, Iga Swiatek, was knocked out by Czech teenager Linda Noskova in the biggest shock of this year's Australian Open. With the men's top seedings holding forte, it is unlikely that this result will be topped for the remainder of the tournament.


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