Whilst the US Open, and tennis in general, has been massively dominated by the ‘Big Four’ – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic – who is the favourite in the betting odds on tennis US Open – and Andy Murray, since the early 2000’s – there has also been a number of shock winners throughout the years.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the players who have upset the odds over the last 11 years. Read on to find out more!
2009 – Juan Martín del Potro
Argentine Juan Martín del Potro made history at the 2009 US Open, becoming the first tennis player to defeat both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the same Grand Slam tournament, whilst he was also the first player outside the ‘Big Four’ (Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray) to win one of the four Grand Slams between the 2005 French Open and 2013 US Open – which works out as a whopping 35 tournaments!
Del Potro, who went into the tournament as a 15/1 outsider, breezed past Nadal in the semi-finals, winning in three straight sets (2-6, 2-6, 2-6), before stunning five-time defending champion Federer 6-3, 6-7(5-7), 6-4, 6-7(4-7), 2-6 in a thrilling final!
2014 – Marin Čilić
The ‘Big Four’ were back to winning ways between 2010 and 2013, with Nadal (x2), Djokovic and Murray winning the four tournaments. However, in 2014 there was another shock winner at Flushing Meadows, and this time it was Croatian Marin Čilić!
Seeded 14th for the North American Grand Slam, and yet to progress further than the quarterfinals after seven attempts, Čilić was a massive 100/1 to win the tournament! The Croatian beat Marcos Baghdatis, Illya Marchenko, Kevin Anderson, Gilles Simon, and Tomáš Berdych to reach the semi-finals, where he stunned Federer in straight sets (6-3, 6-4, 6-4).
In the other semi-final, Japanese player Kei Nishikori shockingly beat Djokovic (4-6, 6-1, 6-7(4-6), 3-6, meaning that the 2014 final was the first to not feature one of the ‘Big Four’ since the French Open in 2005.
Čilić cruised through the final, easily beating Nishikori; 3-6, 3-6, 3-6. Despite reaching the final of Wimbledon in 2017, and the Australian Open final in 2018, it remains the Croatians only Grand Slam title to date.
2016 – Stan Wawrinka
With Djokovic winning his second US Open in 2015, Swiss star Stan Wawrinka, who entered the tournament as a 16/1 outsider, was on hand to cause an upset the following year.
After winning the opening two rounds in straight sets, Britain’s Daniel Evans posed a threat in the third round, pushing Wawrinka all the way to a five-set encounter, before Marchenko enforced a four-set game in the fourth round. Wild Card del Potro and sixth seed Nishikori didn’t prove any easier, with Wawrinka winning both the quarterfinal and semi-final ties in four sets.
Despite the Swiss player winning the Australian Open in 2014, and the French Open in 2015, Djokovic was the heavy odds-on favourite to defend his title in the final against Wawrinka. However, even though the Serbian won the first set, albeit on a tiebreaker, the number three seed won the following three sets (4-6, 5-7, 3-6) to win his third Grand Slam title in as many years!