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2021 has been another awesome year on the ATP Tour. We witnessed Djokovic go for the calendar slam, falling agonizingly at the final hurdle. And we also saw the rise of some remarkable prospects including Alcaraz, Ruud, and so many others. But as great as this season has been, there are certain games that I’m sure some players would prefer to forget. That’s exactly what I’d like to discuss right now – the biggest upsets of the 2021 year!
So, let’s get started, shall we?
Nobody saw that coming!
It comes with the territory that in sports, upsets will inevitably happen at some point. After all, the greats can’t keep winning forever, right? On that note, check out the three results below and relive these epic moments:
Tsitsipas beating Nadal from two sets down – Aussie Open
Everybody knew that Tsitsipas was dangerous on hard courts at the beginning of 2021. He had already shown what he was capable of by beating guys like Roger Federer in previous years. But in the quarter-finals, he came up against Rafael Nadal, one of the game’s true greats. On paper, sure, Tsitsipas had a chance, but Nadal came out playing electrifying tennis. He bossed Tsitsipas in the opening two sets before we witnessed one of the most remarkable comebacks of the season.
Tsitsipas battled back and took the win, getting over the line in the fifth set by a score of 7-5. It’s pretty rare that Nadal loses in a slam from two sets up!
Medvedev beating Djokovic to deny the calendar slam – US Open
I have to admit, I was cheering for Djokovic to win that day. His season had been absolutely unbelievable until this match. Of course, he had been flawless in Grand Slams too, winning 27 of 27 matches until that point. Just one more stood in his way of writing history, but Medvedev had other ideas. Medvedev came out swinging and not only beat Djokovic – he dismantled him in straight sets.
Nobody thought the game would be that straightforward, even those who believed Medvedev could win. But credit where credit is due, Medvedev played a solid match and upset Djokovic for his first major title.
Dan Evans beating Djokovic – Monte Carlo Masters
Sorry Novak, but you are up again here! During the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters, we saw what many would have called a mismatch. Dan Evans, not the best clay courter in the world by a long stretch, played Djokovic – the world number one and a great clay-court player. To say the odds weren’t stacked in his favour would be the understatement of the season. On paper, he had zero chance, and I mean zero of beating Djokovic on clay.
However, Djokovic was off-form, and Evans played out of his skin to beat Djokovic 6-4, 7-5! To this day, I’m still not sure how Evans managed to get the win against Djokovic on this surface. But the history is there to see, and this is definitely the biggest upset of the entire season for me.