It's time to bid adieu to 2019 and the decade of the 2010s. This year we saw some of the most exciting tennis matches played in recent times. While Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer ended the year on a high, some of them also faced fierce competition on-court. Here's a look at the top three ATP upsets of 2019
Roger Federer is not used to losing a match early in the tournament. In August this year, Federer, who was flying high after winning 15 of his previous 16 matches at Masters 1000 events, miserably failed against the young Russian, Andrey Rublev. He lost the match in just 62 minutes – his fastest loss in 16 years.
Rublev, who was 70th on the ATP rankings, lucked out when he was allowed to participate at the last minute after he forgot to sign up for the tournament. He capitalized on the opportunity and found his way into the Qualifiers. He took his best game into the match against the Swiss tennis giant and earned three breaks of serve. He defeated Federer 6-3, 6-4 in the third round. After the match, Federer could not help but admire Rublev. He called the tennis maverick ‘super clean’.
When 35-year-old Philip Kohlschreiber faced Novak Djokovic in the BNP Paribas Open, the odds were 0-11 against him and few would have bet to defeat him after Djokovic's convincing first-round win over the German in the Wimbledon 2019. In the 11 encounters against the former World No.1, the experienced German player had won none. However, in a match suspended by rain, he got the better of Djokovic for the first time in his career. Kohlschreiber held his nerve to gain a 6-4, 6-4 victory over the current World No.2. He later described the win as 'special'.
This year saw the rise of new Russian star Daniil Medvedev, who reached six consecutive finals since the Citi Open in early August. However, Medvedev met his match in Jeremy Chardy, who scripted the biggest upset of his career by trouncing the Russian 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the second round of the Rolex Paris Masters. With the win, Chardy also brought an end to Medvedev’s 9-match winning streak which started after the US Open final when the latter was defeated by World No.1 Rafael Nadal.