From Pete Sampras to Rafael Nadal, the greatest Wimbledon upsets

Last Updated: 22/06/16 4:11pm

  • Share:
Nick Kyrgios: Stunned Rafael Nadal in the fourth round last year

Nick Kyrgios: Stunned Rafael Nadal in the fourth round last year

Sky Bet

Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal are all multiple Wimbledon champions, but have also been on the end of shock defeats at Wimbledon.

Federer's run of 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final appearances came to an end after he suffered a shock defeat to Sergiy Stakhovsky at Wimbledon in 2013.

Nadal has twice been upset in the early rounds in recent years while seven-time winner Sampras was stunned in the second round in 2002.

Here, we look back at some of the biggest upsets in the men's draw at Wimbledon ...

1967 - Charlie Pasarell v Manuel Santana

Charlie Pasarell, Wimbledon 1967

Pasarell holds a special place in Wimbledon folklore. In 1969, the big-hitting American took five hours and 12 minutes to lose against the legendary Pancho Gonzales. Gonzalez survived seven match points to win 22-24 1-6 16-14 6-3 11-9. But Pasarell had already made his mark. Two years earlier, he opened the championships against title-holder and No 1 seed Manuel Santana of Spain, and sensationally dismissed him 10-8 6-3 2-6 8-6.

1970 - Roger Taylor v Rod Laver

Roger Taylor, Wimbledon 1970

When the great Laver faced Britain's Roger Taylor in the fourth round in 1970 he had won 31 consecutive matches and was favourite to complete a Wimbledon hat-trick. National hero Taylor, advised by the press that he may as well stay at home, overwhelmed the champion 4-6 6-4 6-2 6-1 on a rising tide of patriotic fervour.

1987 - Peter Doohan v Boris Becker

Peter Doohan upset Boris 'Boom Boom' Becker

'Boom Boom Boris' became Wimbledon's youngest champion at the age of 17 in 1985, and made a successful defence a year later. He arrived at the 1987 championships as favourite but Australian Peter Doohan played the match of his life in the second round to win 7-6 4-6 6-2 6-4.

1991 - Nick Brown v Goran Ivanisevic

Goran Ivanisevic fell to Nick Brown

Charismatic Croatian Ivanisevic was one year away from reaching his first Wimbledon final, in which he lost to Andre Agassi, when he came up against unheralded Briton Nick Brown in the second round. Brown, a 29-year-old who had quit the game for five years and was two years into his comeback, won 4-6 6-3 7-6 6-3 in an upset that was hailed by the ATP's own computer as the biggest shock since world rankings started 18 years earlier. Ivanisevic was seeded number 10, while Brown was 591st in the world.

1996 - Richard Krajicek v Pete Sampras

Richard Krajicek won the title in 1996

Richard Krajicek, a big-serving, 6ft 5ins Dutchman, had the right game and right build to be a winner on grass, but he suffered first-round knockouts at Wimbledon in both 1994 and 1995. Some experts, John McEnroe included, believed he could play a big part in the tournament and nothing came bigger than the quarter-final pounding he gave triple champion Pete Sampras in winning 7-5 7-6 6-4 on his way to the 1996 title.

2002 - George Bastl v Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras suffered a surprise defeat to George Bastl

Sampras returned to his favourite hunting ground in 2002 without a tournament win in two years and carrying an injury. The seven-time champion left fending off questions about retirement as he suffered one of the most surprising defeats of his career to world No 145 George Bastl of Switzerland in the second round. Sampras had battled back from two sets down to level, on the now-demolished Court Two which was famed as the 'Graveyard of Champions', but Bastl held his nerve to win the last 6-4.

2003 - Lleyton Hewitt v Ivo Karlovic

Big-serving Ivo Karlovic defeated Lleyton Hewitt

Hewitt became just the second returning champion to exit in the first round as he fell foul of the big-serving Croatian on his grand slam debut. There was little indication what was to come when Karlovic lost the first set 6-1 to the number one seed. But he bounced back to seal a stunning victory 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-4 success over the Australian.

2012 - Rafael Nadal v Lukas Rosol

Rafael Nadal and Lukas Rosol, Wimbledon 2012

Unsung Czech Rosol claimed a stunning second-round victory over Spanish superstar Nadal. When the 26-year-old from Brno lost the first set on a tie-break, it appeared he was on his way home. But the right-hander stumbled across the correct formula to fight back against the multiple grand-slam winner and send him packing 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-4 - taking the decider under the Centre Court roof.

2013 - Roger Federer v Sergiy Stakhovsky, Rafael Nadal v Steve Darcis

Sergiy Stakhovsky knocked out defending champion Roger Federer

Rarely do the very best players lose in the early rounds of majors, but it would have been almost inconceivable to imagine that Feder and Nadal would not make the third round in 2013. Nadal was the first to go as he was beaten in the opening round of a Grand Slam for the first time ever, losing 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 to world No 135 Steve Darcis. Seven-time winner and defending champion Federer had breezed through the first round, but was then shocked by Sergiy Stakhovsky, losing 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 7-6 (7-5) to the world No 116. The defeats marked the first time since the French Open in 2004 that both Federer and Nadal lost before the quarter-finals of a major.

2014 - Rafael Nadal v Nick Kyrgios

Kyrgios celebrates his win against Nadal

After gaining some revenge against his 2012 conqueror Lukas Rosol, Nadal's campaign came to a spectacular end against Aussie wildcard Nick Kygrios in the fourth round. Appearing in the main draw at the All England Club for the first time, world No 144 Kygrios blew Nadal away with 70 winners, including 37 aces, captivating the Centre Court crowd with his energetic display. The win saw him become the first man outside the top 100 to beat a world number one at a Grand Slam since 1992.

2015 - Rafael Nadal v Dustin Brown

Rafael Nadal: Upset by Germany's Dustin Brown

Nadal, a 14-times grand slam champion who won Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010, was dumped out by German qualifier Dustin Brown in the second round, the Spaniard's fourth reverse to a player ranked 100th or lower at the All England Club since 2011. It was the 29-year-old Spaniard's first ever defeat to a qualifier at a Grand Slam and came in the aftermath of losing his French Open crown where he had been champion nine times. For Brown, who once drove to tournaments in a camper van to save money, it was his second win against Nadal, having beaten him on grass at Halle in 2014.

  • Share:


Most Popular


Aus Open men's contenders

Aus Open men's contenders

With top seeds Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic out of the Australian Open, we look at the remaining men's singles title contenders.

Is this Milos' moment?

Is this Milos' moment?

The Canadian is getting closer all the time. Can Milos Raonic win his maiden Grand Slam in Melbourne?

Aus Open: Women's QF preview

Aus Open: Women's QF preview

Week two is set to be electric, bringing together some of the game's big names and even bigger hitters...