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Biggest women’s upsets in French Open history: A fan’s perspective
For some people, it's almost as though being ranked in the top two of a tournament automatically puts a player in the finals. The top-ranked players need to fight their way to the championship round just like everyone else. Being ranked high could also be a downfall for some, as they may not be able to live up to expectations.
What have been some of the biggest upsets at the French Open in recent memory?
Being ranked as the No. 1 player in the world, Henin-Hardenne was a successful star at this stage of her career. She was the defending French Open champion and had also just won the Australian Open. She had fallen ill prior to this year's event, but still decided to play. She won her first match, but then in the second round of the tournament, Henin-Hardenne didn't look like her usual self and was dispatched by the relative unknown.
At 16 years old, Hingis had already become one of the greatest tennis players and was ranked No. 1 in the world. The 1997 season was a year that would see Hingis win the U.S. Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon. The one Grand Slam she couldn't win that year was the French. In the finals, she battled the ninth-seeded Iva Majoli. Majoli won the match in two sets, shocking Hingis and the world.
1983: Martina Navratilova vs. Kathleen Horvath
As we look back on Navratilova's memorable 1983 season, the 83-1 record is jaw dropping. It is something we may never see in the sport again. In 2011, Novak Djokovic and his 39-match winning streak is the talk of the sport. Much like Hingis, Navratilova won every Grand Slam Championship this year, with the exception of the French.
Her opponent in the fourth round of the tournament was a young, upstart, Kathleen Horvath. Horvath won in three sets, despite getting blanked in the second set by the veteran. This was her finals, as she lost soon after.
1989: Steffi Graf vs. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
Graf was the best women's tennis player in 1989, and to this day I still consider one of the best. Graf was on a roll by the time the 1989 French Open came and made her way to the finals with ease. It was in the finals that Graf met the 17-year-old Vicario. It was a match that Graf would have likely won more times than she lost. On this day, it was that one time she wouldn't. Vicario won the match in three sets, sending the most recent Grand Slam Champion home without another title. It was the first of three French Open wins for Vicario.
Safina had reached the previous two French Open finals and even as the ninth seed in 2010, many felt she could get there again. Safina won the first set, but couldn't win either of the next, losing to the younger player.
Source: Fox Sports.
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