Upsets are a great part of the excitement at Major tournaments like the US Open, and there certainly were many to speak of in 2014. But how many of those US Open upsets will translate into sustained runs this year when the slates are wiped clean again? Let’s take a look:
- CiCi Bellis – The fifteen-year-old warmed our hearts and oozed of potential when she took down 13th ranked Dominika Chibulkova in the 1st round last year. But as she’s still just 16 this year, she’ll be hard-pressed to even earn a spot back at this Major. Her career is going well and Bellis is now ranked 157th worldwide. Certainly this is a junior player worth watching progress, regardless of whether we see her back at the US Open in 2015.
- Karolina Pliskova – The young Czech player took down 8th ranked Ana Ivanovic last year in the 2nd round. A player quickly rising through the ranks, Pliskova is now ranked 8th herself! However, she’s yet to progress beyond the 3rd round of any Major so she’ll be looking to take that next step at the US Open.
- Marin Cilic – Seeded just 14th, the Croatian player stunned the world by defeating 3rd ranked Roger Federer and winning the whole thing! For such a low-ranked player to perform the feat is quite mind-boggling. It would be even more incredible if he were able to repeat the feat this year.
- Gilles Simon – Seeded 26th, the Frenchman took down 5th ranked David Ferrer in the US Open’s 3rd round. It’s been a real up and down career for Simon, though he is now ranked 11th, adding a bit of expectation to his chances this year.
- Kei Nishikori – As the 10th seed, the Japanese star took down Milos Raonic, Stanislas Wawrinka, and top ranked Novak Djokovic along the way to the tournament final. Though he eventually lost, Nishikori made history becoming the first Asian male to reach a Grand Slam final!
- Johanna Larsson – The 96th ranked Swede spoiled the American party for Sloane Stephens in the second round last year. Much has been expected for Stephens over the years, but it mattered little for Larsson, who’s now ranked 48. Will she be able to muster another brave upset on foreign soil in 2015?
- Aleksandra Krunic – Ranked 145th, she took down the 2014 Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova in the 3rd round. A rising youngster, the Serbian player is up to 63rd and is coming off of a decent Wimbledon that saw her reach the 3rd round. She’s clearly someone on the rise and may make another upset this year at Flushing Meadows.
- Dominic Thiem – Another young player on the ups, the Austrian beat 11th seeded Ernests Gulbis and 19th seeded Feliciano Lopez on the way to the US Open 4th round. While he was beaten there by Tomas Berdych, the run was quite startling for a 20 year old making his first US Open appearance! Now ranked 18th in the world, Thiem is hungry to become a star.
- Gael Monfils – An up and down career for the Frenchman has featured several impressive Grand Slam runs. This was the case again in 2014, when Monfils defeated 12th ranked Richard Gasquet and 7th seeded Grigo Dimitrov to reach the quarterfinals, himself seeded just 20th. There, he took a two-set lead on 2nd seeded Roger Federer before falling in a 5-set heartbreaker. However, he’s a solid player capable of beating just about anyone and is currently ranked as 17th worldwide.
- Caroline Wozniacki – as the 10th seed she took down 5th seeded Maria Sharapova in the 4th round, setting the stage for a great run to the finals, where she just couldn’t match Serena Williams. However, that upset over the Russian was inspired by a point that will long live in the memories of US Open fans:
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