If last year is anything to go by, expect a number of shocks and early eliminations as the 2019 edition of Wimbledon gets underway in just a few days. The majority of upsets occurred in the men’s singles, with Marin Cillic’s exit to Guido Pella in round two arguably the biggest surprise, but the ladies are more than susceptible to an upset or two.
Just ask Garbine Muguruza, who became the sixth top-eight seed to crash out in the earlier rounds after losing to Alison van Uytvanck at the All England Club last year. Muguruza was the reigning champion from 2017 which made the defeat all the more surprising. Fancy more shocks this year? Bet on Wimbledon right now ahead of the tournament for the best possible prices.
Some of the biggest names in ladies’ tennis have all been prone to an early exit or hugely embarrassing defeat sometime in their career, but doing so at Wimbledon makes it all the more memorable and in some ways, iconic. Here, we’ve picked out three of the biggest ladies’ upsets at Wimbledon to get you in the mood for this year’s event.
Lori McNeil beats Steffi Graf – 1994 – First Round
There weren’t many who could stop Steffi Graf in her quest for glory but there weren’t many players like Lori McNeil. To say she was a thorn to Graf is a slight understatement; the unfancied American made history when she sent Graf tumbling out of Wimbledon in the first round, after previously beating her at the WTA Tour Championships first round two years previous. The Wimbledon defeat meant it was the first time ever that a defending champion had crumbled at the first hurdle, but Graf did go on to win the title another two times, bringing her total to seven overall.
Jelena Dokic beats Martina Hingis – 1999 – First Round
Five years on from McNeil’s historic defeat of Graf in the first round, world number 1 Martina Hingis felt the wrath 16-year-old Jelena Dokic at the same stage of the tournament. The Australian, who was ranked 129 in the world at the time, literally blew her highly-fancied opponent to shreds and won in straight sets in less than an hour. Dokic played some amazing tennis and made it all the way to the quarter-finals before succumbing to Alexandra Stevenson 6-3, 1-6, 6-3. Interestingly, Dokic was the bane of a number of current and former world number 1’s, with victories against the likes of Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, Monica Seles and Venus Williams to boast on in her career.
Maria Sharapova beats Serena Williams – 2004 – Final
In the grand scheme of it, this doesn’t appear to be all that much of a shock but Sharapova’s unknown status and unlikely singles title in 2004 was probably the biggest upset the game has ever seen, let alone just from the women’s perspective. Serena Williams was gunning for her third successive Wimbledon title and it looked ominous for the unfancied Sharapova, but the 17-year-old Russian had other ideas and promptly beat her highly illustrious opponent 6-1, 6-4. With the victory, Sharapova shot straight into the top ten of the ATP rankings and went on to have a hugely successful career, winning five Grand Slams and accumulating nearly $40 million in prize money.