The Ten: What are the greatest upsets in tennis history? (VOTE)

by: Ed McGrogan | December 13, 2018

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Watch the fifth episode of The Ten—Upsets on Sunday, December 16 at 8 p.m. ET on Tennis Channel:


Two weeks ago, I said that our poll about the greatest seasons in tennis history may be our most divisive question yet. Your responses backed up that theory. Roger Federer's 2006 season, ranked seventh on the Tennis Channel list, finished first on the vote.

This disparity didn't surprise me for two reasons:

1) Each of the 10 seasons in the poll were so good—Monica Seles' three-Slam and Wimbledon runner-up 1992 season was 10th on the Tennis Channel list—that it was very difficult to differentiate them.

2) The 10 seasons spanned five decades, but the proximity of Federer's 2006 season—along with Novak Djokovic's 2015 season, ranked eighth on the Tennis Channel list but fourth on vote—could lead to some recency bias.

I certainly think that played a part in the results, to take nothing away from those two amazing years. But consider that two of the three oldest seasons on the poll—Jimmy Connors' 1974 and Margaret Court's 1970—finish in ninth and 10th places on the vote. They were ranked fifth and fourth, respectively, on the Tennis Channel list.

Last week's poll went the other way: voters of all generations knew that there was only one player who could possibly finish atop the list of tennis' "top" hotheads. That man, of course, was John McEnroe.

Tennis Channel list for The Ten: Hotheads

1. John McEnroe
2. Ilie Nastase
3. Fabio Fognini
4. Jimmy Connors
5. Marat Safin
6. Nick Kyrgios
7. Goran Ivanisevic
8. Jeff Tarango
9. Bernard Tomic
10. David Nalbandian vote for tennis' top hotheads

In addition to the unanimous decision to put McEnroe on top, Ilie Nastase was deemed the second-hottest hothead on both the list and the poll, and no players diverged more than two places between the two rankings.

Will we see something similar this week, when The Ten returns for its "Upsets" episode? There are no shortage of contenders for the sport's most unexpected outcomes. Ashe d. Connors? Bastl d. Sampras? Horvath d. Navratilova? Soderling d. Nadal? Vinci d. Serena? Those are just half of the choices.

Let us know what you think the order should be:







Watch the fifth episode of The Ten—Upsets on Sunday, December 16 at 8 p.m. ET on Tennis Channel:

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