The 2013 U.S. Open is only two rounds in, and we've already seen multiple high-profile upsets. From Top 15 players to former champions, the unpredictability of the season's final Grand Slam event has been on full display.
With that being said, a few upsets have surprised us more than others.
Certain players were seeded highly but failed to perform in the manner expected of them, posting duds against unseeded opponents. Others were viewed as rising stars entering the event but failed to perform at the necessary level to advance.
One way or another, multiple players have been left searching for answers.
Daniel Evans def. Bernard Tomic
Score: 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
Evans' ATP Rank: 179
Tomic's ATP Rank: 52
Entering the 2013 U.S. Open, 20-year-old Australian star Bernard Tomic was expected to be one of the true breakout performers. His upside is world class, with size at 6'5" and mountains of power and precision to boot.
Unfortunately, he was eliminated in the second round.
He had to be exhausted, so we can't fault him for feeling fatigue after playing a four-hour first-round match against Albert Ramos. With that being said, Tomic was set to go up against a fellow up-and-comer and had a favorable path in future rounds.
Despite winning the first set 6-1, he wasn't able to cash in.
He took Daniel Evans to a third-set tiebreak and had the chance to take a 2-to-1 advantage. Instead, he lost and seemed to be out of gas, both mentally and physically, during the deciding fifth set.
Evans' recent victories have been thrilling to see, but Tomic has now lost in the second round of three consecutive U.S. Open appearances. Fortunately, he is only 20 years old and has time to turn things around.
Evans just proved that Tomic isn't the only rising star to watch. His win over Tomic came after an upset of No. 11 Kei Nishikori.
Adrian Mannarino def. (26) Sam Querrey
Score: 6-7 (4-7), 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 4-6
Mannarino's ATP Rank: 63
Querrey's ATP Rank: 31
Prior to the 2013 U.S. Open, two American men had emerged as potential dark-horse contenders in John Isner and Sam Querrey. Isner reached the finals of the Western & Southern Open, while Querrey made it to the semifinals of the Winston-Salem Open.
Querrey's U.S. Open journey is now done after two rounds.
He has been a player to watch for some time, but the American has been unable to fulfill his potential. In 2013, however, he's begun to display flashes of a potential top-20 player, reaching No. 31 and earning a seeding of No. 26 at the U.S. Open.
After three grueling tiebreakers, however, he just couldn't pull it out.
Adrian Mannarino, ranked No. 63 in the world, defeated Querrey by a score of 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4. Querrey lost the two tiebreakers by 7-4 and 7-5, respectively, failing to cash in on two golden opportunities to defeat the underdog.
As a result, the U.S. lost one of its few dark-horse contenders.
Flavia Pennetta def. (4) Sara Errani
Score: 6-3, 6-1
Errani's WTA Rank: 5
Pennetta's WTA Rank: 83
Sara Errani has worked her way up to No. 5 on the WTA World Tour and earned a No. 4 seed at the 2013 U.S. Open. After appearing in the semifinals of the 2012 U.S. Open, it appeared as if she was one of the true contenders to win it all in 2013.
Instead, she was decimated in the second round, losing 3-6, 1-6 to countrywoman Flavia Pennetta.
Pennetta is far from a conventional underdog, as she owns three appearances in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. For that reason, the loss isn't quite as concerning as Pennetta's WTA ranking of 83 would suggest.
What is concerning is that Errani was atrocious and outright admitted that she couldn't handle the pressure, per Jane McManus of ESPN.
I think [it's] the pressure, everything is very difficult for me. I know the situation, I know [what] all the players are expecting from me, and I would like to know how to do [it].
I'm not that kind of player that can go there and make ace and winner, and if the ball is going in I'm doing good. [My strength] is to go there and fight. If I feel that I'm not fighting good for too much pressure, for not feeling good with myself doing that thing. Because I don't want to go on the court. I don't want to go to play. I don't want to play. I don't want to stay there on the court. I feel very bad. So that is the problem for me.
As refreshing as it is for her to be honest about her struggles, she must overcome those insecurities to become one of the world's elite.
She reached the finals of the 2012 French Open and owns three Grand Slam titles as a doubles competitor. She also made it to the semifinals of the 2013 French Open but has now lost in the second round or earlier at the 2013 Australian Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open.
We now know why.
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