Serena Williams Upset by 116th-Ranked Shelby Rogers at Top Seed Open

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 14, 2020

Serena Williams returns a shot to her sister Venus Williams during the WTA tennis tournament in Nicholasville, Ky., Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

American Shelby Rogers pulled off a stunning upset at the Top Seed Open on Friday, defeating Serena Williams in a quarterfinal match at the Lexington, Kentucky tournament.  

wta @WTA

Locked in a semifinal spot 🔒 @Shelby_Rogers_ defeats the No.1 seed Williams, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(5). #TSOpen https://t.co/eiMUVHlvWk

The 116th-ranked American won in three sets, rallying back against the No. 1-seeded Williams after dropping the opener. 

The stunning result comes just one day after Williams defeated sister Venus Williams in a second-round matchup that gave Serena a 19-12 all-time record against her older sibling. 

In just a little over two hours on Friday, it became mostly irrelevant as far as the Top Seed Open is concerned. 

wta @WTA

Tremendous rally! 🙌 @serenawilliams #TSOpen https://t.co/vCEtuL4wcx

Rogers dominated the second and third sets, winning both without facing a break point after Williams rather easily handled the 27-year-old American. It's not the first time Rogers has unexpectedly taken down one of the sport's top players, either.

In 2014, Rogers defeated then world No. 8 Eugenie Bouchard in the second round of the Canadian Open, toppling one of tennis' rising stars in her home country. Three years later in 2017, Rogers was ranked No. 57 when she defeated No. 4 Simona Halep in straight sets during the first round of the Australian Open.

Christopher Clarey @christophclarey

Shelby Rogers, a 116th ranked American, upsets No. 9 Serena Williams 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the quarterfinals of the Top Seed Open, the tour comeback event for both. First player outside the top 100 to beat Williams since Virginie Razzano in the 1st round of the 2012 French Open

But Friday marked the first time Rogers had pulled off such an upset so late in the tournament. 

A six-time ITF Singles champion, Rogers is searching for her second win at Lexington after taking the title in 2013.