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5 biggest upsets in French Open history

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The clay court season is now drawing to a close, with the second Grand Slam of the year – the French Open has begun. It’s widely expected that World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will take the crown, giving him a chance at the all-elusive calendar slam.

The Serbian World No. 1 has yet to win the French Open, beaten at the finals of the only clay-court slam three times – twice by King of Clay Rafael Nadal and once, last year, by Swiss ace and World No. 4 Stan Wawrinka.

Djokovic has been in his typical blazing form this year, winning the Australian Open to begin the year, but has had little success on clay. With Rafael Nadal taking title wins at the Monte Carlo Masters  – a tournament Djokovic crashed out of in his first match, losing to 55th-ranked Jiri Vesely.

After sitting out the Barcelona Open, which Nadal won his 9th title at, Djokovic returned to win the Madrid Masters title, but was taxed somewhat on his way there. Last week, the Serb faced World No. 3 Andy Murray in the finals of the BNL Internazionali d’Italia or the Italian Open (the Rome Masters), but did not look to be completely self assured. After a near-loss in the semi-finals to a blazing Kei Nishikori, with Djokovic not only dropping a set but almost losing the final set tiebreak, the Serb eventually lost in the final to Andy Murray, who took a straight set victory with a visibly agitated Djokovic struggling until the end.

Here’s a look back at the 5 biggest upsets in the history of the French Open:

Robin Soderling beats Rafael Nadal, 2009

Robin Soderling Rafa Nadal 2009
The relatively inexperienced Soderling ousted reigning champion and King of Clay Rafa Nadal on clay

At the French Open of 2009, Soderling ousted Rafael Nadal – who had been unbeaten at the tournament since his professional debut in 2005.

The Spaniard, widely considered the greatest clay court player in the history of tennis, had a 31-match unbeaten streak at Roland Garros, and had already won three clay titles that calendar year.

Soderling, whowas seeded 23rd at the tournament, would oust Nadal 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6 to eventually progress to the finals that year. He would eventually lose to Roger Federer, who with that win completed his career Grand Slam.

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