All the instances when an unseeded player won a Grand Slam Singles title
The Women’s singles of the 2017 US Open ended in remarkable fashion as Sloane Stephens trounced compatriot Madison Keys in the first all-American US Open final since 2002. Stephens who was ranked 83rd coming into the tournament is the second unseeded Grand Slam winner this year after Jelena Ostapenko at the French Open.
Including Stephens’ triumph at the US Open, there have been a total of 12 instances when unseeded players won a Grand Slam title. Let’s take a look at all such instances.
#1 Mark Edmondson, 1976 Australian Open
The first such instance came at the Australian Open in 1976 and it came at a time when top professionals opted to skip the event citing remoteness of Australia and the low prize money as major reasons.
Mark Edmondson entered the tournament as an unseeded player who had won only one Grand Slam match at the time. Edmondson, 21 back then, had to fight his way in his first three matches before registering a straight set victory over 13th seed Dick Crealy.
In the semi-finals, Edmondson defeated top seed Ken Rosewall in four sets to reach his maiden Grand Slam final where he would face defending champion and 2nd seed John Newcombe. Edmondson came back from a set down to shock Newcombe and become the first unseeded champion of a Grand Slam tournament.
#2 Chris O'Neil, 1978 Australian Open
Here is a player who won a Grand Slam yet her career-high ranking was 80. Chris O’Neil came into the 1978 Australian Open as an underdog in a weak field with Sue Barker and Renata Tomanova being the most notable players participating in the tournament.
The 21-year-old O’Neil won her matches comfortably and in straight sets, reaching her maiden Grand Slam final where she was up against 7th seeded American Betsy Nagelsen. O’Neil took the first set 6-3 before holding her nerve to win the second set on a tie-break, thus winning her only Grand Slam title.
She remains to be the last Australian woman to have won the Australian Open.