The 2017 Australian open is halfway done with the first week of the tournament coming to an end. So far, the tournament has witnessed many interesting matches and a number of upsets. Many of the top seeds have made their way to the fourth round; some even making the quarter-finals.However, like every other tournament, a number of top players will be heading home earlier than expected. As of now, Marin Cilic, Agnieszka Radwanska, and Simona Halep are some of the players who were beaten by lower ranked opponents.However, the biggest shock of the tournament has been the early exits of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and defending Women’s champion Angelique Kerber with Djokovic biting the dust in the second round by Denis Istomin and World No.1s Murray and Kerber both bowing out in the fourth round today to Mischa Zverev and Coco Vandeweghe respectively. For the first time since 2015, the Australian Open final will not involve either of Murray or Djokovic. Murray’s and Djokovic’s exits have boosted the chances of a Federer-Nadal final at a Grand Slam after nearly six years.With Day-8 of the tournament only hours away, let’s take a look at the Top five upsets of this Australian Open till the first week of the competition.#5. Agnieszka Radwanska’s shock defeat to Mirjana Lucic-BaroniAga Radwanska did not have the best of starts to 2017 as she was unable to defend her title at the Shenzhen Open after being beaten by eventual runner-up Alison Riske in the quarter-finals. However, she rebounded well by reaching the final of the Sydney International which she went on to lose against Johanna Konta.Seeded third, Radwanska was one of the title contenders at the Australian Open but began her tournament by barely scraping past former Wimbledon semi-finalist Tsvetana Pironkova in three sets. In the second round, Radwanska was up against 1999 Wimbledon semi-finalist, and current World No.79 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni who had just won her first Australian Open match since 1998 after defeating Chinese Wang Qiang in three sets.The 34-year old Croat was too good for the Pole as she went on to stun last year’s semi-finalist 6-3, 6-2 which will see Radwanska’s ranking fall down from 3rd to 6th at the end of the tournament. Lucic-Baroni went on to defeat Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the third round and will now take on qualifier Jennifer Brady in the fourth round in an attempt to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final since the 1999 Wimbledon Championships.
#4. Simona Halep’s crushing defeat to Shelby Rogers
World No.4 Simona Halep had a disastrous outing here last year as she was beaten by Chinese qualifier and eventual quarter-finalist Zhang Shuai in the first round. Despite having a poor start to 2017 by losing in the second round of the Shenzhen Open to eventual winner Katerina Siniakova, Halep was considered to be one of the favorites for the tournament.However, Halep endured an outing similar to last as she was thrashed by World No.49 Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-1, thus marking her second successive first round exit here. Following the match, Halep did say that she was slowed down by a bout of tendinitis which had affected her left knee since the WTA Finals in Singapore last October.Rogers did create a huge upset but her joy was short lived as she was shown the door in the second round by local wildcard Ashleigh Barty.
#3. Angelique Kerber’s surprise defeat to Coco Vandeweghe
Angelique Kerber had a terrific season last year as she reached three Grand Slam Finals, winning two; the latter of which helped her dethrone Serena Williams as World No.1. She ended 2016 ranked World No.1 but did not have a very good start to 2017 as she was beaten in the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International by Elina Svitolina which was followed by a disastrous second round defeat at the Sydney International to Daria Kasatkina. Despite this, Kerber was expected by many to defend her title at the Australian Open.Kerber had a shaky start to the tournament as she was pushed to three sets by 51st ranked Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko. She had to survive another scare in the second round against compatriot Carina Witthoft. However, she had a comfortable victory in the third round against Kristyna Pliskova in straight sets and was up against 2015 Wimbledon quarter-finalist Coco Vandeweghe.The 36th ranked American was coming into the match at the back of a grueling three-set encounter against Eugenie Bouchard but she looked as fresh as a daisy on court as she took the first set 6-2. Kerber made a number of errors in the second set which Vandeweghe cahsed on and eventually went on to take the set 6-3, and the match, which helped her reach her second Grand Slam quarter-final.The fourth round exit means that Kerber will lose the No.1 ranking provided Serena Williams goes on to win the tournament. Vandeweghe will now take on last year’s French Open champion and 7th seed Garbine Muguruza in the quarter-finals.
#2. Andy Murray’s shocking defeat to Mischa Zverev
Andy Murray had a very consistent season last year which saw him win his second Wimbledon title, his second successive Olympic Singles gold, and reaching the top of the ATP rankings. Murray began 2017 by reaching the final of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open where he was beaten by Novak Djokovic. Murray entered the Australian Open as the first seed and was one of the top contenders for the title.Murray began the tournament by defeating Ukrainian Illya Marchenko in straight sets which was followed by a comprehensive straight set win over Russian qualifier Andrey Rublev. With Djokovic out in the second round, this was Murray’s best chance to end his Australian Open final hoodoo.He beat 31st seed Sam Querrey in the third round to set up an encounter against World No.50 Mischa Zverev who had come from two sets down to stun 19th seed John Isner in the second round. Zverev began the match well and took the first set 7-5 but Murray held his nerve to take the second set by the same scoreline. However, Zverev’s relentless attack and brilliant net play was too much for the World No.1 and the Briton eventually perished in four sets. This was Murray’s first ever fourth round defeat at the Australian Open since 2009. Zverev’s opponent in the quarter-finals will be Roger Federer who beat Kei Nishikori in a thrilling five-setter.
#1. Novak Djokovic’s shocking defeat to Denis Istomin
Novak Djokovic had a brilliant start to 2016 but a couple of inconsistent performances compounded with Andy Murray’s consistency saw him lose the No.1 ranking to the Scot. Djokovic began 2017 well by winning the Qatar ExxonMobil Open by beating Murray in the final. Coming into the Australian Open, Djokovic was in search of a record seventh title here and was one of the favorites to win the competition.Djokovic’s first round opponent was Fernando Verdasco who was a semi-finalist here in 2009. Djokovic comprehensively beat Verdasco in straight sets to set up a second round clash against wildcard Denis Istomin who had beaten Croatian qualifier Ivan Dodig in the first round. Istomin began the match brilliantly by taking the first set 7-6 but Djokovic rebounded well by taking the second and the third sets.Istoming held his nerve and took the fourth set through a tiebreak before winning the final set and scripting one of THE upsets of the Australian Open in its 112-year old history. This was Djokovic’s first second round defeat since being defeated by Marat Safin in the 2008 Wimbledon Championships. The 117th ranked Istomin won another five-setter in the third round against Pablo Carreno Busta and will now take on an in-form Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.