Top 5 performances by unseeded male tennis players in 2018
2018 has been a year of surprising performances from players who weren't widely popular. And these performances haven't been limited to a single tournament or an upset here and there either.
The average level of competition on the tour has risen steadily. A handful of players won their first ATP titles this year as well, with most of them being unseeded.
Right from the ATP 500 level to the Grand Slams, there have been plenty of brilliant performances from unheralded players. Some toppled multiple seeds on their way to the semifinals, finals and even titles, while some played the qualifiers but ended up appearing in big finals.
But the best thing that these players did was entertaining spectators all over the world; for people who enjoy a good underdog story, this was the year to live in.
Today we look at the top 5 such performances in 2018:
5. Marius Copil, Swiss Indoors
Marius Copil had a strong probability for an early exit from Basel when he faced Marin Cilic in Round 2 after entering the tournament via the qualifiers. But when he broke serve late into the first set, he looked as convincing as anyone in the draw.
He got the first set 7-5 and held on to his serve with grit in the second to drag it into the tiebreak. Copil just ran away with the breaker, winning it 7-2 to complete an unbelievable upset.
But he wasn't done just yet.
In the semifinals, the Romanian took the first set against the in-form Alexander Zverev, and it looked like another upset was possible. He served well in the second set as well, but lost it narrowly in the tiebreaker.
However, he quashed any of Zverev's comeback ideas, taking the decider comfortably (6-4).
With that, Copil had made his first ATP 500 final, and although he lost in straight sets to Federer, he gave a great account of himself.