Court 2 at Wimbledon has historically thrown up various upsets. Why? Often, big name players get grumpy at being moved off the main show courts and into the more claustrophobic court 2, with more noise from the galleries. This could all play into it.
Also I think it’s a chance for lesser-known players to take a crack at seeded players with less pressure on them, with no Center or #1 Court pageantry. It remains to be seen if a newly re-furbished court 2 (now court 3) breaks the curse.
Here’s 10 of the best Graveyard court upsets down the years and a few other notable upsets:
1. George Bastl d. Pete Sampras – 2002
A fairly undignified end to his Wimbledon career in a way, but immortalized George Bastl’s name (and beard!)
2. Bryan Shelton d. Michael Stich – 1994
Stich was in his prime, but he wouldn’t have like not playing on a show court especially as he was only champion a few years earlier in 1991.
3. Doug Flach d. Andre Agassi – 1996
Agassi was on his downward spiral, so in many ways an early loss was always on the cards. Flach of course more know for doubles play, so probably quite handy on the grass.
4. Nick Brown d. Goran Ivanisevic – 1991
29 year old Brown was ranked 591, which statistically was the biggest upset ever based on comparative rankings.
5. Francisco Clavet d. Marcelo Rios – 1998
Rios hated playing on grass, that much is known and you can just imagine what kind of a stink he would have been even playing, let alone on court 2. Keep in mind 1998 was his career year and virtually unbeatable on any other surface.
6. Alexander Popp d. Gustavo Kuerten – 2001
Kuerten had just own the French in 2001, so perhaps he was still hungover, but he never had good results on grass despite his huge serve and groundies.
7. Alex Acuna d. Pat Cash – 1985
Cash won Wimbledon in 1987 to make up for this, but a big surprise at the time.
8. Tim Henman d. Yevgeny Kafelnikov – 1996
Welcome to Henmania. Defending French Open champ Kafelnikov was in his prime as Tiger Tim came back from 2 sets down and 2 match points down to pull off the win.
9. Ivo Karlovic d. Lleyton Hewitt – 2003
We know how dangerous Dr. Ivo is now, but ranked in the 200s and Hewitt in his prime, we did not see this one coming.
10. Jeremy Bates d. Michael Chang – 1992
Chang was no grass court specialist, but the gulf in class between him and Bates should have seen him through. Jezza seized the day however.