Britain’s Marcus Willis enjoyed arguably the greatest day of his career on the opening day of Wimbledon 2016, producing a huge upset to defeat Ricardas Berankis in straight sets. Now the 25-year-old will be looking to create one of SW19’s biggest ever shocks when he faces Roger Federer in round two.
Having won just £220 all season, Willis – ranked 772 – bagged a £50,000 paycheck after downing world number 54 Berankis.
The Slough man has been rewarded with what will likely be a Centre Court fixture versus the great Swiss maestro, Federer.
Should he do so, Willis would join this list of Wimbledon upsetters…
Jelena Dokic v Martina Hingis – 1999
Dokic would go on to have a long career in the game, but in 1999 she was a 16-year-old Wimbledon debutant up against a Martina Hingis who had won that year’s Australian Open and reached the final at Roland Garros.
Not only was the result a surprise, it was the manner of the result, with Dokic running riot 6-2 6-0 in just 54 minutes. It is still the only time a women’s number 1 has lost to a qualifier, and it was in the first round.
Steve Darcis v Rafael Nadal – 2013
Nadal may have bowed out early to Lukas Rosol 12 months previously in five sets, but heading into Wimbledon a year later, the Spaniard – riding a 22-game winning streak – fared even worse, crashing out in round one.
Knee concerns had interrupted his pre-Wimbledon prep, but world number 135 Darcis’ three-set win was a shock to the tune of odds of 66/1.
And here’s one more little piece of inspiration for Willis…
Sergiy Stakhovsky v Roger Federer – 2013
The Fed Express was the reigning Wimbledon champion when he faced world number 116 Stakhovsky and the Ukrainian was 25/1 for the win (larger than Willis), with Federer reaching 1/250 at one point.
But on the day, Stakhovsy prevailed through four gruelling sets, ending R-Fed’s run of 36 straight Grand Slams of reaching at least the quarter-finals.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.