American Shelby Rogers staged a comeback for the ages shocking world No.1 Ash Barty 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(5) on Sunday morning in the third round of the US Open.
The 43rd-ranked Rogers recovered from a 5-2 deficit in the third set to push the affair into a tiebreaker, securing the biggest upset of the tournament thus far in front of an electric New York crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I just tried to fight for every point. That’s so cliche, I’m sorry. You guys were awesome. I didn’t want to leave,” said Rogers.
“I just said you know make balls, try to stay in this match, can’t get any worse, you lost to her every time. So, try something different.”
There were early signs of trouble for heavy favourite Barty, who handed Rogers a break with four double faults in the third game, and got fewer than half of her first serves in as she committed 17 unforced errors during the first set.
The Wimbledon champion found her form in the second set, getting a critical break in the fourth game with a forehand winner and again converting on break point in the sixth as Rogers whacked the ball into the net.
Up two breaks in the final set, Barty appeared poised to walk away with the win but couldn’t hang on as her stellar 2021 crashed to an end.
An astonished Rogers held her hands to her face as she clinched the match, defeating Barty for the first time in six meetings.