40 LOVE Moments: The Biggest Coin Flip
Published December 02, 2013 12:02
NEW YORK, NY, USA - At the time, nothing like it had ever happened before - the record was No.133. But with one last forehand error the bar was raised, and a No.188-ranked Julie Coin became the lowest-ranked player ever to beat a reigning World No.1, stunning Ana Ivanovic at the 2008 US Open.
Coin was the ultimate underdog, and it wasn't just because of her ranking. Not only had she never played the main draw of a Grand Slam before, she had never even played the main draw of a WTA event, period - and it nearly didn't even happen, as she barely scraped by Elena Baltacha in the last round of qualies and just edged Casey Dellacqua in two tie-breaks in the first round of the main draw.
And then, it was time to square off against Ivanovic - and from the beginning Coin's big serving and shot variety off the ground kept Ivanovic unsettled, forcing her into a number of unforced errors. After an hour and 57 minutes the Serbian star hit her 34th, giving Coin the victory of her life, 63 46 63.
"I don't realize yet that I beat the No.1 player in the world," Coin beamed in her post-match presser. "I don't realize yet that I played on the big court. I really don't know how I'm going to sleep tonight."
While Coin's feat has since been surpassed - a No.226-ranked Zhang Shuai beat Dinara Safina in 2009 - the win gave Coin a piece of another all-time record that hasn't been surpassed. That was her second WTA main draw match, making her the equal-fastest player ever to beat a Top 10 player, joining Andrea Leand and Garbiñe Muguruza, who also did it in their second WTA main draw matches.
It was also a turning point for Coin. Having played her entire career before that fortnight on the ITF Circuit and in WTA qualifying, she was considering making 2008 her last year as a professional tennis player - but after that victory she reconsidered and now, five years later, she's still playing.
And today - Monday, December 2 - the Frenchwoman celebrates her birthday. Bonne Fête, Julie!