US Open Champion Emma Raducanu Joins List Of Greatest NY Sports Upsets

Posted By Mike Mazzeo on September 13, 2021

Talk about a Cinderella story.

This weekend in Flushing, Emma Raducanu went from a 250-1 shot to US Open champion.

The 18-year-old British qualifier was ranked 150th in the world going into the Grand Slam tournament.

According to BetMGM, she was the pick on just 0.6% of tickets and accounted for only 0.1% of the handle.

But she proceeded to win all 10 of her matches while never dropping a set (20-0). In the final, Raducanu defeated 19-year-old Canadian sensation Leyla Fernandez 6-4, 6-3.

So a $100 bet on Raducanu would’ve paid out $25,000.

It got PlayNY to thinking about some of the other great upsets in NY sports history.

Super Bowl XLII

Right now, the Giants have a GM who doesn’t know how to build a team; a coach who doesn’t know the rules; and a QB who doesn’t know how to take care of the ball. But their Week 1 debacle aside, there was a time when they got it all right.

They were 14-point underdogs in Las Vegas against the 18-0 Patriots, but their relentless pass rush made life a living hell for Tom Brady. Then Eli Manning’s elusiveness, David Tyree’s helmet and a wide-open Plaxico Burress did the rest. Giants 17, Patriots 14.

Super Bowl III

Zach Wilson made some nice throws in his NFL debut. And if he can somehow manage to remain intact for the next 16 games playing behind an awful offensive line, who knows.

The Jets have been looking for a star quarterback for a long time. Basically since Joe Namath’s guarantee. Broadway Joe also backed it up, as 18-point underdog Gang Green topped the Colts, 16-7. Namath finished 17-for-28 for 206 passing yards, while the Jets’ defense combined for four interceptions.

1969 World Series Featuring The Miracle Mets

Long before rats and raccoons, dysfunction and injuries, and hugs on 9/11 followed by whistling allegations and strong words on 9/12, there were the Miracle Mets.

In their previous seven seasons, the Mets had either finished last in the NL or next-to-last in the senior circuit. But then came 100-62 in the regular season, 3-0 in the NLCS and 4-1 in the World Series over the heavily favored Orioles. Amazin’.

2015 US Open Semifinals

Serena Williams has 23 Grand Slam titles in the modern era. She’s an all-time great, one of, if not the, best to ever do it.

But there was that one time where 43rd-ranked Italian Roberta Vinci, a 300-1 shot, got the best of Williams in The Final Four, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Williams was two wins away from completing the calendar Grand Slam.

Still a stunner.

Saratoga (Insert Heavily Favored Horse, Year Here)

Man o’ War (1919) went 20-0 away from Saratoga and 0-1 at Saratoga. Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox (1930) lost to a 100-1 shot. Triple Crown winner Secretariat (1973) lost to Onion. And Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh (2015) finished second to Ice Keen.

The Graveyard of Champions, indeed.

Miracle On Ice

Various websites had the US as a 1000-1 shot. Not 5000-1 shot Leicester City winning the Premier League, but still insane.

US 4, Russia 3 in the 1980 Winter Olympics is as good as it gets. A team of college kids and minor-leaguers coached by the legendary Herb Brooks dethroning the star-studded Russians, with captain Mike Eruzione playing hero.

The best part of that forever Lake Placid upset might be that most people in the US had to watch it on tape delay.

Nets-Bucks In The Bubble

Look, in terms of overall magnitude, it isn’t close to the others. After all, it was just a regular-season game. But winning as a 19-point underdog is still pretty impressive.

PlayNY looked back at Nets 119, Bucks 116 from Aug. 4, 2020 a little over a year later here.

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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo has covered New York sports since 2010, previously working as a beat writer and columnist for ESPN (Nets), Yahoo Sports (NBA/MLB) and the New York Daily News (Yankees). His work has also been published in the New York Times, New York Post, Forbes and The Ringer.

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