Former Vol Tennys Sandgren took down the No. 9 seeded Stan Wawrinka in straight sets at the Australian Open on Thursday; 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.
What an upset!
Our 2014 champion and No.9 seed it out courtesy of world No.97 @TennysSandgren, winning in straight sets 6-2 6-1 6-4.
He is through to the 3R at a Grand Slam for the first time.#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/qY8i9MP5Eg
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 18, 2018
Congrats @TennysSandgren! He's the first Vol to reach the third round of a Grand Slam since head coach Chris Woodruff made R3 at #AusOpen in 2001. #GoVols #VolsOnTour https://t.co/jbr8OtCAN9
— Tennessee Tennis (@Vol_Tennis) January 18, 2018
The 26-year-old rising star has the most tennis-y biography of all time — his name is Tennys, he plays tennis, and he’s from Tennessee. Sandgren is currently ranked 97th in the world started and ended the match on a hot streak against Wawrinka. Sandgren dominated the beginning of the points with 11 aces on the days and an 81 percent win percentage on the day against first serves. Sandgren also won 5 of his 13 available break points while Wawrinka won none of his.
The match could be listed with an asterisk — Wawrinka is still recovering from knee surgery and not moving, or hitting, nearly as well as he can. Nevertheless, the victory for Sandgren is a lifetime achievement. The win is just his second Grand Slam win of his career, the first coming in the first round just two days earlier. Prior to this run, both of his Grand Slam matches had ended in a loss.
“It’s a huge deal for me, and something that if I don’t ever get another accomplishment, I can at least hang my hat on this one,” Sandgren said when asked what the win over top ranked Wawrinka meant to him.
Sandgren held a 60-12 singles record while playing at Tennessee in 2010 and 2011, reaching the NCAA Semifinals before losing to a teammate and being selected as an All-American (Singles).
As for his next opponent, Sandgren will be playing German tennis player Maximillian Marterer, the No. 94 player in the world.
Every step forward is in the right direction, and he’ll be looking to make another step forward tomorrow by beating Marterer to advance to the round of 16 in Melbourne.