Was Mardy Fish’s loss to 388th-ranked qualifier the worst for any top player?

Chris Chase
Busted Racquet

Mardy Fish lost to French qualifier Albano Olivetti at Open 13 on Thursday night, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Olivetti is ranked No. 388 in the world. He had never defeated a player ranked higher than No. 194 before his victory over Fish.

This got us thinking: Was Fish's loss the worst suffered by any of the current crop of top players? Busted Racquet went back through the records and found the worst defeat, based on opponent's ranking, for each of the top eight players in the world. We restricted our search to losses that came while the player was ranked in the top 10.

Nadal's loss to Jochansson is the worst defeat on the board but it comes with as asterisk. Johansson was a former top-10 player who had been injured and playing matches on the senior and challenger circuit. Other losses on this list -- Federer to Gasquet, Ferrer to Karlovic and Tsonga to Querrey -- fit a similar bill. Karlovic and Querrey had low rankings due to injuries. Gasquet was an up-and-comer. The same could be said of Andy Murray's loss to Donald Young. And who knows? One day we could be saying the same of the 20-year-old Olivetti. For now though, it would appear that Fish's loss is the worst.

The top-ranked American doesn't think it will stay that way for long.

"That's just a number next to his name right now," Fish said of Olivetti's No. 388 ranking. "He won't be there for very long if he continues to play like that.

There's one inherent flaw in the table above. Roger Federer has been in the top 10 for almost a decade. Combined, Fish, Tsonga, Berdych and Ferrer haven't been there that long. Thus, they've had far fewer opportunities to get upset, a fact which makes Federer's achievement -- only one defeat to a player outside the top 100 since 2002 -- all the more impressive.

This is also why this chart arbitrarily stopped at Fish. The No. 9 player, Janko Tipsarevic, first entered the top 10 in November and has played just 12 matches since then.

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