Taylor Townsend Shocks U.S. Open with Upset of Simona Halep

Ryan Phillips

Taylor Townsend broke through in a big way during the second round of the U.S. Open on Thursday. The 23-year-old American shocked the tennis world by upsetting the No. 4 player in the world and defending Wimbledon champ, Simona Halep.

Townsend dropped the first set 6-2, then found her footing in the second set and began crushing the ball. She won the second 6-3, and found herself in a tight battle in the third set. Townsend served for the match up 5-4 in the third but Halep battle back to break her. They were knotted at 5-5 in the third and Halep held serve, shifting to pressure back to Townsend at 6-5. She handled it, winning her service game to sent the match into a third-set tiebreak.

Townsend won a dramatic tiebreak 7-4 to seal the biggest win of her young career.

Townsend’s net-rushing and blistering left-handed forehand shots had Halep on her heels during the second-half of the match. But late in the third it was clear both players were tiring as unforced errors began to pile up.

The win was Townsend’s first over a top 10 player in her career, and Halep is a two-time Grand Slam singles winner as well. The Chicago native is currently ranked 118th in the world, and has never been past the third round in a major.

Along with players like Coco Gauff, Caty McNally, Sofia Kenin, Madison Keys, Danielle Collins and Lauren Davis, Townsend is another young American woman who has made a great showing at the U.S. Open so far.