The 2017 US Open was a tournament for the underdog, an event for the long shot. If you need proof, look no further than this: Of the 16 players (eight men, eight women) who advanced to the quarterfinals, only four were seeded in the Top 10.
That is the fewest number of Top 10 seeds to advance to the US Open quarterfinals in the Open era, with the second-fewest being six in 1993 – which is the only other year since 1968 with fewer than seven Top 10 seeds into the round of 8.
And in 2017, the upsets continued through to Finals Weekend. The men’s and women’s title matches featured unseeded Sloane Stephens, No. 15 seed Madison Keys and No. 28 Kevin Anderson joining the top men’s seed, Rafael Nadal.
In addition to eventual men’s champion Nadal, the other Top 10 seeds to advance to the 2017 Elite Eight were No. 1 women’s seed Karolina Pliskova and No. 3 men’s seed Roger Federer, both of whom lost in the quarters, and No. 9 women’s seed Venus Williams, who fell in the semis to women’s champ Stephens.
For the record, the complete list of 2017 men’s quarterfinalists was as follows: No. 1 Nadal, No. 3 Federer, No. 12 Pablo Carreno Busta, No. 24 Juan Martin del Potro, No. 28 Anderson, No. 29 Diego Schwartzman and the unseeded Andrey Rublev.
The women into the 2017 quarters were No. 1 Pliskova, No. 9 Williams, No. 13 Petra Kvitova, No. 15 Keys, No. 16 Anastasija Sevastova, No. 20 Coco Vandeweghe and the unseeded Stephens and qualifier Kaia Kanepi.