Remembering The Disruptors Of 2015
Some of the best storylines of 2015 were guided by the biggest underdogs of the year. These five women made headlines by taking down the headliners.
Holly Holm, UFC 193
It was the head kick felt round the world. In one brutal motion of her powerful left leg, Holm proved she belonged in the title fight and exposed the undefeated reigning champ as human. Holm's second-round knockout of Ronda Rousey is a moment fight fans will long remember and one Rousey will struggle to forget. The bright side for Rousey and fight fans: UFC president Dana White has guaranteed a rematch in 2016.
Roberta Vinci, U.S. Open semifinals
The likelihood of Vinci beating Serena Williams in the semifinals of the U.S. Open -- thus ending Williams' shot at tying Seffi Graf's all-time Grand Slam win record and completing the calendar-year Grand Slam -- were so slim that most sports books did not even offer odds on Vinci to win. Yet win she did, in the greatest upset in modern women's tennis history and one of the greatest in sports. Ever. Full stop.
Chloe Kim, X Games Aspen Snowboard SuperPipe finals
At X Games Aspen in January, Kim unseated five-time defending SuperPipe champ Kelly Clark, the winningest halfpipe snowboarder of all time, male or female. At the time of her win, Kim was 14 and the youngest athlete ever to win an X Games gold medal (summer or winter). Clark, 31, competed in her first X Games in 2000, three months before Kim was born. Kim considers Clark to be a role model and the rider she most looks up to; Clark calls Kim her motivation.
Jelena Jankovic, third round of Wimbledon
It had been seven years since Jankovic, 30, reached the only Grand Slam final of her career (at the 2008 U.S. Open), when she stunned world No. 2 and defending Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 on Centre Court. A former No. 1, Jankovic was the tournament's No. 28 seed and had never advanced past the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. But down a set and a break, she fought her way back to hand Kvitova one of the most stunning losses of her career.
Lady Andrade, Women's World Cup group stage
Colombia's 2-0 defeat of France was the first major upset of the 2015 Women's World Cup -- arguably the biggest upset in Women's World Cup history -- and it was led by forward Lady Andrade, a woman most well known for punching U.S. forward Abby Wambach in the right eye during the 2012 London Olympics. Entering the World Cup match, Colombia was ranked 28th in the world; France was ranked No. 3. At first, Andrade's goal in the 19th minute looked to have been a fluke; instead, it wound up being the game winner for the underdog Colombian team.