Wimbledon 2012 Results: Early-Round Matches Show Field Is Wide Open
The Championships at Wimbledon have seen a flurry of surprises in the early-rounds of the gentlemen's brackets. The biggest shocker came when Rafael Nadal closed out the second-round with a loss to Lukas Rosol.
The shock loss was avoided after Djoker took the next three sets by identical 6-2 scores.
Roger Federer (3) continued the excitement when he dropped his first two sets to Julien Benneteau and was almost ousted in the fifth set.
While they both won their matches, they can no longer be considered shoe-ins to meet in the semifinals.
Round three has already offered one surprising upset. Janko Tipsarevic (8) lost to Mikhail Youzhny (26) in four sets.
Nadal seemed to have a relatively easy path to the finals, particularly with Feliciano Lopez and Bernard Tomic losing in the first round. Instead, their losses were merely early-warnings that no player is safe from being upset.
Rafa's early exit has opened the doors for Andy Murray to become the first English player to advance to the Wimbledon finals since 1938.
David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Americans Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick will also look to take advantage of Nadal's absence from their half of the bracket.
Prior to the tournament the odds for anyone outside of the top-three to hoist All England Lawn Tennis Club cup were low. However, early upsets and close matches serve as a good reminder that the grass at Wimbledon has narrowed the competitive gap.
Djoker is still the heavy favorite, but instead of being encouraged by Nadal's loss and Federer's struggles, Djokovic needs to be cautious and not overlooking his opponents.
There will be another upset in this tournament and the defending champ showed today that he's not infallible.
Viktor Troicki (Ser) def. (15) Juan Monaco 7-5 7-5 6-3
(1) Novak Djokovic (Ser) def. (28) Radek Stepanek (Cze) 4-6 6-2 6-2 6-2
Denis Istomin (Uzb) def. Alejandro Falla (Col) 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-5)
Xaiver Malisse (Bel) def. (17) Fernando Verdasco (Spa) 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 4-6 6-3
(18) Richard Gasquet (Fra) def. (12) Nicolas Almagro (Spa) 6-3 6-4 6-4
(26) Mikhail Youzhny (Rus) def. (8) Janko Tipsarevic 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-3
(31) Florian Mayer (Ger) def. Jerzy Janowicz 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 2-6 6-3 7-5
(3) Roger Federer (Swi) def. (29) Julien Benneteau 4-6 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 7-6 (8-6) 6-1
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