Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal hold up their hardware after contesting one of the most memorable Grand Slam finals in 2008 at Wimbledon.
All-time tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal came into Wimbledon 2013 dominating the event for the past decade. The draw pitted the two great champions to meet in the quarterfinals, and it was almost a sure thing they would make that happen.
At least one of the two had made every Wimbledon final since 2003, with one of them winning each year except in 2011 when Novak Djokovic took out Nadal. The duo also met in the finals three years in a row (2006-2008).
That streak came to a crashing halt during the first three days of the event, as Nadal went out in the first round to Steve Darcis and Federer in the second round to Sergiy Stakhovksy.
Not only will it be different for Wimbledon to see neither man in the finals, but the results also broke some incredible individual streaks for the two stars.
Nadal had never lost a first-round match in a Grand Slam, while Federer had never lost a second rounder. Both men have now lost at least one Grand Slam match in every possible round.
It was also the first major event in their careers where both men failed to make the second week of the event. In fact, one of the two had reached at least the semifinals in every event that both played other than the 2003 U.S. Open (Nadal lost in second round, Federer in fourth round).
Of course, the biggest streak snapped was Federer's run of 36 consecutive grand slam quarterfinals reached, dating back to the 2004 Wimbledon Championships. What a remarkable nine-year run of consistency he had.
The Swiss Maestro has been good at bouncing back from big losses in his storied career, but he has never faced anything quite like this. Losing in the second round at a place he has owned for a decade (seven titles, one runner-up finish), can't sit well for the aging star.
Nadal is still very much a relevant factor on clay, as he just won his eighth French Open title just two weeks ago. However, outside of that surface, it sure feels as if the Nadal/Federer dominance of tennis has come to an end.
Nadal lost at Wimbledon in the second round at the All England Club last year, and has played just one hard-court title in the past year. He still has a lot of questions to answer outside of clay, mostly due to his knee problems.
The current top two players in the world are Djokovic and Andy Murray, both of whom are in the prime of their careers. They have a chance to dominate the game in the near future, and the two did meet in both the 2012 U.S. Open and 2013 Australian Open finals.
Those two will be favored to meet for the title at the end of this fortnight, unless of course the sudden epidemic of upsets continues past this crazy Day 3 of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships.