Wimbledon 2013 Schedule: How Early Upsets Will Shape Upcoming Rounds
A handful of massive upsets have turned the 2013 Wimbledon Championships upside down, drastically altering what seemed to be an easily predictable tournament. Now, we're left wondering how it will all turn out at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club without some of the sport's biggest names and most likely favorites.
The first big blow to the field was on the first day of action Monday, when fifth-seeded Rafael Nadal was ousted in the first round by 135th-ranked Steve Darcis of Belgium.
But what seemed to be the defining moment of the early-round action was just the first domino of many to fall in the first few days in London.
The biggest shakeup came in a completely unfathomable result. Roger Federer, a player who has won as many Wimbledon titles as any person on the planet, went down in four sets to Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round.
Federer's second-round loss broke a streak that was nearly a decade old, says ESPN Stats and Information:
Roger Federer: 1st loss before quarterfinals of a Grand Slam since 2004 French Open (snaps record 36 straight GS qtrs reached)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 26, 2013
With two groundbreaking results, suddenly the two most historically-significant and all-time great players in the field with nine Wimbledon championships between them were afterthoughts.
Associated Press Sports summed it up best:
The surprising upsets haven't discriminated on gender, however. Two of the top three seeds have vanquished.
Ninth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and third-seed Maria Sharapova both folded out in straight-set letdowns, leaving slim pickings for household names on the women's side of the bracket. Meanwhile, second-seed Victoria Azarenka pulled out with an injury.
Gone almost unnoticed throughout this whole mess was the retirement of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, as Wimbledon's official Twitter points out.
Yet another retirement on Day 3! Tsonga retires against Gulbis with a suspected knee injury #Wimbledon— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 26, 2013
The Frenchman who made it to the semifinals of this year's French Open was the sixth seed coming in and as usual, had high hopes.
The chaotic opening two rounds will undoubtedly shape the upcoming rounds and leave a lasting impact. Let's take a look at how it will impact each side of the men's and women's bracket.
The full schedule for upcoming action at Wimbledon can be found here.
Men's Top Bracket: Djokovic-Ferrer Matchup Looming
David Ferrer beating out Nadal for the fourth seed meant that Murray, Federer and Nadal would all be in the bottom half of the bracket, leaving Djokovic as the only Big Four member to man the top half.
Despite upsets dominating the Wimbledon storylines, Djokovic's half of the bracket has avoided such performances. Ferrer, eighth-seed Juan Martin del Potro and seventh-seed Tomas Berdych are all safe and sound after first-round victories.
Djokovic seemed to be destined to face whoever came out of the Murray-Federer-Nadal mess, but now his focus is surely on the fact that the tournament's top players are dropping like flies.
It may have been easy for Djokovic to look way down the road when coming into London, but now his tune shifts to mere survival as every one of the Serbian's future opponents will have an added bounce in their step after seeing unknown players top all-time greats.
Men's Bottom Bracket: Path Clearing for Murray
Andy Murray often gets the home field advantage aspect to his game when taking the grass courts at Wimbledon, but that wasn't the case early on. His opening draw boasted a likelihood of having to get through Federer and Nadal just to get to the championship match.
Now after his second-round victory, it wouldn't be remiss of the British icon to be kicking back with a glass or two of champagne. Because a straight-set victory that usually would be seen as so insignificant really represents him stepping into the driver's seat for a championship bout with Djokovic.
No Nadal and Federer wouldn't have truly meant a huge sigh of relief for Murray. But compounded with Tsonga's untimely retirement due to injury, he now sits as the only single-digit seed on his side of the bracket.
If there's anything we've learned from the first few wild days of Wimbledon, it's that the biggest stars are nowhere near safe in these early matchups. If Murray's not careful, he could lose and really blow this whole thing open.
Djokovic and Murray are really all this tournament has left to offer, and if the underdogs come up big again versus either of them, things could get real bland real quick in London.
Women's Top Bracket: Serena Still Secure
Just like in the men's bracket, the near future for the top-seeded women's player wasn't deterred by the early-round chaos.
The biggest competition before championship round for No. 1-seed Serena Williams looked to be fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, and that hasn't changed. Between Radwanska and China's Na Li, the tournament's sixth seed, Williams still has some quality competition to face before getting comfortable.
It couldn't have been tough on the eyes for Williams to see the third-seeded Maria Sharapova go down after their public rift heading into the All England Club, but that's a result that wouldn't have truly affected Serena until the championship round.
Things certainly got much easier for the 31-year-old, but not on her half of the bracket. Her road to the championship is still as tough as it ever was.
Women's Bottom Bracket: Who's Left?
Fifth-seeded Sara Errani lost her opening-round match, but things didn't really get blown open until the second round.
It was then that Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki each went down in straight sets. Two of the biggest names in women's tennis and two likely candidates to dethrone Williams from the top went down without much of a budge.
The chaos that struck the women's bracket continued with Victoria Azarenka withdrawing from the tournament due to injury.
Suddenly, eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic looks like the runaway favorite to meet with Williams in the final, at least on paper.
But if we've learned anything thus far in London, it's that it never turns out quite how it looks on paper.
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