2013 Wimbledon: Underdogs Who Will Benefit from Early-Round Chaos

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVJune 27, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 27:  Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic shakes hands at the net with Daniel Brands of Germany after their Gentlemen's Singles second round match on day four of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 27, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

It's been years since we've seen a tournament with as many early upsets as the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, with some of the sport's biggest names going down before the third round.

This inevitably opens up the door for some underrated players who usually don't get the chance to shine when a Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal is around (which they aren't this time). The opportunity is there to make a deep run at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club without having to go through too many highly ranked players.

The top seed for both the men's and women's bracket is still intact, but that doesn't mean that we can't be in store for an underdog winning the title in London.

Let's take a look at the unknown players most likely to emerge from the depleted field.


No. 7 Tomas Berdych

No player is ignored more despite playing at an extremely high level than seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych. 

He's no stranger to making deep runs in Grand Slam tournaments, but his most successful run came at the 2010 Wimbledon, where he made the championship match. He's also proven able to knock out the big stars in major tournaments.

Most of the stars he'd have to knock out are already gone, but he will have to face world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals, assuming both players advance to that point.

Berdych is currently ranked No. 6 in the world, and he's still looking for a marquee win in the 2013 season. There's no doubting the fact that he's ready to make a splash in London.

Prediction: Quarterfinals


No. 25 Benoit Paire

The Frenchman hasn't found much success in Grand Slam tournaments so far in his young career, but the 24-year-old is poised to make a big run this year.

Why? Only a 15th-seeded and 24th-seeded player, as well as other low-ranked players, stand between him and the semifinal round. 

He already tied himself for his best performance ever at Wimbledon by making it to the third round. If he advances past Lukasz Kubot, it'll be his best ever showing at the All England Lawn.

It'd be too much to expect Paire to be a major contender for the championship, but to say that he's not near the driver's seat to make it to the semifinals is just wrong. He'll be right in the thick of things, with the chance to play Andy Murray in the semifinal round. 

Prediction: Semifinals


No. 8 Petra Kvitova (Women's)

The dominoes didn't only fall on the men's side of the bracket early on, but they also vastly affected the bracket on the ladies' side.

That gave No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova the right to move into the favorite position to face Serena Williams in the championship match.

The Czech native cruised through her opening-round affairs, looking poised to cruise into the fourth round with another victory. With no Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka or Caroline Wozniacki in the fold anymore, she'll have a much easier time doing so. 

Expect Kvitova to take care of the bottom half of the bracket with ease and set up a date with Williams.

Prediction: Finals