Early Winners and Losers at Wimbledon 2013
Well, the first week of Wimbledon 2013 has not even ended yet and there are already more unusual exits and upsets than we had ever expected to see.
With nearly half of the seeds getting knocked out in just four days, this is already the most historic Slam in the Open Era's history.
It is important to assess how some of the early winners will perform in the remainder of the tournament at the All England Club as well as how the early losers will deal with the back nine of the tennis season.
Note: The following slides alternate from early loser to early winner and so on.
Loser: Roger Federer
Roger Federer had his streak of 36 consecutive Major quarterfinals snapped by Sergiy Stakhovsky, who was most recently in the media spotlight for receiving a $2,000 fine for taking a picture of a ball mark at the French Open (it is against the rules to use a mobile phone during a match).
Federer, the defending champion, didn't play badly but did not convert on break points when his Wimbledon run depended on it.
Stakhovsky's serve and volley mannerisms were making the Maestro edgy, though he definitely cracked a few times and the Swiss athlete did not capitalize on it.
For these astonishing reasons, Federer was an early loser this week.
Winner: Feliciano Lopez
After winning Eastbourne last week against Gilles Simon, Feliciano Lopez found himself again playing the stubborn Frenchman (in the first round this time).
Nevertheless, he brushed the man, who had such a stellar year up to this point, aside and also put Paul-Henri Mathieu out of his misery in the second round.
Mathieu retired due to injury, meaning that Lopez is still very fresh for the next round and has not dropped a set yet (though his third-set tiebreak against Simon was very close).
He has the serve, volley and backhand slice to do damage on fast grass courts, and he is certainly showcasing his potential this week, which makes him an early winner.
Loser: Milos Raonic
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The single player from Canada who has actually ascended to early greatness has fallen quicker than ever this week.
He had a dream draw, playing Carlos Berlocq in the opener and the talented-on-a-good-day Igor Sijsling in the second round.
His lesser-ranked opponent definitely played a superb match. but beating Raonic in straight sets (especially on a fast surface) was nearly unheard of.
Raonic did not live up to the hype at Wimbledon this year, even when the dangerous players were out of his way, making him an early loser.
Winner: Dustin Brown
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Dustin Brown, one of the most talented but erratic tennis players in today's game, scored huge wins over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Lleyton Hewitt.
Brown, who has a nutty mentality and disregards the scoreline when thinking of which shots to play, hit his mark and stayed on fire all day long against former Wimbledon champion Hewitt.
Utilizing his usual dropshots, monster serves and impressively powerful groundies, he showed to everyone who had never heard of him (which was more than one person for sure) that he has some game.
I think he has a great chance to make the quarterfinals or better, and he is clearly an early winner.
He faces Adrian Mannarino next, a talented lefty Frenchman who will probably not challenge Brown (that is, assuming Brown doesn't start derailing).
Loser: Bobby Reynolds
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Don't get me wrong: Bobby Reynolds, the American old-timer, played a fantastic match against Novak Djokovic for a set and a half. He stuck with him and only crumpled near the end of the sets.
But he was the last remaining American in the draw. This is clearly an awful state for men's American tennis, as all of them were defeated in the second round or prior.
This slide should not be all about Bobby Reynolds necessarily. His loss, which detailed an unsuccessful journeyman at the end of his leg, signified the decline of American tennis as a whole.
So, men's American tennis was an early loser this week, and it does not seem as though there is much hope that it will recover any time soon.
Winner: Andy Murray
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Andy Murray has been superb so far at the All England Club, showing no signs of tension or slowing down.
His game is well-suited for grass and his movement is, in my eyes, the best on the tour, bar none.
This is his best chance to win his second Major, even after acknowledging that he participated in the 2013 Australian Open final.
His third-round opponent, who is also his first seeded opponent in the event, is Tommy Robredo. He will not likely challenge Murray on one of his favorite courts, and with Tsonga retiring against Ernests Gulbis, there is no telling how far he can go. Murray, the home-crowd favorite, was easily an early winner.
Loser: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga shocked the world when taking out Roger Federer in straight sets and reaching the French Open semifinals for the first time.
He also shocked the world a few days ago, taking the first set off Ernests Gulbis and then succumbing to personal injury and fatigue as he retired after three sets.
His game is best suited for grass, and it is a shame for him and his fans that he, among the other top players, lost so early this week.
Just as things were starting to look better than ever for him, he fell apart, leaving us to label him as an early loser.
Winner: Ivan Dodig
Ivan Dodig had an incredibly tough first-round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber (seeded 16th).
After dropping the first two sets, the Croat fought back to win two more sets in a very tight fashion.
Three games into the final set, the German player had enough and threw in the towel, earning Dodig a very impressive upset (little did we know that it would be overlooked by the several other upsets in the field).
In the second round, he benefited from playing a very weary Denis Kudla (who had also won his first round in a lengthy five-setter) and is now in fine form to progress further into the tournament.
Maybe he will finally be able to show the world that he is indeed a Top-20 caliber player.
Ivan Dodig can do anything on the court, and he was an early winner at SW19.