2013 Wimbledon: Players Who Benefit from Depleted Field
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Not many people saw so many stars going down this early in the tournament. Roger Federer (SUI), Rafael Nadal (ESP), Maria Sharapova (RUS) and Sara Errani (ITA) all suffered shocking defeats early in the tournament. Before the second round, No. 2 seed Victoria Azarenka (BEL) had to withdraw due to injury.
With so many high-profile players out of the tournament already, the door is open for others to take the Wimbledon crown.
Here is a list of players who will benefit the most from a weakened field.
No. 2 Andy Murray (GBR)
One year after making the 2012 Wimbledon finals, Murray is looking to become the first player from Great Britain since 1936 to win the tournament.
Things couldn't be working in his favor more than they are right now. Two of his toughest competitors are out already. The two other highest seeds remaining—No. 1 Novak Djokovic (SRB) and No. 4 David Ferrer (ESP)—are on the other side of the bracket.
The road to the finals looks pretty simple for Murray. No. 24 Jerzy Janowicz (POL) is the highest seed left on Murray's side of the bracket, and he would not have to face him until the semifinals.
Murray is looking for his second Grand Slam title, and he's got to want a Wimbledon title more than anything.
With all of the upsets in the tournament so far, Murray needs to avoid falling victim to one. Everything is lining up for Murray, and he should feel pretty good about his chances right now.
No. 4 David Ferrer (ESP)
Ferrer has had to go to four sets in each of the first two rounds of the 2013 Wimbledon, but he has found a way to get the job done.
He had to battle to get past Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) in the second round (statistics via Wimbledon's official website). It was a hard-fought match, but the better player won.
Now, he will need to find a way past two top players. Djokovic and Murray are still around, and Ferrer has to find a way to get past those two. He is 5-10 against Djokovic and 5-7 against Murray.
He hasn't fared well against those two players, but this is his best chance to win a major tournament.
Ferrer has made three straight major semifinals, including the 2013 French Open. He has never made it past the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, so he needs to take advantage of a depleted field.
No. 17 Sloane Stephens (USA)
Not saying that she is poised to win the tournament, but this is Sloane Stephens' chance to establish herself as a star.
With several of the top seeds out of the tournament, Stephens needs to take a big step at Wimbledon.
The 20-year-old is viewed as a rising star, but she has yet to put together a great run at a tournament. No. 9 Petra Kvitova (CZE) and No. 15 Marion Bartoli (FRA) are the only players seeded higher than Stephens in the bottom half of the bracket, so there's a realistic possibility for Stephens to make it to the finals.
Upsets and injuries could open the door for Stephens to capture her first career Grand Slam title. She could find herself up against Williams in the finals, and Stephens should feel confident knowing that she already beat the top seed once this year.
*All information is from ATPWorldTour.com and WTATennis.com
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