The four active players that have the most Grand Slam singles titles have owned the Wimbledon Championships, but that trend will not continue in 2013, as Serena Williams' fourth-round exit to Sabine Lisicki on "Manic Monday" means none of the four will be playing in the tournament's final eight.
Up until this fortnight, one of the Williams sisters, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer had at least made the championship match at the All England Club every year since 1999. The quartet has combined for 19 Wimbledon titles, with one of them winning it almost every year in that span (2011 was the one exception).
In fact, since Federer began his Grand Slam run in 2003, at least two of this quartet made the finals every year, with the exception of 2011. It's amazing to think this trend is going to end, and we haven't even reached the semifinal stage of the tournament.
While the end of a 13-year trend is certainly shocking, there have been some other eye openers at this event.
Over the years, the top players have mostly held to form at the most famous tournament. The French Open, on the other hand, has generally seen a lot of surprise finalists and winners.
This season has been the exact opposite, however. The clay-court major went mostly to form, while Wimbledon has had major upsets on both sides of the draw.
At the French Open just two weeks ago, the highest-seeded semifinalist was Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at No. 6. Only Roger Federer and Agnieska Radwanska did not make that round among the top eight combined men and women's seeds. The finals were contested by the top two seeds on the women's side and the No. 3 and 4 from the men's side.
The top three women's seeds have all been knocked out at Wimbledon (Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova) in addition to the men's No. 3, Federer; No. 5, Nadal; and No. 6, Tsonga. The top two seeds on the men's side (Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray) are still expected to reach the finals, but you never know with what's happened so far.
Here are some other crazy happenings from the first eight days of the 2013 Championships.
Instead of an almost guaranteed Federer/Nadal quarterfinal, in their places will be two Polish players in unseeded Lukasz Kubot and 24th-seeded Jerzy Janowicz. It will mark the first time a player from Poland reaches the final four at a Grand Slam event.
That Polish duo is opposite of Murray, who should effectively have an easier road to the finals than Djokovic, which was not expected before the tournament began. The Serb's section has actually gone to form, as David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro and Tomas Berdych are all still alive.
The eight quarter-finalists have a combined two major titles and five major finals reached. It is open for just about anyone to claim victory at the end of the fortnight. None of the eight have won a major in the past two seasons.
Federer: 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals reached (all-time record), first ever loss in a Grand Slam second-round match and first time not winning a major when Nadal lost before the quarterfinals since the 2003 U.S. Open.
Nadal: first ever loss in a Grand Slam first-round match.
Federer and Nadal: first major event that both played where neither man reached the fourth round (35 total events).
Serena Williams: 34-match win streak and 15-match win streak at the All England Club (won Wimbledon 2012 and the Olympics last year on the same courts).
Venus Williams: first time missing Wimbledon event since her first trip in 1997
Honorable mention: On Day 3, there was a combined seven retirements/walkovers, which was the most ever for a single day at a Grand Slam. That was the same day Sharapova (normally sure-footed but who slipped and fell three times) and Federer were bounced from the tournament.
No matter what happens over the next week or so of this event, it will go down as one of the most surprising Grand Slams of the Era. This golden era of men's tennis has seen the top guys advance deep into nearly every major, and the women had been joining suit over the last handful of events.
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