Wimbledon Tennis 2013: Highlighting Biggest Overachievers at All England Club
The 2013 Wimbledon Championships will be remembered for a long list of early-round upset victims, as well as for a handful of overachievers who took advantage of the big names falling early.
While Steve Darcis and Sergiy Stakhovsky were the big winners early on in London after shocking former Wimbledon champions Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, respectively, they weren't able to capitalize on their early successes.
However, some other players did so here we'll highlight the biggest overachievers at the All England Club in 2013.
While he has been aided by the early departures of Nadal and Federer, 22-year-old Pole Jarzy Janowicz has been spectacular in just his second career main-draw appearance at Wimbledon.
What do you make of Jerzy Janowicz's remarkable run?
He reached the third round as a qualifier here in 2012, but no one could have expected a run to the semifinals in 2013.
The 6'8" up-and-comer had shown flashes of greatness from time to time in the past, but he has displayed both skill and poise over two weeks at the All England Club.
Janowicz was fantastic in a straight-sets win over 15th-seeded Nicolas Almagro in the third round and was composed against Jurgen Melzer in the round of 16, battling back after going down a set to win a five-setter.
Janowicz's serve has been huge as well. In his second- and third-round matches, he won roughly 90 percent of his first-serve points, giving opponents very little room for error. In Wednesday's straight-sets win over Lukasz Kubot, Janowicz recorded 30 aces.
Before this summer, Kirsten Flipkens had never been further than the round of 16 at a Grand Slam, nor had she been past the third round at Wimbledon.
But that all changed in a hurry. The 27-year-old Belgian has been playing arguably the best tennis of her career at the All England Club this year. She has now reached the semifinals where she'll take on 2007 Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli for the right to advance to the women's championship on Saturday.
The fact that Flipkens is just four sets away from winning the biggest tournament in tennis is shocking considering that she was won just one WTA singles tournament in her career.
This tweet from Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim sums it up:
To repeat: Kirsten Flipkens was ranked so low she couldn't play the QUALIFYING draw @wimbledon in 2012. Now she's 2 matches from title.— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) July 2, 2013
While Flipkens entered Wimbledon ranked 20th in the world, no one could have predicted a run like this.
One of just two unseeded men to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, no one took advantage of Nadal's first-round loss more than Polish veteran Lukasz Kubot.
Which Polish performance was the most impressive?
The 31-year-old, who entered the tournament as the 130th-ranked men's singles player in the world, was set to meet Nadal in the second round on Day 3, but Steve Darcis' improbable upset win and subsequent withdrawal allowed Kubot to waltz right through to the third round of the men's draw.
But credit Kubot for controlling the things he could control by beating Benoit Paire in straight sets in Round 3 and then surviving a five-setter against Adrian Mannarino in the round of 16 to reach the quarterfinals at a major for the first time in his career.
Although he didn't have enough to get past his Polish compatriot, Janowicz, Kubot is without a doubt one of the more memorable overachievers from Wimbledon 2013.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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