Serena Williams won't bow out early at the 2013 U.S. Open after suffering an early exit at the All England Club.
Williams was the hottest tennis player in the world before she was surprisingly ousted by Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships. Lisicki's victory snapped Williams' 34-match win streak, as noted by Sports Illustrated's Beyond the Baseline:
Serena Williams is OUT of #Wimbledon. Loses to No.23 Sabine Lisicki 62 16 64. Snaps streak of 34 straight wins. Women's draw now WIDE open.— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) July 1, 2013
The No. 1 player in the world on the women's side wasn't the only star to suffer a surprising loss early at Wimbledon, though. Throughout the two-week affair in London, many a top player fell by way of shocking upset or by way of injury.
It was one of the weirdest Wimbledon Championships we've seen in ages, but it won't define the rest of the season. These players will bounce back with strong performances at the 2013 U.S. Open later this summer.
As noted by Jon Wertheim of SI.com, Williams' loss to Lisicki wasn't as shocking as some of the other big upsets at this year's Wimbledon Championships. Lisicki is a phenomenal player on grass surfaces, and she "might have the best serve in the women's game after Williams," according to Wertheim.
Additionally, every hot streak must come to an end at some point. Winning 34 matches in a row was an incredible feat, and Williams will surely come to play at the U.S. Open with a chip on her shoulder after suffering her first loss since mid-February.
Williams is also a hard-court master.
Which star has the best chance of winning a title in the 2013 U.S. Open?
She's won the U.S. Open title four times—including a victory last season—and will be the favorite to win this year's tournament. Throughout her celebrated career, she has a record of 65-9 at the U.S. Open, and she'll be tough to stop once again this year.
Federer's early loss to Sergiy Stakhovsky was one of the most shocking developments at the All England Club this summer.
He'd won the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, in his tuneup for the Wimbledon Championships, defeating Mikhail Youzhny in the men's final for his first victory of the 2013 season. And as the defending champion at Wimbledon, many assumed Federer was finally back on track on his favored grass surface.
Then, the Swiss master was unceremoniously swept away in the second round by Stakhovsky, his earliest departure at a Grand Slam since the 2003 French Open—or, as ESPN Tennis noted, before Facebook was launched:
Facebook hadn't yet launched the last time Federer lost this early in a major (2003 French Open). #ESPNWimbledon— ESPNTennis (@ESPNTennis) June 26, 2013
Federer hasn't won a U.S. Open since 2008, and the last time he reached the men's final was in 2009. As such, he's not expected to win this upcoming tournament. But you can be sure he'll be in the mix in the quarterfinals and perhaps beyond.
Azarenka was one of the players who fell victim to injury on Wednesday, June 26—a day that claimed seven players (a new tournament record), as noted by Naila-Jean Meyers of the New York Times.
Before her early exit at Wimbledon, Azarenka was the No. 2-ranked player on the WTA Tour. She had won two titles in 2013 and had compiled a record of 27-2 on the season.
Thankfully, the injury that caused her to withdraw at Wimbledon isn't considered to be serious. Her coach, Sam Sumyk, told Christopher Clarey of the New York Times that he hopes a 10-day break will be enough time for her to recover:
Azarenka is the current two-time champion of the Australian Open, and she reached the women's final in last year's U.S. Open. She's a formidable hard-court player by any measure. Provided she can come back strong from her injury, she'll be one of the top players to beat on the women's side.
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