Wimbledon 2013: Most Surprising Moments of This Year's Tournament

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVJuly 7, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24:  Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand during his Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Steve Darcis of Belgium on day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 24, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The 2013 Wimbledon Championships may have ended with a No. 1 vs. No. 2 men's singles final when Andy Murray topped Novak Djokovic on Sunday, but it was one of the most thrilling and unpredictable Grand Slam tournaments in recent memory from start to finish.

Quite frankly, it's tough to figure out where to begin.

The action at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club through the opening week of play was so surprising that it left very few household names still contending for glory in London. From all-time greats bowing out early to under-the-radar players coming into their own, there's plenty of shocking developments to break down.

Let's dive right in and start from the beginning to relive the biggest surprises of Wimbledon in 2013.

Nadal's One-and-Done in Straight Sets

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Coming in as the fifth seed despite coming off another French Open win, it was all too expected for Rafael Nadal to have a chip on his shoulder heading into Wimbledon.

A two-time champion at the All England Club, Nadal didn't waste any time bowing out. He was beat on the first day of action by 135th-ranked Steve Darcis in straight sets, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4.

The loss ended Nadal's 22-match win streak and quickly became one of the most stunning upsets in the history of Wimbledon. Nadal came in ailing from the same knee injury that sidelined him for seven months in 2012, but wasn't written off as a potential favorite after taking care of business at Roland Garros.

However, Nadal proved all of his fans wrong by laying the biggest egg of the tournament, and that's saying something because there were quite a few eggs laid.

Roger Federer's Quest for Repeat Short-Lived

In 2012's Wimbledon action, it seemed that fate had finally shined down upon Great Britain and awarded its people with the first native winner in 76 years when Andy Murray entered the final match. However, all-time great Roger Federer snatched victory from Murray to win his seventh Wimbledon and tie him for the most ever.

This year, nobody could count out the defending champion in his quest to make history and become the winningest player in the history of the All England Club.

But perhaps we should've. Federer made it to just the second round before being toppled by Sergiy Stakhovsky in four sets, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6. 

At 31 years of age, Federer's untimely loss sparked all sorts of questions about the future of his career. In one match, the Swiss legend dropped a major chance to add another chapter to his legacy. 

No. 1 Serena Williams Ousted in Fourth Round

In a wild opening week to Wimbledon, Serena Williams stayed put as the top-ranked women's singles player and seemed ready to cruise to another Grand Slam victory in a field that was depleted. No Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka meant smooth sailing for Serena, right?

Not quite. Instead, she ran into an up-and-coming German in Sabine Lisicki who took down the five-time Wimbledon champ in a three-set thriller, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4. 

Lisicki would go on to make even more of a name for herself and get to the championship match, before losing to Marion Bartoli in straight sets. 

This unbelievable revelation only put the cap on what was one of the craziest starts to Wimbledon in the history of the event. A tournament that is so often dominated by the top few stars was all of the sudden left with very few notable names.