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Wimbledon 2016: Updated Schedule, Draw Predictions Before Week 2 Action

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2016

Roger Federer of Switzerland serves to Guido Pella of Argentina during their men's singles match on day one of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Monday, June 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Sam Querrey provided the ultimate exclamation point on the first week of play at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships by upsetting top men's seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic on Saturday. Top women's seed Serena Williams is still standing after a hard-fought win Friday over Christina McHale.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest stories this week has been the weather. Rain delays have become almost a daily occurrence at the All England Club. It's caused tournament organizers to schedule play on the middle Sunday for just the fourth time in history, per Howard Fendrich of the Associated Press.

Let's check out all of the important information for what will hopefully become a drier second week of action in London. That's followed by a look at how both draws are shaping up.

Key Links

Daily Schedule: Order Of Play

Gentlemen's Draw: Men's Bracket

Ladies' Draw: Women's Bracket

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London Forecast: AccuWeather

Men's Week 2 Outlook

Conventional wisdom suggested Djokovic received a favorable draw. The top seeds in his section were Querrey and David Ferrer, and his opponent in a potential semifinal was Roger Federer, who, despite his prior success, hasn't played his best tennis as of late.

That's what makes his third-round exit all the more shocking. He seemed like a virtual lock for the semifinals and a heavy favorite to capture a third straight Wimbledon title. Instead, he doesn't even make the second week, and the men's bracket is suddenly wide-open.

ESPN Stats and Info further highlighted the stunning nature of the loss, which came across two days due to the weather conditions:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Novak Djokovic had made at least the quarterfinals in 28 consecutive Grand Slam events (2nd-longest streak by man in Open era)

Full credit to Querrey, who racked up an astonishing 31 aces with just two double-faults to go along with 56 winners, 22 more than his top-seeded counterpart. That said, Djokovic looked out of sorts throughout the match, and everybody else in the top half of the draw now sees a golden opportunity.

Federer is the marquee name of the group. The seven-time Wimbledon champion missed the French Open while working to get back to full strength, and it seems the time off worked. He's won each of his first three matches in straight sets, though the level of competition has mediocre.

After beating Daniel Evans on Friday, he joked about taking full advantage of his time off between matches at age 34, per Nicolas Atkin of ESPN UK:

I might take a day off tomorrow just because I can. I'm sorry, I have to take them when I can. I'm an old guy. I'm looking forward to it.

On Sunday I'll practice with more intensity, to keep that intensity, play points, go to the gym again. Tomorrow it's relax, and Monday hopefully I'll have great energy when I come back.

Federer has won just one of his last 24 Grand Slam appearances and none since Wimbledon in 2012. At a point his career where top form is much harder to maintain, he must do everything in his power to seize this chance to add another major to his already outstanding resume.

That said, it's Andy Murray who will assume the role of favorite with Djokovic's exit. His draw also improved Friday when Juan Martin del Potro knocked out fourth seed Stan Wawrinka, which left no top-tier players left in his path to the final.

It creates a promising situation for the 2013 Wimbledon winner, but it's also a position he's not used to, as noted by Chris McKendry of ESPN:

Chris McKendry @ChrisMcKendry

Brit Murray now the favorite to win a Grand Slam for the first time ever. No pressure. #Wimbledon

Beyond the high-profile names, there's a multitude of other players hoping the more navigable draw can lead to their big breakthrough. Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori and David Goffin are the players with the most realistic chance of making it happen.

One thing's for sure: The early exit by Djokovic moves a lot more players into contention. It will be intriguing to see which ones rise to the occasion next week.

Women's Week 2 Outlook

The women's draw almost entered a similar stage of chaos Friday. As mentioned, Williams was pushed hard by McHale in the second round. The top seed dropped the first set before fighting back to keep her hopes of winning a seventh Wimbledon championship alive.

It's been a bumpy road to the third round, though. Even in her opening-round victory over Amra Sadikovic, she had more double-faults than aces and just one more winner than unforced errors. So she certainly hasn't looked unbeatable by any stretch.

Owen Gibson of the Guardian noted after her win over McHale that the longtime superstar believes her ability to handle pressure is the key advantage.

"There were times when I was down and out but I continued to struggle and fight. That is what I do best," she said. "I think I'm amazing in tight matches. I don't give up."

Yet while she remains the obvious favorite to capture the title, her level of play will need to improve markedly in order to raise the trophy next Saturday.

Of course, the biggest question when thinking Williams might not win the title is who's going to fill the void in the winner's circle. It's a question with far more potential answers than is usually the case on the men's side.

Garbine Muguruza was the answer in the French Open, knocking off the top-ranked player in the world in the final. Her bid to win two straight Grand Slam titles came to a close in the second round, however, as she was eliminated by unheralded Jana Cepelova.

Perhaps it's time for Simona Halep's moment to shine. She's made her presence felt consistently in the top five over the past few years, but her Grand Slam results haven't matched her ranking. She's been knocked out in the first round twice while reaching just one major final since 2014.

The early returns at Wimbledon have been promising, though. Halep's moved through to the fourth round without dropping a set or really even being challenged. A more well-rounded approach is allowing her to find some promising success on the grass.

Wimbledon showcased her reaction after beating Kiki Bertens is straight sets:

Wimbledon @Wimbledon

Into the second week. Simona Halep celebrates reaching the fourth round at #Wimbledon https://t.co/K38xhh4btq

Or maybe, like Federer, it's one more chance at glory for Venus Williams. The 36-year-old veteran hasn't advanced past the quarterfinals in a major since 2010. The good news is that the five-time tournament champion showed a lot of energy and fight this week, winning back-to-back three-set matches.

Both Williams sisters could also pull off a double as they're also alive in the doubles event, though a decision about whether to keep playing could loom if they each keep winning in singles. For now, they are rolling right along, as ESPN Tennis pointed out:

The list of contenders also includes the likes of Agnieszka Radwanska, Madison Keys and Angelique Kerber. The latter is a perfect example of the random nature of the women's game at times. She won this year's Australian Open after reaching a major semifinal for the first time since 2012.

Ultimately, their hopes come down to the play of Serena Williams. If she continues to play average tennis, at least by her remarkable standards, then everybody else has a shot. The narrative will change if the top seed finds her stride during Week 2, though.

All match statistics courtesy of the tournament's official site.

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