On Wednesday 27th June 2013, seven former 1 ranked players went out of the Wimbledon tournament in a combination of injuries, surprise defeats and retirements.
The unequalled devastation of the world’s top ranks in a Grand Slam tennis tournament progressed as follows:
- Victoria Azarenka, world number 2, knee injury, walkover
- Steve Darcis, world number 135, shoulder injury after beating world number 5 Rafael Nadal,
- John Isner, world number 21, knee injury,
- Radek Stepanek, world number 45, hamstring injury,
- Marin Cilic, world number 12, knee injury,
- Yaroslava Shvedova, world number 55, arm injury,
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, world number 7, knee injury, retired
Where matches did occur, the results were far from expected.
Maria Sharapova, the women’s singles world number 3, was beaten by world number 131 Michelle Larcher de Brito. The final score was 6 – 3, 6 – 4. Although initially seen to curse the court conditions, Sharapova later said in interviews that both players had faced the same surface and that she had simply slipped more.
Men’s world number 3, Roger Federer, was beaten on the grass by world number 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky. The final score was 65 – 77, 77 – 65, 7 – 5, 7 – 65. Asked whether the score meant the end of an era for the 31 year old player, Federer responded, “No, because I still have plans to play for many more years to come.”
Only the day before, 9th ranked Caroline Wozniaka was beaten by 196th ranked Petra Cetkovska 6 – 2, 6 – 2. The All England Lawn Tennis Club defended the state of its grass saying tests showed conditions were almost exactly the same as last year.
As Federer pointed out in spite of his disappointment, to assume that the finals would always contain the same handful of players is “somewhat disrespectful to the other opponents who are in the draw still”.
This week’s upset in rankings is testament to the depth of talent in this Grand Slam tournament, promising excitement and fresh faces in the final stages of Wimbledon.