More than Rafael Nadal’s exit, what shocked us at Wimbledon during the first week was host nation’s Heather Watson’s brave attempt against top seed and World No:1 Serena Williams. No one had expected the 23-year-old unseeded player to send shivers down Williams’ spine in their third round encounter.
Watson was just two points away from winning the match before Williams, a more experienced and obviously better player, turned the tables on Watson, clinching the set and match (6-2 4-6 7-5 ).
The young Brit has won everyone’s heart with her fighting spirit, and it wouldn’t take her long to climb up the rankings hopefully. Nadal, a two-time champion and five time finalist, was seeded 10th this year,his lowest ever in a decade, ergo, it was hoping against hope to expect the former No:1 surviving the first week.
For the fourth straight year, Nadal has ceded to a player who is ranked outside 100. On the flip side, dreddy the dreadlocks, who used to travel around on tour on his caravan, became an overnight sensation, with his Twitter following almost doubling overnight.
Dustin Brown’s win over Nadal was his second straight victory over the Spaniard (6-4 7-6 (3) 4-6 6-3).
Unfortunately, the 30-year-old’s dream run came to an end against Croatian Viktor Troicki in four sets -- 6-4 7-6 4-6 6-3. Although he lost, Brown hit a brilliant drop shot that would linger in our minds for long. You can watch it here. In the women’s section, six out of top 10 seeds were shown doors in the first week, among them defending champion Petra Kvitova and last year’s runner-up Eugenie Bouchard.
Second seed Kvitova lost to former World No:1 Jelena Jankovic, who is seeded 28 here, in three sets -- 2-6 7-5 6-4.
A devastated Kvitova later told in the press conference that “I"m still human. I"m not a robot. I"m not really sure what happened out there.” In the case of Bouchard, it was her second straight first round exit in a Major this year.
The 12th seed Canadian lost to Chinese qualifier Yingying Duan -- 6-7 4-6. Bouchard, who had an impressive season last year, has been struggling with her form of late, and this loss has further ruined her comeback hopes. Another shocker was third seed Simona Halep’s exit. The Romanian lost 7-5 4-6 3-6 to Jana Cepelova of Slovakia.
At the French Open too, Halep lost in the second round to underdog Mirjana Lucic in straight sets. Another casualty was Ana Ivanovic, who lost to qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands 3-6 4-6. Meanwhile 5-time champion and former No:1 Venus Williams has moved to the fourth round, where she will encounter her sister Serena.
It will be their 26th encounter, with Serena leading their head-to-head stats 14-11.
In the men’s section, out of top ten, Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori have been eliminated. Nishikori, the fifth seed, was forced to pull out owing to calf injury during his second round encounter against Santiago Giraldo.
Raonic, a semi-finalist here last year, ceded to Aussie sensation Nick Kyrgios in four sets -- 7-5 5-7 6-7 3-6.
Grigor Dimitrov, another semi-finalist here last year, lost to Richard Gasquet in straight sets 3-6 4-6 4-6. Meanwhile defending champion Novak Djokovic continues his journey without forfeiting a single set in the last three matches.
7-time champion Roger Federer, on the other hand, lost a set for the first time in the tournament today against Sam Groth of Australia, in his third round match today -- 6-4 6-4 6-7 6-2. Host nation’s Andy Murray fought through a shoulder injury against Andreas Seppi to book his place in the next round -- 6-2 6-2 1-6 6-1.
Murray as well is losing a set for the first set in the tournament so far. Another match that drew a lot of attention was the one between American John Isner and US Open champion Marin Cilic -- 7-6 6-7 6-4 6-7 12-10. Their match got suspended yesterday when both the players tied at 10-10 in the fifth set.
Since Isner holds the record of playing the longest match in the history of tournament ( 11 hours, 5 minutes; 6–4 3–6 6–7(7) 7–6(3) 70–68; year 2010), this particular encounter also garnered a lot of excitement. .