Just three days into the 2013 Wimbledon tournament and already two of the world’s best tennis players have been eliminated.
Rafael Nadal, fresh off a French Open victory two weeks ago and twice champion of Wimbledon, was eliminated by Steve Darcis from Belgium who is ranked 135th in the world. Nadal is ranked 5th.
Number-three ranked Roger Federer looked great in the opening round defeating #47 Victor Hănescu of Romania. But in the second round, like Nadal, Federer fell victim to a major upset — losing in four sets to Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine. Stakhovsky is ranked 116th.
With Federer and Nadal out, the tennis world turned its focus to #1 Novak Djokovic and #2 Andy Murray as the leading candidates to win the oldest tennis tournament in the world. David Ferrer of Spain is currently ranked fourth and has a good chance at the title too.
Djokovic has an easy draw next in Bobby Reynolds of the United States. Reynolds is ranked 149th. However, these are the type of players that have been successful so far in upsetting the world’s best. So Djokovic will come prepared and is also positioned as the clear favorite to take home his second Wimbledon title.
Murray has already advanced to the third round and is scheduled to face Tommy Robredo of Spain. Robredo is ranked 29th and could provide a difficult match for Murray. However, Murray has the appeal of home crowd in London and with the departures of Nadal and Federer, who have combined to win nine of the last 10 Wimbledon titles, now carries the expectation to win the tournament — which won’t be easy.
Ferrer will next face a fellow countryman in Roberto Bautista Agut, who is ranked 63rd. Ferrer was defeated by Nadal in the French Open and has been playing very well this month, so he could make a good run at Wimbledon this year.
It’s a different-looking Wimbledon. It’s the first time that neither Nadal nor Federer have advanced to the third round. It seems they have opened the door for one of the other elite players. However, nothing seems to be predictable in this year’s tournament.
Djokovic and Ferrer both play Thursday, and the anticipation might be who is upset next, rather than which of the games elites will sail through the earlier rounds of this tournament as is usually expected. The tournament ends July 7th, and it’s anyone’s guess right now as to who will still be around come its final day.