In a single day at the revered Championship at
Wimbledon saw seven
former world number one seeded players go down in defeat and seven other tennis
stars go down with injuries and withdraw.
Never have such a staggering seismic jolt and ensuing tsunami reached
so far inland as what happened in a single day in jolly old . England
June 26 is a day of infamy in the
UK as it was the same
day the Beatles released their new album "A Hard Days Night" 49 years
ago and the same day UK
subject Elizabeth Taylor got her fifth
divorce from fellow
subject Richard Burton 39 years ago.
Here in the colonies it was the day Elvis Presley performed his final
concert in 1977. UK
Following are quotes from a number of stunned tennis reporters on the day of June 26 when darkness descended on the 2013 Wimbledon Championships.
By Martyn Herman
Reuters News Service
Second seed Victoria Azarenka, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and even Steve Darcis, man-of-the-moment after his opening day victory over Spaniard Rafa Nadal, were among the casualties as the medical bulletins piled up.
With title contenders dropping like flies, some before even striking a ball in anger, home favorite Andy Murray must be licking his lips after avoiding the scrapheap with an incident-free second round win over Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun.
By Douglas RobsonWIMBLEDON,
Today SportsWed Jun 26, 2013 4:58 PM USA
It started with a rash of withdrawals. It ended with a rash of upsets. By the time it was over, it felt like the tournament had slipped off its axis.
"The whole day ... has been bizarre," said the
All told, it produced one of the most extraordinary days in
Twelve seeds fell, including seven former No. 1s — none more shocking than defending champion Roger Federer.
Playing last on Centre Court, the seven-time Wimbledon winner lost in the second round to 116th-ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5), snapping his run of 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals that began here in 2004.
It was his worst defeat at a major since losing to No. 154 Mario Ancic in
"It's always a disappointment losing any match around the world, and particularly here," Federer said.
Federer had plenty of company. No. 2 Victoria Azarenka, No. 3 Maria Sharapova, No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 12 Ana Ivanovic joined him by failing to reach the third round.
The men lost No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 10 Marin Cilic and No. 18 John Isner, plus Hewitt. Together, players with a combined 26 major singles titles were sent packing.
Perhaps it was an omen when Isner, the top-seeded American, pulled up lame three points into the day's opening slate of matches. The nearly 6-10 player felt a sharp pain in his knee when he came down on his serve against Adrian Mannarino. A game later at 1-1, he was forced to quit.
"I just landed and something happened," added Isner, who speculated it might be a tendon tear. "Severe pain. I mean, it hurt."
Three hours into the day, five players had retired mid-match or pulled out, including Azarenka (bone bruise), Cilic (left knee), 2006 quarterfinalist Radek Stepanek (left hamstring) and Steve Darcis (right shoulder), who upset Rafael Nadal in the first round.
They were joined by two-time
"I tried, but no chance for me to beat a guy like this without my legs," said Tsonga, who was the seventh player to retire — the highest number on a single day at a Grand Slam event in Open era history, according to the International Tennis Federation.
AP - Associated Press
updated 4:55 p.m. ET June 26, 2013
The 27-year-old Ukrainian outplayed Federer on Centre Court, serving and volleying his way to a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5) victory that stands out as one of the biggest upsets in Grand Slam history.
"Magic," Stakhovsky said. "I couldn't play any better today."
The result capped a chaotic day at
Wimbledon when seven players
were forced out by injuries, and former champion Maria Sharapova fell in the
second round to a qualifier.
Federer's loss ended his record streak of reaching at least the quarterfinals at 36 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments, a run that began at
in 2004, shortly after a third-round exit at that year's French Open.
The owner of a record 17 major championships, Federer hadn't been beaten in the second round or earlier since a first-round defeat at the 2003 French Open.
Federer's shocking defeat was his earliest at the All England Club since a first-round loss in 2002 to No. 154-ranked Mario Ancic. Stakhovsky is the lowest-ranked player to beat Federer at any event since then.
Wednesday's defeat came on the same grass court Federer has made his own for nearly a decade.
The International Tennis Federation said the seven players forced out is believed to be the most in one day at any Grand Slam event in the 45 years of the Open era.
"I would say (it's a) very black day," Cilic said of the spate of injury withdrawals. "The other days, other weeks, there were no pullouts. Everything just happened today."
2013By Bill Connelly on Jun 26 2013, 3:41p
Stunning Day 3 ends with biggest surprise of all
Seven former No. 1s fell at
Of those six, only Sharapova was a true surprise. We could at least envision those losses taking place.
The last time Federer lost before the third round of a slam was at the 2003 French Open. He lost two tiebreakers and was swept by Luis Horna in the first round and responded with his first of 17 slam titles.
The carnage of this incredible Wednesday at