Big-name casualties blow Wimbledon draws wide open

World Number 1 Novak Djokovic’s shock loss to American Sam Querrey overnight meant he was the second big casualty in the men’s draw in as many days. A day after the departure of number 4 seed Stan Wawrinka, the defending champion and heavy favourite made a shock exit, blowing the men’s draw wide open.

Djokovic joined Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem, David Ferrer and Gael Monfils amongst others as big-name seeds to have booked an early ticket out of London. Djokovic’s exit in particular provides a big opportunity for Roger Federer who sits in the same half of the draw. Federer now becomes the highest seeded player in the top half of the draw and now appears to have a much easier run to the final. Despite being in the twilight of his career, Federer has still matched it with the top players over the past few seasons. It’s Novak Djokovic who has proven to be his greatest nemesis of late, however his early exit arguable gives Federer his best ever chance of capturing an 18th grand slam title.

Milos Raonic, who was on track to face Djokovic in the quarter-finals, has also had his chances given a massive boost and the top half of the draw could well come down to a semi-final clash with him and Federer. Raonic has the game to match it with anyone on his day, and the exit of 2 big seeds does no harm to his Wimbledon campaign.

Andy Murray has now become the tournament favourite with the bookies and with the exit of Wawrinka, seemingly has a decent run to the final. The pressure will be well and truly on Murray as a result of Djokovic’s exit given the expectations of his home fans. Murray won singles title in 2013 and now has perhaps his best chance of repeating this feat.

The early departure of some of these top seeds also opens the door for a new breed of challengers including Nick Kyrgios, Alexander Zverev and Bernard Tomic. And despite having been around for a number of years, Sam Querrey also can’t be discounted from this group given his performance against Djokovic.

In the women’s draw, number 2 seed and recent French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza was a big second round casualty. Muguruza was comprehensively defeated by Slovakian Jana Čepelová in straight sets. Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová was also knocked out overnight and joins Muguruza on the sidelines much earlier than anticipated.

Muguruza’s exit opens up the bottom half of the draw for the likes of Venus Williams, Madison Keys, Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep. The top half of the draw remains tight despite the exit of Kvitová. Serena Williams will potentially be fighting it out for a spot in the final with the likes of Sloane Stephens, Agnieszka Radwańska and grass-court specialist Coco Vandeweghe.

Wimbledon has thrown up some remarkable results this year and there are a handful of players in both draws who in my mind can take out the title. The inclement weather has perhaps made the courts play slightly quicker than usual, catching some of the big names off guard. I suspect there will be some more shock results to come and it will make for a fascinating second week in both draws.


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