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Is This The Craziest Wimbledon Of Them All?

by Photo of Karly Redpath

With all of the mayhem of this year’s tournament, we look back at the top 5 Wimbledon upsets.

Is This The Craziest Wimbledon Of Them All?

In this article…

To say there have been a few surprises at Wimbledon this year would be an understatement. Some of the world's top players have been knocked out of the tournament before the quarterfinals by players ranked in the 100's.

The players remaining in both the men's and women's brackets have come as a surprise to many, but serve as a reminder that no one, no matter their rank, is safe from elimination.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Victoria Azarenka, Sara Errani, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber, Maria Kirilenko, Richard Gasquet and Marin Cilic were all ranked in the top 10 and have failed to make it to the quarterfinals, some resulting from upsets, others from injury.

The chaos began when No. 2 Rafael Nadal lost to Steve Darcis on day one, who was ranked 135th in the tournament. Coming off a French Open victory many expected Nadal to remain in the running for the 2013 Wimbledon title.

No. 3 Roger Federer followed shortly after falling short against 116th ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky. The 7-time Wimbledon champion's loss early on in this year's event marked the first time that Federer failed to reach the quarterfinals in 9 years. He was a favorite for the title again this year.

On the women's side, No. 3 Maria Sharapova was knocked out in the second round by No. 131 Lacher de Brito.

No. 23 ranked Sabine Lisicki of Germany knocked off No.1 Serena Williams in the fourth round on Monday. 

Lisicki's 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 victory was perhaps the most surprising news of all. Lisicki's victory over Williams is made even more shocking by Lisicki's current odds. As the New York Times reported: "Lisicki is now the favorite to win, with 3-to-1 odds. Her odds were 150 to 1 before the tournament began."

With William's elimination, the last American player remaining at Wimbledon was 20-year-old No. 17 Sloane Stephens. Stephens defeated 19-year-old Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 to move on to the quarterfinals but lost today to No. 15 Marion Bartoli.

Today, Lisicki quickly won her match 6-3, 6-3 over Kaia Kanepi to make it to the semifinals for the second time in 3 years. She will play No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, the highest ranked player remaining for the women, who won in a 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-1 match over No. 6 seed Li Na.

So does all of this make this the craziest Wimbledon ever?

The fact that Djokovic and Murray are still present in the men's bracket seems to be the only sign that our expectations haven't been completely destroyed.

Let's take a look back at the top five upsets from past Wimbedons.

5) No. 13 Maria Sharapova over No. 1 Serena Williams, 6-1, 6-4 (Finals, 2004)

We'll start off with one that didn't happen early because it's truly one of the best. In 2004, Maria Sharapova was an unfamiliar, lanky 17 year-old going up the experienced 2-time defending Wimbledon champion (2002, 2003), Serena Williams, who was the clear favorite. However Williams was obviously caught underestimating Sharapova who dished out one of Wimbledon’s most impressive final performances. She swept Williams in two sets, 6-1, 6-4, won her first Grand Slam title and proved that she was a force to be reckoned with.

4) George Bastl over No. 6 Pete Sampras, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4 (2nd Round, 2002)

Pete Sampras, a tennis great, was defeated by "journeyman" George Bastl (ranked 145th at the time) in the second round in 2002. The two played on the court known as the "Graveyard of Champions," where others like No. 1 seed Ilie Nastase lost to unseeded Alex Mayer in 1973; Tim Gullikson defeated John McEnroe in 1979; Kevin Curren beat defending champion Connors in 1983; Qualifier Doug Flach took out Andre Agassi in 1996; and Jill Craybas knocked off Serena Williams in 2005.

The match was not the best Sampras had played, but was shocking nonetheless. It concluded one of the strangest, most upset-filled days in Wimbledon history. Sampras joined his great rival Andre Agassi and No. 2 seed Marat Safin the victim of an upset all on the same day in 2002.

3) Jelena Dokic over No. 1 Martina Hingis, 6-2, 6-0 (1st Round, 1999)

16-year-old Dokic was virtually unknown in 1999 and was ranked No. 129. Hingis, was ranked No. 1 and had won five major titles, including the '97 Wimbledon. Although, Hingis' prior tournament appearances might have had some impact on her confidence level after she lost the Final of the French Open to Steffi Graf weeks earlier.

The most amazing aspect of the match between Hingis and Dokic, however, was the score. Hingis didn't even make it difficult for Dokic.

2) Lukas Rosol over No. 2 Rafael Nadal, 6-7 (9), 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 (2nd Round, 2012)

No. 100 ranked Lukas Rosol defeated the two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal who had won his seventh French Open Title not long before the tounament began. Nadal had reached the finals in Wimbledon for 5 consecutive years and his loss to Rosol in 2012 marked the earliest he had been eliminated in a Grand Slam title race since 2005.

Until No. 135 Steve Darcis knocked Nadal out in the first round at Wimbledon days ago, Rosol was the lowest ranked player to beat Nadal after he had won the French Open.

1) Ivo Karlovic over No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 6-4 (1st Round, 2003)

For only the second time in the history of Wimbledon, the number one overall male was knocked out of the race on the first day. No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt was defeated by 202nd-ranked Ivo Karlovic.

Karlovic's size (he's 6-foot-10) and fast serves were unable to be handled by Hewitt despite his speed. 2003 marked the inception of Roger Federer's five consecutive Wimbledon titles. He probably owed Karlovic a thank you for knocking off the number one seed on day one. 

This year's tournament has certainly been a surprising one. The event continues until July 7th.

Let CHARGED.fm get you set up with U.S. Open tickets this coming August and September!

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