The thrills and spills of the first week
Originally published on: 30/06/13 00:00
With French Open champion Rafael Nadal crashing out in the first round and Maria Sharapova being ousted by Michelle Larcher de Brito, there were plenty of giantkilling results to pick from. But arguably one of the biggest upsets in history, let alone this week, was Sergiy Stakhovsky’s second-round victory over Roger Federer.
The seven-time Wimbledon champion was unceremoniously dumped out of his favourite competition by the serve-and-volley tactics of the Ukrainian world No.116. The fact that the unthinkable happened on Centre Court only added insult to injury.
“When you come here, on the cover of the Wimbledon book, is Roger Federer,” Stakhovsky said after his 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 7-5 7-6(5) victory. “You're playing the guy and then you're playing his legend, which is following him because he won it seven times. He's holding all possible career records here, I think, winning matches and everything. You're playing two of them.”
Loving the grass
It's fair to say Sabine Lisicki likes playing at Wimbledon. The scene of her breakthrough when she reached the quarter-finals back in 2009, she reached the semi-finals as a wildcard two years later after returning from an ankle injury. The German stormed through her opening two matches for the loss of just seven games before coming from a set down to beat Sam Stosur to book her place in the fourth round and a showdown with world No.1 and defending champion Serena Williams.
"I'm so pleased. It's my favourite court in the world and I love playing here," Lisicki said after her 4-6 6-2 6-1 win over Stosur. "Sam played a fantastic match so it was very tough but I'm glad to have the challenge, The crowd was super, so nice."
Grigor Dimitrov was tipped to go far at this year's Championships, but the Bulgarian followed girlfriend Maria Sharapova in making a second round exit with a five-set defeat to Grega Zemlja. After rain stopped play on Thursday with the match deep into the final set, there was high drama on Court No.3 on Friday morning as Dimitrov returned to court serving to stay in the Championships having already saved two match points.
With Zemlja leading 9-8 in the fifth set, Dimitrov lost his footing while serving at 30-30 only to walk towards his chair and refuse to play on, claiming the surface was too greasy. After a 15-minute delay, play finally resumed, with Dimitrov momentarily digging himself out of a hole before saving another two match points only for the Slovenian to wrap up a 3-6 7-6 3-6 6-4 11-9 victory.
Tweet of the week
After the madness of Wednesday, with seven players succumbing to injury and Sharapova and Federer the victims of upsets, tweet of the week goes to American Sloane Stephens, who was relieved not to be playing on “Wacky Wednesday”.
Shot of the week
Anyone who hadn’t heard of qualifier Dustin Brown before this week, probably has now. The charismatic German Jamaican, whose swashbuckling brand of tennis earned him more than just a few fans this week, produced some mesmerising tennis to see off former champion Lleyton Hewitt in the second round. The world No.189, who had played just one tour-level match this season, clinched the opening set with a stunning diving volley that compatriot Boris Becker would have been proud of.
Mathilde Johansson parted company with her racket but it did not stop her beating Timea Babos 4-6 6-1 6-3 in the opening round. Captured with impeccable timing by our photographer, this shot is crying out for a caption.