WIMBLEDON, England—So, as they say, that happened. I’m talking about Wednesday, of course, variously known as Wimbleweird, Wimblegeddon, Wimbledone, and the more straightforward Day of Carnage. Before Wednesday, there was one version of this tournament; a very different one exists now.
To recap, these are the notable players who, in way or another—defeat, withdrawal, retirement—fell out of the draw that day: Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marin Cilic, John Isner, and Lleyton Hewitt. Of those 11 players, only Hewitt wasn’t seeded. Seven of them were former No. 1s.
Tennis fans aren’t used to this kind of thing anymore. In the current era of metronomic consistency at the top, Grand Slam tournaments aren't supposed to blow up like this. Though even by the old, more volatile standards, Wednesday was especially bizarre. But as both Nadal and Federer said after their defeats, life goes on, and so does Wimbledon.
First question: Who’s left? Second question: Who has been helped the most by this unexpected rearrangement of the landscape? Now that the second round in each draw is somewhere close to completion, here’s a review of where the men and women stand. You might even call it an updated preview of Wimbledon, the post-Wednesday edition.
We’ll see how this surprising story plays out. It could produce low drama, and low ratings, in the end; the women’s final, if there's no big name to oppose Serena, might be over in 20 minutes. But I like the idea of giving new, or at least different, faces a chance to reach for the Slam spotlight. Tennis was ready for a shake-up. Here's a look at how things stand in both draws.