Rafael Nadal of Spain entered Wimbledon 2013 with great confidence after winning his record-setting eighth French Open title at Roland Garros, having defeated top-seeded Novak Djokovic in a grind-out five-setter in the semifinals. Nadal suffered from a partially torn patellar tendon during the middle of 2012, which caused him to withdraw from the 2012 London Olympic Games and stay sidelined for nearly a year after his second round loss at Wimbledon 2012. Despite this long hiatus, Nadal returned and displayed a championship performance during this year’s French Open. However, the fifth-seeded Nadal did not have as much luck last week during his Wimbledon first round match against Belgian Steve Darcis, who is currently ranked 135th in the world. Darcis upset Nadal in a tight three sets (7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4) to advance to the second round.
Swiss sensation and defending Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, who sports the most Grand Slams in tennis history with 17, including seven Wimbledon titles, breezed through his first round match against Romanian Victor Hanescu in straight sets (6-3, 6-2, 6-0), putting away 32 winners compared to Hanescu’s 14. However, Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky defeated third-seeded Federer in the second round in a four set battle (6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5)). Although Federer did not commit too many unforced errors (13), Stakhovsky pressured him with an aggressive 72 winners to take the match and advance to the third round.
The early exits of Federer and Nadal have opened up the draw for the participants of the 2012 Wimbledon Finals: top-seeded Novak Djokovic and second-seeded Andy Murray. These two tennis superstars have had no major problems advancing to the Round of 16. Having won only the U.S. Open out of the four Grand Slams so far, Murray hopes to win his first ever Wimbledon in front of his British supporters, while Djokovic seeks his second Wimbledon and seventh Grand Slam overall. However, players like fourth-seeded David Ferrer and seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych stand in the way of a repeat Djokovic-Murray final.
In light of the unpredictable nature of the first week of Wimbledon, it is difficult to tell what may unfold in the second week. What can be said, however, is that Wimbledon is underway, and some of the best tennis is yet to come.