WIMBLEDON, England – Legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri summed up Day 3 at the 127th Championships thusly: “This is easily the craziest day of tennis I have ever seen. And I have been doing this for 60 years,” he tweeted. Preach it, Nick.
Wednesday began with Victoria Azarenka’s withdrawal and ended with the departure of seven-time champion Roger Federer, who was handed his first loss before the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament since the 2004 French Open. In between, questions were raised about the condition of the courts; Maria Sharapova lost to a woman who actually makes more noise on court than she does; and the draws as a whole were decimated, with all seven former No. 1s on the schedule now gone. What in the world is in the SW19 water?
Here are some of our favorite photos from Wimbledon’s “Black Wednesday.”
Roger Federer: Losing in the second round of a Slam? It’s not very familiar territory for Federer. “Losing at Wimbledon always has been that way, will never change,” he said. “So just got to get over this one. Some haven’t hurt this much, that’s for sure.” (Anja Niedringhaus/AP)
Maria Sharapova: The Russian hit the deck three times in her surprising loss to Michelle Larcher de Brito. (Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Michelle Larcher de Brito: The 20-year-old qualifier from Portugal recorded her first top-10 victory. (Anja Niedringhaus/AP)
Andrea Petkovic and Sloane Stephens: The American avoided the upset bug, holding off Petkovic 7-6 (2), 2-6, 8-6. “The whole day, today has been bizarre,” Stephens said of all the action and drama around her. “I don’t know what’s going on.” (Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julien Benneteau: When you fall so badly that every ball kid on your court comes rushing to your aid, it’s a bad fall. Benneteau lost to Fernando Verdasco in straight sets. (Glynn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: The Frenchman retired against Ernests Gulbis, who led 3‑6, 6‑3, 6‑3. Tsonga has been battling a knee injury. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)
Benoit Paire: I’m not 100 percent convinced that Paire actually fell. For all we know, he might have gone down for a nap. He’s Benoit Paire. (And he’s into the third round, too.) (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Caroline Wozniacki: She slipped and injured her foot on the way to a straight-set loss to Petra Cetkovska. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)
Genie Bouchard: With Azarenka’s withdrawal, the 2012 junior Wimbledon champion’s match against Ana Ivanovic was quickly reshuffled to Centre Court. The 19-year-old dealt with the change in stride and knocked out the former No. 1 6-3, 6-3. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)
Dustin Brown: His exciting 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-2 win over Lleyton Hewitt would have been the story of the day if not for all the top seeds falling. (Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
John Isner: The American has still never made it past the second round of Wimbledon after retiring in the third game of his match against Adrian Mannarino because of a knee injury. (Adrian Dennia/AFP/Getty Images)
Andy Murray: The 2012 finalist cruised past Rendy Lu and then saw the other big name in his half of the draw, Federer, ousted. The next highest seed in his half now? No. 15 Nicolas Almagro. (Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)