It must have been the shoe change that was forced upon him by Wimbledon officials that threw Roger Federer off his game. I’m obviously kidding, but here’s the thing about this major upset that is so unbelievable: Roger Federer didn’t play that badly. Sergiy Stakhovsky simply outplayed the great Roger Federer. Stakhovsky handed Federer a 2nd round loss Wednesday, adding to the already wild early rounds at this years Wimbledon. Earlier in the day, Maria Sharapova was ousted by Michelle Larcher De Brito (the 131st ranked player in the world). This was following a first round loss by Rafael Nadal as well. While Nadal and Sharapova losing this early in a Grand Slam is major news, the magnitude of Federer’s loss is difficult to comprehend. Let me attempt to put this loss into perspective. Wednesday’s loss broke his streak of 36 consecutive appearances in at least the quarter finals of a grand slam. Do you understand how insane that is? Not to mention that he won 16 of those grand slams in the process. That is absolutely insane!! Now, maybe you have a better grasp of how historic this loss was. On top of Federer’s decorated past, Stakhovsky (the 116th ranked player in the world) was 0 for 20 against top ten players in the world heading into this match. Welcome to the big stage fella. I doubt you’ll be able to handle it but good luck. Now listen up Mr. and Mrs. Casual Fan: This is not a red flag that should suggest the beginning of the end for Roger Federer. He simply was the second best player on the court on Wednesday.
Hello segue, and speaking of these courts, have you ever seen so many professional tennis players slip and fall during a match? I don’t know exactly why we are seeing a huge difference in the grass this year opposed to prior years. I do know that elite players in top physical shape are dropping like flies due to injuries. Is this somehow Wimbledon’s fault? That would be quite an accusation to make at tennis’ oldest and most prestigious Grand Slam now wouldn’t it? Yeah, I think I’ll toss that matzah ball out there (Seinfeld fans anywhere?). I’ve never seen so many players slip and fall and/or have to retire due to injury. The amount of upsets that have occurred so far this week is also unprecedented. It feels like we’re watching March Madness in June. Do the playing conditions have anything to do with the amount of major upsets taking place? I doubt it, but the playing conditions certainly need to be looked at and improved. As for the major upsets, I believe that there needed to be a longer break between the French Open and Wimbledon. This could have allowed injured players such as Rafael Nadal or John Isner to rest longer and be at full strength for the biggest tournament of the year. This extra rest wouldn’t have hurt Roger “old man river” Federer either (I kid the Federer, he’s my favorite player). But, a once deadly bracket filled with Federer, Nadal, and Andy Murray is now looking like a jigsaw puzzle that is missing pieces. At this rate I don’t see how Andy Murray doesn’t make it to the finals, but this tournament has been so crazy so far, who knows what to expect? You can watch the rest of this wild Wimbledon coverage on ESPN2 starting at 7 a.m. EST. Enjoy.
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