Rafael Nadal, fresh off his historic eighth French Open victory, lost to the 135th-ranked player in the first round at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer, who has won Wimbledon a stunning seven times, lost to the world's 116th-ranked player, ending a string of 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals appearances.
Maria Sharapova, after a series of nasty spills, lost to a 20-year-old ranked 128 spots below her. On top of that, seven players, including No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, were forced to leave the tournament because of injury — a single-day record for a Grand Slam.
Now that three of the world's most popular players are gone, who should the casual tennis fan root for?
The top-ranked players in the world, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, are both still in it. If you're not into cheering for the favorites, maybe you should try:
Who can forget Murray's teary speech after losing the Wimbledon final to Federer in 2012? This year, with Nadal and Federer gone, the number one-ranked player in the U.K. could finally celebrate a Grand Slam win in front of his home crowd — the first Brit to do so since Fred Perry in 1936.
An old-timer in the tennis world, the 35-year-old Haas has made something of a comeback this year, climbing up to 13 in the rankings. The German-born player has been to Wimbledon 14 times — with zero wins to show for it. Haas beat Djokovic in March, a sign that he might not be overmatched if he makes it deep into the tournament. One person who will be rooting for him: Federer, who gave him a ride to Wimbledon on his private jet earlier in the week.
Laura Robson and Eugenie Bouchard
Why list the two 19-year-olds together? Because they're best friends, posing with each other on Twitter and even creating a globe-trotting Gangnam Style video together (below). They also pulled a pair of epic upsets: Robson, from the U.K., beat 10th-seeded Maria Kirilenko, while the Canadian Bouchard took out 12th-seeded Ana Ivanovic. The last teenager to win Wimbledon was Martina Hingis 16 years ago.
At 42 years old, Kimiko Date-Krumm is the oldest woman ever to reach the third round of Wimbledon. How impressive is she? The Japanese veteran initially retired in 1996 — one year after her first-round opponent, Carina Witthoeft, was born. Back in pro tennis since 2008, Date-Krumm will have to face Serena Williams next, a high-profile match that harks back to her Wimbledon showdown with Stefi Graf 17 years ago.
(Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- You should be furious about Hollywood's gutless retreat on The Interview
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Capitalism isn't a cure-all for Cuba
- Why Obama was right to give Cuba a 'full bailout'
Subscribe to the Week