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Wimbledon Diary - Black Wednesday

Wimbledon, England

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer's loss completed a black Wednesday at SW19.

ATPWorldTour.com takes a look at the news and talking points at Wimbledon on the first Wednesday.

Black Wednesday
Marin Cilic called it a “very black day”. Andy Roddick tweeted, “What the hell is going on at Wimbledon?  #carnage”, and sent a follow-up after seven-time champion Roger Federer’s shocking loss to Sergiy Stakhovsky, “Of course :)”.

Seven former World No. 1s bowed out of the second round Wednesday. In addition to the defeats of former champions Federer and Lleyton Hewitt on the men’s side, the women’s draw lost Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic and Victoria Azarenka. 

Azarenka’s withdrawal was one of seven retirements and walkovers - the most on a single day at a Grand Slam tournament in the Open Era. John Isner’s retirement with a knee injury just two games into his match began the exodus. Over a 90-minute period, Steve Darcis, Azarenka, Radek Stepanek and Cilic also withdrew or retired, followed later in the afternoon by Yaroslava Shvedova and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Tsonga, who retired down two sets to one with a left knee injury, offered this explanation for the rash of injuries: “There is nothing about this court. They’re great… For myself, the weather is not that good to play tennis because it's cold outside, and it's humid.  And I think for all the joints, it's not really good.”

End Of An Era? 
On this day in 2002, 145th-ranked Swiss George Bastl knocked out seven-time champion Pete Sampras in the second round of Wimbledon. It was the American legend’s last match at SW19, though he would go on to win the US Open a couple months later before stepping quietly into retirement.

Following the exits of both Federer and Rafael Nadal by Day 3 of The Championships - marking the first time since 2003 that neither player will feature in the final - Patrick McEnroe joined many others in posing the question, “Era over?” Federer dismissed the notion. “I still have plans to play for many more years to come,” he said. 

The upsets prompted their peers, including Andy Murray, to appreciate their dominance over the past decade. 

“The consistency has been something that tennis I don't think's really seen before,” said the British No. 1 “I don't think that was because of the depth of the men's game or there not being depth in the men's game.  I just think the consistency of playing at a high level from the top players has been incredible.

“But that is not going to last forever. When guys have slight dips in form, some of the younger guys start to improve and raise their level, then that's going to be tough to maintain for a long period. There's been a lot of depth in the men's game for a long time. I think it's just now the results are starting to show that.”

Reigning Wimbledon doubles champion Jonathan Marray and partner Colin Fleming also shared their thoughts on the shock results:

Soles A’Fire
Federer was ordered to change his footwear after All England Club officials vetoed his orange soles, which he wore in his first-round match against Victor Hanescu.

The All England Club confirmed that Federer was one of a number of players whose footwear from the opening two days of the championship had been banned. A spokeswoman said, “Players at Wimbledon must be dressed almost entirely in white.”

Players are encouraged to submit their proposed apparel to the All England Club for approval prior to the championship, but it is understood those who do often neglect to provide their trainers.

The Long And The Short
In 2010, Isner played the longest match in Wimbledon history, prevailing against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut after 183 games. On Wednesday, he played one of the shortest, lasting just two games against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino after injuring his knee while serving in the third point of the match.

“I always serve and land on my left leg, like I have done 20 million times playing this game, and this is the first time I just felt this sharp pain,” he said. “It just grabbed like really badly, and I knew I was in serious trouble then. I knew at that point it was not likely I was going to be able to play.”

Tweet Of The Day
German Dustin Brown, a self-proclaimed social media aficionado, was busy retweeting Tweets from his growing fan base following his win over Hewitt. According to one, Brown gained 13,000 followers in one day. He made this Tweet immediately after his victory:

Quote Of The Day
After producing the upset of the tournament, Stakhovsky was asked what he’d tell his grandkids about what he accomplished on one summer day in 2013. “Right now I can definitely tell my grandkids, I kicked the butt of Roger Federer,” he said with a smile.

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