Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The 4 wheels and their performance at Wimbledon

When you look into the Wimbledon history, a few things grab your attention, like the fact that a top seed has never lost the opener at Wimbledon since the dawn of Open Era, but only once. A top seed has lost only once in each of 2nd and 3rd round of Wimbledon in the past 44 years. 2nd and 3rd seeds each twice dropped out in the opener since 1968. To find a 3rd seed who won the Wimbledon crown, you have to go all the way back to 1990.

Lleyton Hewitt is the only top seed since 1968 to date to have dropped the opener at Wimbledon. Hewitt was the defending champion when he set his foot onto the court in 2003 Wimbledon but was overwhelmed by the missiles fired by Ivo Karlovic. In bowing out to Karlovic, Hewitt also became the first defending champion since the beginning of Open Era to loose in the first round.

The only top seed to have dropped out of Wimbledon in the second round was Boris Becker who lost to Peter Doohan back in 1987 in 4 sets. Becker was the two time defending champion having won the trophy in 1985 and 1986.

Andrei Olhovskiy became the first and only player to date to have beaten a top seed in the 3rd round of Wimbledon when he took out Jim Courier, the then world no.1 in 4 sets.

Michael Stich, the 1991 Wimbledon champion, was the first player seeded 2nd to loose his opener at Wimbledon in 1994 when he was defeated by Bryan Shelton in straight sets. Marcelo Rios was the 2nd player, seeded 2nd at Wimbledon to drop his opener. He lost to Francisco Clavet in 5 sets in 1998.

In 1997 Goran Ivanesevic became the first player seeded 2nd at Wimbledon to drop out in the 2nd round. He lost to Magnus Norman in 5 sets. The final score being 62 26 76(4) 46 1412. Ivanesevic went on to win his only Wimbledon crown in 2001. Marat Safin is the only other player seeded second to loose in the second round of Wimbledon. He lost to Belgian Olivier Rochus 26 24 63 67(1).

Jimmy Connors and Andre Agassi are the only players seeded 3rd to have dropped out in the opener in Wimbledon since 1968. Connors was defeated by Robert Seguso in 1986 in the first round, while Agassi lost to Doug Flach in 1996 to mark the decade of Connors first round loss at Wimbledon.

Another thing that stands out is the fact that top 2 seeds have combined to win 30 of the last 44 championships, while the 3rd and 4th seed have won only 4 and 3 times respectively. What implication will it have on our current BIG 4???? Will it have any implication or will it not have any implication?

Federer, the winner of 6 Wimbledon crowns, is one of the 3 players who can win the top spot at the end of the Wimbledon this year, the other 2 players being Nadal and Djokovic. Federer is motivated to win a record equalling 7th Wimbledon title and to win the top spot as well to break Samprass's record of 286 weeks spent at the coveted no.1 ranking. But is motivation the only factor? Federer's cause won't be helped by the fact that he failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals of Wimbledon during the last 2 years and add the recent loss at the hands of Haas in the Halle final to this as well. Not to disappoint Federer fans, the last player seeded 3rd who went on to claim the Wimbledon trophy was Stefan Edgberg, who defeated the top seed Lendl in the semi-finals and second seed Becker in the final. Will Federer become the first man seeded 3rd to win Wimbledon since 1990?

Will we see an early exit by our top 4 seeds (Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray) or will it be one of them holding the trophy at the end of the fortnight? Only time will tell us.


  1. You can now add Nadal's 2nd round loss to the list of (un) Lucky Losers in early rounds of a title where they're seeded high and have won it before. You can also add him to the list of poor sports for his behavior complaining about Rosol while getting thumped by him....

  2. Agreed Charles! Nadal will definitely be included in this list! and yes he showed unsportsmanlike spirit, but as Rosol said afterwards that he had apologised as well, but it was very wrong way of intimidating his opponent.