LONDON, (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Serena Williams will head a cast of fresh-faced hopefuls today as Wimbledon heads into the second week which will be a Federer-free zone for the first time in 11 years.
A second week which had promised back-to-back blockbuster matches after Murray, seven-times champion Roger Federer and 2008 and 2010 winner Rafa Nadal had been thrown together in the same half of the draw, will instead have a distinctly unfamiliar look to it following an unforgettable week of shocks.
Gone are Federer, Nadal, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka – all former world number ones, all grand slam champions and who between them own 35 major trophies.
Instead, the second week line-up includes an array of characters who had turned up at the All England Club expecting to play a supporting role but have been thrust into the limelight of a last-16 appearance.
French duo Kenny de Schepper and Adrian Mannarino, Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz, Italy’s Karin Knapp and Puerto Rican Monica Puig are ranked outside the world’s top 20, have never won a main-tour title and had never previously reached the fourth round of a major.
Yet they all stand to pocket the biggest cheques of their lives – at least $159,000 – after a trail of destruction decimated the field at the grasscourt major.