Just two rounds have passed at Wimbledon, but already both the bracket and the tennis odds in general have been turned on their heads. What? No one expected Rafael Nadal to get ousted in straight sets in the opening match?
Coming off a victory at the French Open, Nadal had made a case for himself as an individual with as good a shot at winning the early summer event as any. Despite his promising ATP moneyline, however, he’ll be watching the rest of the tournament from the confines of his living room.
But Nadal isn’t the only high-profile athlete to be sent packing early this tournament. A plague of injuries and upsets have picked off tournament contenders like characters in an Agatha Christie novel.
In addition to Nadal’s elimination, the man who knocked him out — German Steve Darcis — will also resign from competition on account of a shoulder injury.
John Isner and Marin Cilic will also bow out early after suffering physical setbacks in the early days of the Wimbledon clash. Roger Federer also lost the chance to win a record eighth title at Wimbledon after his surprising second-round ouster.
These absences and disappointment only free up the path to victory for tennis juggernauts Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. They entered the event with the top odds of winning Wimbledon glory, and both looked strong in their opening matchups, giving truth to the prediction that the tournament will ultimately be in their hands.
However, tennis betting experts, and even oddsmakers for that matter, are approaching the rest of the tournament with caution. Whether it was the effects of a lingering knee injury — which Nadal has admirably refused to blame — or simply that anything can happen in a field as deep and talented as this one, there’s reason to be concerned.
Murray has struggled with injury himself. What’s more, Darvis — the No. 135-ranked tennis player in the world — was a reminder that injury can strike anyone in the Wimbledon bracket, regardless of seed or reputation.
Will the early dismissals end up impacting the final Wimbledon results? Murray likely breathed a sigh of relief when he found out he won’t be expected to line up against Nadal in a possible semifinal.
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