WIMBLEDON, England — Good thing Wimbledon schedules its middle Sunday as a day off. This year, that gave everyone a chance to catch their breath after an eventful Week 1.
As action resumes today with all 16 men's and women's fourth-round matches, what could Week 2 have that would equal the first six days?
First, there was two-time champion Rafael Nadal's loss in the second round. Then Roger Federer, owner of six titles at the All England Club, had to rally from two sets down. Five-time champion Venus Williams was ousted on Day 1, and her sister, four-time champion Serena, needed a tournament-record 23 aces to escape the third round.
And Serena's next opponent, Yaroslava Shvedova, did something no other woman had ever done in the Open era: a perfect set, winning all 24 points.
"Hopefully I'll be able to win a point in the set," Williams quipped. "That will be my first goal, and then I'll go from there."
Today, the focus of millions of local fans will get more intense, the expectation being that Brit and No. 4 seed Andy Murray, who has lost in the semifinals each of the past three years, should benefit most from Nadal's exit. Murray plays 16th-seeded Marin Cilic, and no other player in that part of the draw has reached a Wimbledon final.
"It will be important for me to try to get off to a good start in the match against him," said Murray, who is 5-1 against Cilic. "If you are feeling a little bit tired and you go behind, it can be tough to come back."
Brian Baker, who wasn't ranked a year ago because he was forced off tour for more than half a decade by a series of operations, is trying to become the third American qualifier to reach the men's quarterfinals at Wimbledon, joining John McEnroe (1977) and Paul Annacone (1984).
On the top half, No. 1 Novak Djokovic, seeking to win his fifth title in the past seven majors, and Federer, aiming for a record-tying seventh Wimbledon title, are on course for a semifinal clash. Only Djokovic and Federer have won majors; none of the other six has made a Grand Slam final.
On the women's side, top-seeded Maria Sharapova is trying to become the first woman to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year since Serena Williams did it in 2002. And No. 8 Angelique Kerber faces four-time major champion Kim Clijsters, who is making her last Wimbledon appearance.
"Everyone is playing everyone tough nowadays," Serena said. "You can't underestimate anyone."