Wimbledon lessons in 100 sentences


LONDON -- Well that was one humdinger of a fortnight, was it not? The top seeds were gone before business had really begun and some low seeds hung around a lot longer than we thought. It is what it is. Nonetheless, each major is its own nasty bird, and this year's Wimbledon Championships were no different.

From  Novak Djokovic's heart-pounding win to the bizarre chain of events in the Serena Williams doubles fallout, these two weeks told us a lot about the state of today's tennis game -- for better or for worse.

But perhaps the most interesting manifestation from all the madness came via all the crushing serves that were a real chore to break. So much so that the first set of the fourth-round tilt between Stan Wawrinka and Feliciano Lopez produced the 100th tiebreaker of the tournament. Amazingly, this is the first time in the history of Grand Slam play that that number has been hit.

Sticking with the centennial theme, here are the top 100 storylines from this year's event in ... 100 sentences:

1. A tough start for 2011 US Open winner Slammin' Sammy Stosur, who was bounced in her opening match.

2. At least another former major champion, Victoria Azarenka, won a match before losing in the second round.

3. As did  Ernests Gulbis, who fell in his second match after a swift run to the French Open semis.

4. A bad day for Gulbis, but on the bright side, he now has a lot less money to gamble away.

5. Although, to be fair to Gulbis, he said his gambling allegations were "b-------" and that we the media "can write that."

6. Done -- just like Sloane Stephens, who was schooled by Maria Kirilenko in the first round.

7. Speaking of school, Samantha Murray, the only women in the field who had any college experience, was waxed by Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-0 also in the first round.

8. But at least Murray left the tournament in good spirits, unlike eccentric Frenchman Benoit Paire.

9. After losing his opener, Paire said, "Simply, I hate Wimbledon, and I'm glad to leave as soon as possible."

10. Also losing in the first round was former French Open champ Francesca Schiavone, an Italian who dropped a tight two-setter to Ana Ivanovic.

11. But the Italian who made the most noise was firecracker Fabio Fognini, who was fined $27,500 for knucklehead behavior.

12. And then there was Bernard Tomic, also one of the wayward boys of tennis and a quarterfinalist here three years ago, who was booted out of Wimbledon in the second round.

13. For his efforts, Tomic will drop out of the top 100 when the ATP rankings are released Monday.

14. Tomic, still only 21 years old, at least has plenty of good years left in this game.

15. Unlike 37-year-old Jamie Delgado, who competed in his record 23rd consecutive Wimbledon Championships.

16. More impressively, Delgado didn't just play doubles with partner Gilles Muller -- he coached the Luxembourgish player too.

17. But Muller ran into Roger Federer in the second round, and that was the end of that dream.

18. With his run to the final, Federer has now ended the dreams of no fewer than 61 different players in his 16 years at the All England Club.

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