Second week into Wimbledon, the third grand slam of the year, and some big names have already bitten the dust. While the men`s singles sees no Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Stanislas Wawrinka or David Ferrer; the Women`s singles doesn`t have any big names left either. Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Li Na, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanka all have been shown the door.
An amazing outcome of the event has been the rise of new stars. With the tennis fraternity already witnessing unexpected turn of events, the possibility of seeing altogether new champions cannot be ruled out, though the few top seeds left can definitely turn the tide their way, anytime.
It`s interesting to note that nowadays the grand slams discussions are not merely confined to the Big Four, for each year a new star is born, though with the kind of dominance Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Murray have created, it is definitely not an easy task to walk past them.
A look at the men`s singles gives us the four semi-finalists in form of seven-time champion Roger Federer, World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and Canadian Milos Raonic.
Of the four names above, the rising star of the pack would definitely be the Bulgarian Bull Grigor Dimitrov, who thrashed Andy Murray`s hope of a successful title defence in the quarter-finals. He eased past the defending champion in three sets earning a well deserved place in the semi-finals. Nicknamed `Baby Federer`, he now faces World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who was made to work hard by Croatian Marin Cilic in the quarters. Dimitrov has it in him to cause another upset, as he has already once defeated the Serb at the ATP Masters in Madrid in 2013. High on confidence after defeating Murray, it would be no surprise if we see the youngster in the final.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic would love to end his title drought with a second Wimbledon title.
Another big name to bite the dust was World No. 1 Rafael Nadal. It seems the reigning French Open champion is yet to overcome his grass court woes. The clay king has had shocking exits at Wimbledon for last three years in a row now. He was handed his defeat by unseeded Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios who became the first man in ten years to reach the last eight on his grand slam debut. Though Milos Raonic`s 39 aces cost the teenager his place in the semi-final, it was still a dream run for the Australian.
Milos Raonic, after the win over Nick, has become the first Canadian man to reach the semi-final of a Major in the Open era. He now will meet Roger Federer in the semi-final. Meanwhile, Federer, defeated the reigning Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in an all-Swiss quarter final clash.
So, the men singles trophy now waits for its owner, amongst two youngsters and two veterans!
The women`s tour this year has been definitely on a high. The four semi-finalists - Petra Kvitova, Lucie Safarova, Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard – have all had a magical run at London so far.
2011 Wimbledon champion, Czech Petra Kvitova will face compatriot Lucie Safarova in the semis, who is yet to win a major - rather it`s Safarova`s first grand slam semi-final appearance.
Canadian Eugenie Bouchard has had a dream run this year as she has reached the semi-finals of all the three grand slams this year! She also moves to the top ten ranking after defeating Sharapova`s slayer Germany`s Angelique Kerber.
Romanian Simona Halep handed a crushing defeat to former finalist Sabine Lisicki to reach her first Wimbledon semi-final. The World No. 3 is proving to be lethal after her final appearance in the French Open last month which she lost to experienced Maria Sharapova .
Of the four, Kvitova has the edge as she is a former champion. She has the nerves needed for a big stage, and in all possibilities, she could be a finalist, though it will be exciting to see a new champion lift the coveted Venus Rosewater dish.
Come weekend and the fans could get to see some high quality tennis and possibly, the crowning of new Wimbledon champions.