It’s been well documented since Karolina Pliskova was eliminated on Manic Monday at Wimbledon that all of the top-10 seeds have fallen before the quarter-final stage in the women’s draw.
That’s quite a startling statistic.
How can so many top quality players all have lost in the first four rounds of a Grand Slam? Is this just a coincidence? Has this ever happened before?
After much research, the answer to that final question is no. This is an unprecedented situation for women’s tennis.
And then there were NONE.
With No. 7 Karolina Pliskova’s 6-3, 7-6 loss to No. 20 Kiki Bertens, there are now zero top-10 seeds left on the women’s side.
Not one reached the quarterfinal. pic.twitter.com/u7HfBMwcua
— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) July 9, 2018
Although in recent years there has been a decline in the number of top eight players reaching the final eight in a major tournament, there has always been at least a couple gracing us with their presence. And yes, one of them is usually called Serena Williams.
Which brings us to a minor caveat: Williams is there again this year, albeit seeded 25th rather than first as she has been in many tournaments.
While some will argue that she is a top-10 player only seeded lower because of some time away from the sport, just remember that she did this because she was pregnant. And has come back to reach a quarter-final at Wimbledon. Just 10 months after giving birth.
That is by far a more ridiculously impressive achievement than any random player seeded 25th making it to a quarter-final.
We’ve been close to having no top-10 players in a quarter-final quite recently.
The 2017 US Open saw only top seed Pliskova and number nine seed Venus Williams make it that far.
Pliskova failed to reach the semis, losing to CoCo Vandeweghe, while Williams was beaten in the final four by eventual champion Sloane Stephens, who became only the second unseeded player to win the US Open in the Open Era after Kim Clijsters in 2009.
So, what about quarter-final line-ups consisting the top-10 seeds? Does this ever happen?
Yes, it does. Occasionally.
At Wimbledon, the last time it happened was in 1979 when the seedings accurately reflected the outcome of the final three rounds of the tournament.
Martina Natravilova, the number one seed, beat Chris Evert, the number two seed, in the final. Both players beat the number four and three seeds, respectively. And all four of semi-finalists beat players seeded between five and eight in the quarter-finals.
There’s something weirdly pleasing about that.
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