<
>

No top-10 players in the women's quarterfinals? Not everyone surprised

play
Pliskova hits back at reporter's top-10 question (1:30)

No. 7 seed Karolina Pliskova refuses to answer a question on the Wimbledon women's quarterfinals not having a single top-10 seed after her loss to Kiki Bertens. (1:30)

WIMBLEDON -- "Manic Monday" lived up to its name this year, as No. 7 seed Karolina Pliskova, the last remaining top-10-seeded player, fell to Kiki Bertens in straight sets in the fourth round.

With Pliskova's elimination, this marks the first time in the Open era (since 1968) in which there won't be a top-10 seed in the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam. That's right -- it has never happened before, women or men.

We could speculate, or we could just go right to the ones who know best. Here's what some current, and a few former players, had to say:

Karolina Pliskova

No. 7 seed; eliminated in fourth round

The lone top-10 seed to make it to Wimbledon's second week had quite different answers when asked about the upsets on Friday, after her third-round win, and Monday, after her loss.

Friday: "Even though they are not seeded, I think all the players are pretty strong and playing very good tennis. They wouldn't be there without playing good level here.

"I think it's very open with this. Every tournament, there are some surprises that some seeded players are losing. I think there's always quite big pressure on the seeded players.

"It's tennis. Everything is possible. You can see, like, everybody is playing great tennis. Even today, I could lose. There's so many close matches. For me, it's important I'm in the draw still."

Monday: "I don't want to talk about this anymore. I answered this question, like, 10 times. I don't know why all the seeds are gone.

"Look, there are still players. I don't know if it's disappointing or not. It's not that there is [a] free [route] 'til the final. You still have to beat the players. There is [Angelique] Kerber, there is [Serena] Williams. I don't think the draw is open, for sure."

Julia Goerges

No. 13 seed; advanced to quarterfinals

"First of all, if we look back to the other Grand Slams in the last, maybe, one or two years, we've always got surprises on paper. I think it's been always pretty wide open who is going to come up on top at the end, who is going to advance to quarters, semis, whatever the stage will be.

"I think every single person deserves that spot here. It's not really surprising me.

"Honestly, for me, when I play those girls, it doesn't matter if it's top-10 or maybe the girls who are now in the quarterfinal, it's not a surprise for me. I can feel the ball. I can feel the game when I'm playing them. For me, everybody is dangerous."

Jelena Ostapenko

No. 12 seed; advanced to quarterfinals

"I think first rounds are very tough to play for seeded players because they have, like, more pressure probably because everybody wants to win first round, to stay in the tournament.

"Then, I think grass for some is a tricky surface. I really like to play on grass. I enjoy it so much. But for some players, I think it's not their best surface."

Dominika Cibulkova

Unseeded; advanced to quarterfinals

"Just sometimes it can happen. I think it's showing that all the girls, top 10, top 50, top 100, the tennis is really, really even. The girls are playing well. I think if you just relax for maybe a little bit, it's really close, all the matches.

"I think you have to play on a high level to win first rounds. I think it's happening also for the best players right now. I think that's why this is happening."

Camila Giorgi

Unseeded; advanced to quarterfinals

"There is no reason, no particular reason. I think we are just women, and that [can] happen. I mean, [it] is not a surprise."

Eugenie Bouchard

Unseeded; eliminated in second round; 2014 Wimbledon finalist

"The top 100, even 200, the difference in level is small. We've seen so many upsets here just in the past few days, so the margin is so small, it's very mental. It's almost like anyone can beat anyone on any given day."

Chrissie Evert

Three-time Wimbledon champion

"I think there are different answers. First, there are more upsets in this tournament specifically because you only have that three-week period, and if you're doing well in the French, it's even less. It's really a week and a half or two weeks. Every other Grand Slam, you have an eight-week season where you can get used to the surface.

"The grass is the polar opposite of both hard courts and clay court -- the footing is different, you don't move as well if you don't get the sure footing, the bounces are different, sometimes it's unpredictable, the court gets chewed up a bit. Power players benefit more here. With two Grand Slams so close together, you just don't get enough preparation to really feel comfortable as far as the movement on it.

"I think we're going to start seeing more upsets anyway because there's more depth. But even more than the depth, this surface is an equalizer. You get a power player, ranked No. 100 in the world, if they're hot, they can beat any player in the world here. Power really gives you such an advantage on grass. That's neutralized on other surfaces, but not here."

Martina Navratilova

Nine-time Wimbledon champion

A woman who knows a thing or two (or nine) about winning at the All England Club offered a far more controversial theory in an interview last week with Sports Illustrated:

"Too many things are done for these players today. They don't do anything for themselves except for hitting the ball. The coaches, the drivers, the physios. They motion, and someone brings them a towel. I saw a player hold out her arm and someone applied sunblock. They don't have to take responsibility.

"Then they get out there [in a Slam] and it's only them. And when the you-know-what hits the fan, and they have to make all these decisions -- what shot to hit, how to adjust -- they are not prepared."

John Isner

Men's No. 9 seed; advanced to the quarterfinals

"That's what is so cool about the women's game -- there's a lot of parity now with Serena having been gone for the better part of the last year and a half or so. Obviously, it's shocking seeing the top-10 seeds out, but if you think about it, that's how the game has been the last few years."