WIMBLEDON, England – Yet another of the highest-ranked players on the men’s tour is out of the tournament at Wimbledon. Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal are not among them.
Casper Ruud, the runner-up to Nadal at this year’s French Open, became the seventh of the top 11-ranked male players to be out of the grass-court Grand Slam for either losing early, injury, illness or being banned.
Ruud, who was seeded third but ranked sixth, lost to Ugo Humbert of France 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 in the second round.
Djokovic, a six-time Wimbledon champion who is looking for his fourth straight title at the All England Club, beat Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the third round. Nadal advanced to the second round on Tuesday.
The third-ranked Djokovic, No. 4 Nadal, No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas and No. 7 Carlos Alcaraz are the only players in the top 11 remaining in the draw. Top-ranked Daniil Medvedev is out because of a ban on Russians over the war in Ukraine, No. 2 Alexander Zverev is injured, No. 8 Andrey Rublev of Russia is also banned, No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime and No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz lost, and No. 11 Matteo Berrettini withdrew after testing positive for COVID-19.
Djokovic hosted Boris Becker’s girlfriend and the three-time Wimbledon champion’s son in his box for the match. Becker, who previously coached the Serb, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in Britain for illicitly transferring large amounts of money and hiding assets after he was declared bankrupt.
“I’ve just been trying to give support to people around him, his closest people, his family members, because I consider Boris really a family member, someone that I greatly appreciate, respect, and care about,” Djokovic said. “We’ve been through a lot together during those three years of collaboration. Our relationship dates back even before that. Of course, after we finished our professional relationship, we always stayed close, him with my team, with my agents, with my family.
“He knows and they know that they can always count on me for whatever support or help I can provide.”
In the women’s tournament, three of the top 11 ranked players were eliminated on Wednesday.
Anett Kontaveit lost to Juke Niemeier of Germany 6-4, 6-0, while 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza was beaten by Greet Minnen 6-4, 6-0 and U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu lost to Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-3.
Kontaveit was seeded second at Wimbledon but is ranked third, while Muguruza was seeded ninth and ranked 10th, and Raducanu was seeded 10th and ranked 11th.
Kontaveit said she had COVID-19 in recent months and has struggled to get her energy back.
“I had it a couple, two months ago, I think, or something like that. Then I tried to come back very quickly. I started training. It was low intensity, but I was still training every day. I think that was where I went wrong,” the 26-year-old Estonian said. “Just thinking back at it, I probably should have given myself more time to recover.”
Among the winners were No. 6 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, who beat Tereza Martincova 7-6 (1), 7-5 in a match that started Tuesday, No. 8 Jessica Pegula of the United States, No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia and No. 15 Angelique Kerber of Germany.
Ruud was making his third appearance at the All England Club. His victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Monday was his first at the grass-court Grand Slam.
He became the first Norwegian player to reach a Grand Slam final when he made the championship match at Roland Garros, but he lost to Nadal in straight sets. He had withdrawn from the Australian Open with an ankle injury.
No. 9 Cam Norrie of Britain, No. 22 Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, No. 23 Frances Tiafoe of the United States, No. 25 Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia and No. 32 Oscar Otte of Germany all advanced to the third round.