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Beyond the Baseline

Victoria Azarenka, Jo-Wilfried-Tsonga among seven to pull out on Day 3

Victoria Azarenka Victoria Azarenka injured her knee after falling in the first round. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

Seven players pulled out of their second-round matches at Wimbledon on Wednesday, including No. 2 seed Victoria Azarenka, No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and giant killer Steve Darcis. Here's a rundown of what another one of those players, Marin Cilic, called a "very black day" at the All England Club.

Withdrawals

Azarenka withdrew before her match against Flavia Pennetta. Azarenka injured her right knee after a nasty fall during her first-round victory against Maria Joao Koehler. Azarenka didn't sustain any structural damage to the knee, but she said she's unsure how long she'll be sidelined.

"Wimbledon is just a tournament I was looking so forward to," she said. "I love playing here. To not be able to kind of play just because of something with such a bad luck is very, very frustrating. I couldn't be more disappointed."

Azarenka was in the same half of the draw as Maria Sharapova, putting them in position to meet in the semifinals. Her withdrawal left No. 8 Petra Kvitova and No. 16 Jelena Jankovic as the top seeds in Azarenka's quarter.

Darcis, who stunned Rafael Nadal in the first round, withdrew from his match against Lukasz Kubot because of an injured right shoulder. Darcis said he hurt his shoulder when he fell during the first set against Nadal but didn't experience a lot of pain until after the match.

"I cannot serve," he said. "Even on the forehand side, I cannot hit a ball. It makes no sense to go on the court to withdraw after two games."

Darcis was understandably disappointed: "I think when you beat a guy like Rafa in the first round, you want to show more, you want to play more matches. I was playing maybe the best tennis in my life here."

Cilic, the 10th seed, withdrew with a left-knee injury, sending Kenny De Schepper into the third round.

• Kvitova got a walkover into the third round when Yaroslava Shvedova withdrew with an injured right arm.

Retirements

Tsonga retired after the third set of his match against Ernests Gulbis because of a left-knee injury. Gulbis led 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Tsonga, a semifinalist in 2011 and '12, could have played Andy Murray in the quarterfinals.

• No. 18 John Isner retired in the third game against Adrian Mannarino because of a left-knee injury. Isner said he felt a sharp pain after a serve on the third point of the match. Isner was in the same section of the draw as first-round upset victims Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka.

“I was the highest-seeded player [in that section] on a surface that I'm tough to beat on, given how well I can serve and how much I can hold serve,” he said. “That’s very disappointing. It's tough to think about. I had a good chance to go pretty far here.”

Radek Stepanek retired in the second set against Jerzy Janowicz because of an injured left hamstring. Janowicz led 6-2, 5-3.
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