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Caroline Wozniacki falls as Wimbledon upsets continue

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Five of the top eight women are out of Wimbledon with No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki‘s second-round loss amid a swarm of bugs Wednesday.

Wozniacki, the Australian Open champion, was upset by Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.

Wozniacki went out before the third round for the fourth time in seven years, after complaining to the chair umpire about the insects that invaded No. 1 court during the second set.

In the first three days, the following women’s top-10 seeds have lost:

No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki
No. 4 Sloane Stephens
No. 5 Elina Svitolina
No. 6 Caroline Garcia
No. 8 Petra Kvitova

WIMBLEDON: Full Scores | Men’s Draw | Women’s Draw

That leaves No. 1 Simona Halep, No. 3 Garbine Muguruza, No. 7 Karolina Pliskova, No. 9 Venus Williams and No. 10 Madison Keys alive from the top 10.

Williams and Pliskova each advanced to the third round on Wednesday and could meet in the fourth round. They are the only single-digit seeds left in the bottom half of the draw.

No. 25 seed Serena Williams, also in the bottom half, beat Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova 6-1, 6-4. She gets France’s Kiki Mladenovic in the third round with Keys potentially in the fourth round.

Also advancing was Roger Federer, who won 35 straight points on his serve in a 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 sweep of Lukas Lacko.

After serving out for the first set, Federer didn’t drop a single point on his serve in the second and kept that streak going until he was 30-0 up at 4-1 in the third — when Lacko finally sent a backhand winner down the line.

It was another dominant display by the eight-time champion, who lost just nine of 61 points on his serve in total and broke Lacko five times, including with a forehand winner to close out the match.

“On certain days it goes better than others,” Federer said. “Sometimes your serve matches up better against certain players.”

Williams was nearly as good, losing just five of 32 points on her first serve against Tomova. It was her 16th straight victory at Wimbledon, although she missed last year’s tournament while pregnant.

Wozniacki is still waiting to get past the round of 16 for the first time, despite fighting back from 5-1 down in the third set and saving four match points at 5-3. But she was broken again in the final game, becoming the fifth of the top eight women’s seeds to lose before the third round.

Five-time champion Venus Williams did better with her comeback attempt. The No. 9 seed, at 38 the oldest woman in the draw, came back to beat 141st-ranked qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 after dropping the first set for a second straight match.

In the first round, she started by conceding a tiebreaker against 58th-ranked Johanna Larsson before taking 12 of the last 15 games.

“Ideally it’s two sets,” Venus said. “If it’s not two sets, then go to Plan B.”

In the men’s draw, 13th-seeded Milos Raonic and No. 11 Sam Querrey also advanced in straight sets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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2022 Pan Pacific Championships canceled as swimming calendar shifts

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The Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, a quadrennial major international meet, will not be held in 2022 “out of respect for the recent changes to the international sporting calendar,” according to a press release.

The Pan Pacs’ charter nations — the U.S., Australia, Canada and Japan — agreed to the move. The 2026 event will be held in Canada, which was supposed to be the 2022 host.

The decision came after the 2021 World Championships were moved to May 2022, following the Tokyo Olympics moving from 2020 to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The quadrennial multi-sport Commonwealth Games — which includes Australia and Canada, but not the U.S. or Japan — are scheduled for July 27-Aug. 7, 2022.

“Organizing a third major championships in that window presented several challenges,” according to the Pan Pacs release.

Pan Pacs mark the third-biggest major international meet for U.S. swimmers, held in non-Olympic, non-world championships years.

MORE: Caeleb Dressel co-hosts a podcast. It’s not about swimming.

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Boston Marathon canceled for first time after 123 years; virtual event planned

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The Boston Marathon, held every year since 1897, has been canceled as an in-person event for the first time. It will be held as a virtual race instead due to the coronavirus.

“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for an historic 124th Boston Marathon,” Boston Athletic Association (BAA) CEO Tom Grilk said in a press release.

The world’s oldest annual marathon had been postponed from April 20 to Sept. 14, it was announced March 13.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he first considered canceling the postponed marathon during a coronavirus surge in April.

“We were maxed out in our hospital emergency rooms,” Walsh said Thursday. “I realized that the downside of the curve, which we were on, the backside of the curve, is going to be going for some time. The concern of a second surge made me have some real reservations about can we have the marathon or not.”

Walsh said experts said a potential second surge would be between August and October. He held out hope to hold the race until talking with the BAA last week.

All participants originally registered for Boston will be offered a full refund of their entry fee and have the opportunity to participate in the virtual alternative, which can be run between Sept. 7-14.

More details, including entry information, will be announced in the coming weeks.

It’s the biggest alteration to the Boston Marathon, which was inspired by the marathon’s debut at the first modern Olympics in 1896. Previously, the biggest change came in 1918, the last year of World War I. The marathon was still held on Patriots’ Day in April but as a 10-man military relay race.

The original 2020 Boston elite fields included two-time U.S. Olympian Des Linden, the 2018 Boston winner who was fourth at the Feb. 29 Olympic Trials, where the top three earned Olympic spots.

London is the world’s other major spring marathon. It was rescheduled from April 27 to Oct. 4. Its original fields for April were headlined by the two fastest men in history — Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele. It’s unknown if they will remain in the field, should London happen.

The fall major marathon schedule

Boston — Sept. 7-14 (virtual event)
Berlin — TBD (will not be held as planned on Sept. 27)
London — Oct. 4
Chicago — Oct. 11
New York City — Nov. 1

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results