Door opens wider for world no. 2 Angelique Kerber of Germany
In the latest stunning upset at the Olympic Tennis Centre, world no. 1 Serena Williams was eliminated from the women's singles tournament in straight sets by no. 15 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.
Williams, 34, entered the night with a 4-0 record against her 21-year-old opponent and made 37 unforced errors, including eight double-faults. Fiive of those came in one game.
The loss marks the end Williams' quest for Olympic gold at Rio 2016 since she and sister Venus Williams were knocked from the doubles tournament in a first-round stunner on 7 August.
With the elimination of the favourite — and the player who has sat atop the standings since February 2013 — the door is open for Germany's Angelique Kerber, the world no. 2 and Australian Open champion. Kerber plays Great Britain's Johanna Konta, ranked no. 10, in the quarter-finals tomorrow (10 August).
Serena Williams' early exit from the Olympic Games is just the latest in a remarkable string of upsets at Rio 2016.
Men's world no. 1 Novak Djokovic was eliminated by 2009 US Open winner Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina's on 7 August. Like Williams, the tennis star left centre court in tears.
A day later on 8 August, the Serbian with 12 Grand Slam titles was also beaten in the second round of men's doubles and said he will not play mixed doubles.
Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his brother Jamie bowed out of the double's tournament at the hands of Brazil's Andre Sa and Thomaz Bellucci. In single's action on 10 August, he plays Italy's Fabio Fognini in the third round.
Switzerland's Roger Federer backed out of Rio 2016 before travelling to Brazil, as did defending London 2012 men's doubles partners Bob and Mike Bryan.
Spain's Rafael Nadal has made it unscathed through the early rounds. He remains in the running in the men's singles and doubles tournaments as well as the mixed doubles, which he starts 10 August in the first round with Garbine Muguruza.