Wimbledon thrown into chaos after 'horrible' news about Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka

Tennis fans can't believe the brutal fallout at Wimbledon on the first day.

The tennis world has been rocked after Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka withdrew from Wimbledon before the start of play on Monday, which has blown the draw wide open. Sabalenka was looking to reach her maiden Wimbledon final this year after finding out she had a favourable draw heading into the grass court tournament.

However, the two-time Australian Open champion left fans shattered after withdrawing from SW19 due to a recent shoulder injury she sustained only a week out from the tournament. Last week, Sabalenka retired injured in the first set of her clash against Anna Kalinskaya at the Berlin Ladies Open because of her shoulder.

Aryna Sabalenka reacts and Victoria Azarenka walks off court.
The Wimbledon draw has been blown wide open after Aryna Sabalenka (pictured left) and Victoria Azarenka (pictured right) withdrew only moments before the start of the tournament. (Getty Images)

Sabalenka was heading into Wimbledon as a firm favourite having made the semi-final in her last two appearances. Her side of the draw also featured only two opponents who had reached the semi-final stage of Wimbledon in the past.

These two were Azarenka and Karolina Pliskova. This had many believing Sabalenka would make another deep run and potentially reach a maiden final at SW19. Unfortunately for the Belarusian, she withdrew from her match against Emina Bektas and was replaced by a lucky loser.

The No.3 seed admitted she was 'heartbroken' at the development. "The most annoying thing is that I can do anything. I can practice; I can hit my groundstrokes. I'm struggling with serving. That's really annoying. You don't feel like you're injured," Sabalenka said.

"If you give me some weights, I'm going to go lift some weights. But if you tell me to serve, I'm going to go through pain. We did an MRI, we did everything. We did a lot of rehab, a lot of treatments and everything."

To add to the drama ahead of the first day, Azarenka also withdrew because of a shoulder injury. Only Sabalenka, Pliskova and Azarenka had ever reached a semi-final on their side of the draw. Sabalenka and Azarenka withdrew before their opening matches and Pliskova was eliminated in her first round match against Diana Shnaider.

This guarantees there will be two new semi-finalists on the bottom side of the draw. It's also a big blow for Azarenka and Pliskova who are both towards the backend of their career.

Fans reacted with shock to the withdrawals. Coco Gauff is now the highest ranked player on the bottom side of the draw and will fancy her chances of reaching her first ever Wimbledon final. Qinwen Zhang was the third highest-seeded player in the second half of the draw, but lost her opening match to New Zealand ace Lulu Sun. Fans couldn't quite believe just how open the women's draw was after the chaos.

Sabalenka sent shockwaves through the tournament on Saturday after she said her hopes of playing were starting to dwindle with her shoulder injury. "But I still have my hopes. As someone who been fighting through a lot of different pains in the past months, I still have my hopes," she said before the tournament.

Victoria Azarenka reacting.
Victoria Azarenka (pictured) also withdrew from Wimbledon.

Three Aussies advanced on Day One of Wimbledon in a successful start to their campaigns. Daria Saville looked in strong form to start her charge at SW19 having defeated American Peyton Stearns in straight sets. The Aussie set-up a clash with Ukraine star Maria Kostyuk.

In big news, Sydneysider Aleksandar Vukic took down Austria's Sebastian Ofner in just under four hours to reach the second round. He will meet reigning champion and World No.3 Carlos Alcaraz. Fellow Aussie Jordan Thompson came from behind to win a five-set thriller to also advance and make it three from three for Australia.

Daria Saville celebrates.
Daria Saville (pictured) advanced to the second round of Wimbledon.