Chinese second seed Li Na and 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych crashed out of Wimbledon on Friday, joined by a fighting Lleyton Hewitt and five-time champion Venus Williams.
Australian Open champion Li lost 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) in the third round to Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, hot on the heels of her shock first-round exit at the French Open.
In eight Wimbledon appearances, the 32-year-old Li has never gone beyond the quarter-finals.
Berdych believes his third-round match against Marin Cilic should have been halted when it became so dark that the Hawk-Eye review system stopped functioning.
Berdych, the No.6 seed, went down 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-6 (8-6) loss in a match which ended at 9.40pm local time, the latest finish for a tie on an outside court in the tournament’s history.
But the sophisticated Hawk-Eye technology cannot function when it gets too dark and Berdych fumed over the decision to play on despite the unavailability of the system used by players to challenge calls.
“If I start the match on a court where we don’t have Hawk-Eye, it’s how it is since the beginning. But if somebody tells me that some machine doesn’t work just because of the light, and that we don’t have enough, so why we have to play?,” he asked.
“We can try to tell to the football guys that after 90 minutes they don’t have the video of the goalline technology because it (lasts just for) 90 minutes.”
Berdych believed he was on the wrong end of a series of calls which, had there been access to a challenge, would have been overturned.
Top seed Novak Djokovic made the last 16 after surviving a bad fall but there were no such problems for defending champion Andy Murray who breezed into the fourth round.
Djokovic recorded a 6-4 6-2 6-4 win over Frenchman Gilles Simon.
The 2011 champion needed a medical timeout after hurting his left shoulder in a spectacular diving attempt to reach a Simon drive in the third set.
But the Serb overcame the scare to set up a clash with French 14th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the quarter-finals.
“It was a sharp pain when I fell … The muscle was still quite sore because of the impact so, all in all, I’m just glad to get through,” the world number two said.
Tsonga made the last 16 by beating Jimmy Wang of Taiwan 6-2 6-2 7-5.
Murray eased to a 6-2 6-3 6-2 win over Spanish 27th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
He will face Kevin Anderson, the first South African man to reach the fourth round for 14 years, after he clinched a 4-6 6-4 2-6 6-2 6-1 victory over Italian 16th seed Fabio Fognini.
The 2014 Wimbledon campaigns are over for Venus Williams and 2002 winner Lleyton Hewitt.
The Australian played a record 42nd five-set grand slam match, going down in a delayed second-round tie to 2013 semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, 7-5 6-4 6-7 (7-9) 4-6 6-3.
In her 17th Wimbledon and 63rd grand slam, Williams lost 5-7 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 in the third round to 2011 champion Petra Kvitova.
Williams, a seven-time grand slam winner, has failed to reach the last 16 at a major since Wimbledon in 2011.
Bulgarian 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov won a marathon against Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 2-6 6-4 6-1 to make the last 16 for the first time.
Former women’s world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki reached the last 16 with a 6-3 6-0 win over Croatian 16-year-old Ana Konjuh.