Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic each spent less than an hour on court before they were gifted passages into the second round of Wimbledon, while Feliciano Lopez was among four men to withdraw due to injury.
Federer made history on day two of the 2017 tournament, becoming the first man to win 85 singles matches at the All England Club in the Open Era, but not in the manner an expectant Centre Court crowd were hoping for.
The 18-time grand slam champion was 6-3 6-0 up when Alexandr Dolgopolov retired due to an ankle injury soon after a sore leg promoted Martin Klizan to shakes hands with Djokovic at 6-2 2-0 down on the main show court.
Spectators were not impressed with seeing such little action from two sporting greats.
Those who watched Bernard Tomic might also have felt cheated when listening to the Australian later saying he was "bored" of tennis following his loss to Mischa Zverev out on Court 14.
Lopez had the potential for a good run at SW19 after winning the Aegon Championships, but the 19th seed retired due to a problem with his left leg when trailing Adrian Mannarino by two sets to one and 4-3 down in the fourth, while Janko Tipsarevic also pulled out due to injury.
Last year's runner-up Milos Raonic, as well as Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Tomas Berdych and Grigor Dimitrov were among the seeds to win on Tuesday, but Richard Gasquet was beaten by David Ferrer.
DAMP SQUIB AS GREATS ARE CUT SHORT ON CENTRE COURT
The prospect of seeing Djokovic and Federer back-to-back would have had the thousands in possession of Centre Court tickets licking their lips, but they were ultimately left feeling short-changed.
Federer, making his 19th consecutive appearance at Wimbledon, had been tied with Jimmy Connors on 84 victories in the grass-court major and although he was able to break new ground, it was not in the manner he would have wished for.
The Swiss great also become only the third man to serve 10,000 career aces in a match which lasted only 43 minutes and he will now face the 79-ranked Dusan Lajovic.
Djokovic was on court three minutes less than Federer and can now look forward to taking on world number 136 Adam Pavlasek.
LOPEZ BROUGHT BACK DOWN TO EARTH
Lopez was on a high after his maiden victory at Queen's Club, but the experienced Spaniard endured very different emotions just over a week later.
The 35-year-old said he was forced to admit defeat in his clash with Frenchman Mannarino late in the day after battling it out for two and a quarter hours.
He explained: "I started feeling the pain, the foot, in the left foot, [at the] beginning of the first set. I thought it was going to be okay after a few games, but it was getting worse and worse, and then I was trying.
"I took a pill, but [it] didn't work. Did the treatment, as well, with the trainer. Didn't work, either. I don't know. [I] was just trying to hang in there. But by the end of the match, I realised that being like this on the court doesn't really [make it] worth it to keep playing."
'BORED' TOMIC ADDS INSULT TO INJURY
While there was sympathy for the players bowing out due to injury so early in the tournament, the same could not be said for Tomic.
The Australian went down 6-4 6-3 6-4 and said he would rather have not been at one of the biggest sporting events on the planet after falling at the first hurdle in just 84 minutes.
"It was definitely a mental issue out there," he said. "I felt a little bit bored to be completely honest with you. It's tough, you know. I'm 24. I have... came on tour at 16, 17. I have been around and feels like I'm super old, but I'm not. I'm still 24, and it was tough to find motivation out there."
He added: "I'm happy with my life. It's my choice. I know I have to work hard. For sure I don't do the right work. But I feel holding a trophy or doing well doesn't satisfy me anymore. It's not there. I couldn't care less if I make a fourth round [of the] US Open or I lose first round. To me, everything is the same. I'm going to play another 10 years, and I know after my career I won't have to work again."
SEEDS SAIL THROUGH, BUT FERRER ACCOUNTS FOR GASQUET
Gasquet reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the second time two years ago, but Ferrer consigned the Frenchman to a 6-3 6-4 5-7 6-2 loss on day two.
Sixth seed Raonic had no such trouble, seeing off Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets, while the promising Alexander Zverev only needed three sets to defeat Evgeny Donskoy.
Thiem breezed past Vasek Pospisil 6-4 6-4 6-3 and 11th seed Berdych took four sets to oust Jeremy Chardy. Dimitrov was too good for Diego Schwartzman, winning 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-2.