Things We Learned on Day Four of 2014 Wimbledon


1. As Bernard Tomic has been slipping down the rankings for reasons related to his attitude and his health, another young Aussie, 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios, currently ranked No. 144, has begun to make a name for himself, today beating Richard Gasquet in five sets, and saving nine match points in the process. Unable to defend his points from last year’s good run at Wimbledon, Tomic will slip down to around No. 119, while Kyrgios will rise to around No. 120 with today’s win, and will pass Tomic in the rankings if he goes any further. Your move, Bernie.

Up next for Kyrgios is another up-and-comer, Jiri Vesely, who beat Gael Monfils in a tough five-setter to reach the third round. That should be a fun match to watch.

2. I don’t know how I missed mini Mad Dog.

3. I can’t believe how much drama, both real and manufactured, centered around Rafael Nadal’s first two matches against Martin Klizan and Lukas Rosol. With Nadal past these two overhyped early matches, will he round into form?

Speaking of overhyped matches, I’m not sure why such a fuss was made over Roger Federer’s second-round match against Gilles Muller. It’s Roger Federer and Gilles Muller. These days, I’m not sure what would constitute an easy draw for the top guys, judging from the reactions to these early round matches against Klizan, Rosol, and Muller. There is a reason these guys aren’t ranked higher.

4. Vera Zvonareva, now ranked No. 566, is into the third round of Wimbledon after a 6-4, 6-4 win over promising youngster Donna Vekic. This is the first time she’s won back-to-back matches since the 2012 Olympics, and her first win against a top 100 player since then. Her next match against World No. 72 Zarina Diyas is also very winnable, and reaching the fourth round of a slam would help lift her ranking from the abyss.

5. I really think the Wimbledon website could’ve found a more flattering photo of Madison Keys for her player profile page.


6. This excerpt from Serena’s presser is golden.

7. This might be the quintessential Jo-Wilfried Tsonga picture.


1. It was not a good day for the French Brain today. It was overworked and way underpaid.

First, we had Richard Gasquet go up two sets on 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios before losing 3-6 6-7 6-4 7-5 10-8. This is, of course, after Richie seemed to find his form last week in Eastbourne.

Then there was Monfils, who looked like he could not care less when dropping the first two sets to Jiri Vesely, before Vesely’s level dropped and Monfils seemed to take the next two sets in spite of himself. However, the Frenchman couldn’t close the deal, falling 6-4 in the fifth.

As frustrating as it was to see two undeniably talented players mentally and physically get outclassed in their matches, it was great that Vesely and Kyrgios were able to take advantage. There has been much said about how the younger generation has left something to be desired, but these are two incredibly entertaining prospects who have a lot of fight in them, and it gives me hope for the future of the ATP.

Of course, I’m not done. Adrian Mannarino fell in straight sets to Tommy Robredo (a rough result on grass), while Tsonga came back at 9-9 in the fifth to defeat Querrey 14-12, and Alize Cornet won but not without being super Alize Cornet about the whole thing:

2. I’m disappointed but not surprised to see Sam Querrey fall to Tsonga today late in the fifth set. The guy has an abysmal five-set record in his career (now 2-9). Plus, Querrey was fired up yesterday, but that’s the exception, not the norm. Usually, whether for good or for bad, he’s chill. He had no energy at all when the fifth set resumed today, and it all very quickly fell apart for him. Still, his game looks better than it has in a while. Dare I be hopeful for the U.S. Open Series?

The rest of the American men had bad days too; Jack Sock looked positively lost on court against Milos Raonic, and Denis Kudla was completely outclassed by Kei Nishikori. The lone exception was John Isner, who made this his best Wimbledon ever by taking out Jarkko Nieminen in straight sets, though there was a 19-17 first-set tiebreaker just for funsies.

The American women were on fire. Serena cruised through, expectedly, but she has company. Madison Keys took out Klara Koukalova in three and Alison Riske took care of Camila Giorgi, joining Venus and Lauren Davis in the third round.

Victoria Duval’s much anticipated (by me at least!) match against Belinda Bencic was postponed until tomorrow because of rain.

Still, with these results added to a World Cup advancement, not a bad day at all for #merica.

3. I get so sick of complaining about ESPN because I know I sound like a broken record, but there was a time in the middle of play today, with six intriguing live singles matches happening, that there was a full 20 minutes without a point of live tennis being shown.

I understand that there needs to be a time to go back to the studio and catch people up on what’s going on. Show some highlights. Let Chrissie hit her talking points. But get in and out. Twenty minutes is inexcusable.

I will, however, give kudos where kudos is due. During the fourth set of Nadal/Rosol, when
Nadal was up a break and seemed to be in control, ESPN went and showed us the thrilling end of Gasquet/Kyrgios. They are much better at bouncing around to matches than they used to be, and that’s not an easy thing to do. I just wish they’d keep the desk time to a minimum.

And seriously, somebody stop John McEnroe. This was RIDICULOUS, I had to rewind my DVR to make sure I had heard correctly.

4. I’ll join the Vera Zvonareva cheering squad. Love her and am oh so happy to have her back.

5. “It was myself and a bunch of tanned Spaniards,” said Isner, with a laugh. “I don’t know how I fit in that equation, but it was very neat.”

Neat. I’ll say.

6. Some tweets of the day:

7. God, I love this:

To underscore the point, Nara had this to say about her 1-hour-31-minute meeting with the older of the famed American Williams sisters: “It’s very special for me because I saw the Venus like when I was a child.”
English not being her first language, it might have been an affection of speech, but it nonetheless made the mention of Williams sound almost sacred, a treasure of the sport who said she remained determined to hang around until the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil for another shot at doubles gold.

8. I will never, ever be surprised if Rafael Nadal wins a match. Impressed, maybe, but never surprised. However, I also still wouldn’t be surprised if Nadal still lost in the first week. That low bounce is just not comfortable for his back or knees.

6 Responses

  1. Jack
    Jack June 26, 2014 at 4:52 pm |

    Amy, it’s hard to understand the dismissive way you talked of Nadal’s match. Moreover, Klizan is 51 and Rosol is 52 in the rankings.

    I don’t know how Nadal’s matches were “overhyped”. Against Klizan it was his 1st match on Wimbledon grass and any opponent who can hit a powerful forehand was going to be dangerous. Klizan played well in the 1st set and Rafa coming from a loss at Halle makes that 1 set lead made the match interesting. It lived up to its hype with the drama in those first two sets and start of the third one.

    In 2nd round, Rafa faced a opponent who has beaten him in the same surroundings and could pretty much play a very powerful game. Rosol was 1-point away from a 2sets to love lead. He was hitting ferociously and was serving a very high percentage 1st serve. It was clearly visible that he came in with a belief that he can beat Nadal again. The last game was tense and throughout the duration of match Nadal never really raced ahead of Rosol. The hype in the end was justified. Facing an opponent who has beaten you on the same surface in the same surroundings is difficult as it gets into your head when things are going downtown. Look at Ferrer’s statement,”I can’t come back. Not against Rafa” after he lost the 2nd set. Rosol’s ranking mattered zilch to the equation. It was the fact that whether he could conjure the gane that led him to victory 2 years ago or not.

    Lindsay: I am more inclined to agree with McEnroe this time. A journeyman clay courter isn’t an opponent against whom you could measure how well Federer is playing or how well his strategies r working.

  2. Moo Tennis
    Moo Tennis June 26, 2014 at 5:34 pm |

    It’s easy to say with hindsight that Fed v Muller was overhyped, but Muller was in great form, decent on the grass and had taken out Benneteau in R1, so IMO, it deservedly earnt some hype.

    Fabulous wins for Riske and Keys today. I don’t know if I am getting ahead of myself but I really think Riske has a shot against Sharapova. Keys didn’t play particularly well today and hit 21UE to 12W in the 2nd set, which was rough considering how jolly the Wimby stats are. At 1-2 down, she was dumping returns in the net, but really turned it around nicely to win the last five games. I noticed she had strapping on her thigh. Hopefully she is fully fit because Shvedova in R3 is winnable.

  3. Mark
    Mark June 26, 2014 at 8:23 pm |

    Hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it? I’m sure Amy was very smug when Rosol was leading in the second-set tiebreak.

    1. Amy
      Amy June 27, 2014 at 2:49 pm |

      Yes, hindsight is 20/20, but I said before those matches that they were being overhyped (, so your condescension is nonsensical. But thanks for always commenting with such a nice, pleasant tone. You really add something to the conversation here.

  4. Joe
    Joe June 26, 2014 at 10:24 pm |

    As a fan of American tennis, it was a bit disheartening to watch Jack Sock and Nick Kyrgios compete in the same day. What I wouldn’t give for the Americans to have someone who has shown so much as quickly as Kyrgios.

  5. Nikos
    Nikos June 26, 2014 at 10:47 pm |

    Following the not so polite comments F.Dancevic made about the terrible conditions he faced while competing in the Q-rounds, today A.Croft while interviewing N.Kyrgios insisted in questioning the young Australian about the locker rooms and the attention the players are getting from more than 8 physios, the massages and even made a note about ice baths in a horrific attempt to downplay the fact that indeed the facilities in the Q stages are crap.
    The video is on the Wimby official site ( and it’s a disgrace….
    At one point she screams “…oooh 8 physios, so many!’
    What is more horrible is that an organization like Wimbledon instead of accepting certain shortcomings and trying to improve (yes there is room for improvement even for her majesty’s tournament…) is trying to use its own media to manipulate public opinion…..

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