Things We Learned on Day Three of 2014 Wimbledon


1. Look at Toni Nadal with the jokes.

2. If you’ve been dying for a “Pome!” t-shirt designed by Dominika Cibulkova, or a deck of cards with Cibulkova dressed up as the joker, she’s got you covered.

domi joker

As for her tennis, the less that is said about her 3-6, 6-3, 8-6 win over Alison van Uytvanck, the better. Cibulkova was down 2-5 in the third, and somehow clawed her way back to win the match. It wasn’t pretty.

3. I just love Radek Stepanek. He may have fallen in four sets to Novak Djokovic today, but he put on an amazing show. He may hardly be relevant nowadays, but he’s so much fun to watch. His brand of tennis is going out of style, but you wouldn’t know it, watching him throw everything he had at the World No. 2 on the big stage.

4. It was only four years ago that Vera Zvonareva made it to the Wimbledon final. Today, in what felt like a moral victory, she came back to play the last part of her first round match, beating fellow wild card recipient Tara Moore, 6-4, 6-7(3), 9-7.

Like Robin Soderling, she got hit with some bad luck when she was in the top 10. I wasn’t sure we’d ever really see her back on the WTA Tour after all her serious shoulder problems. I doubt she’ll ever get back to where she was, rankings-wise, but it’s still nice to see her back on court at a tournament that likely means a lot to her.

5. This was a funny moment from Serena and Venus Williams’ doubles victory over Oksana Kalashnikova and Olga Savchuk:

6. Massive fines were never earned more than in the case of Fabio Fognini.


1. Finally, I feel like Wimbledon has begun. Every Slam needs that one match that takes attention away from all of the other matches and brings the tennis community together for a few minutes. The Djokovic/Stepanek third and fourth sets did that. Let’s keep it going, tennis.

Also, kudos to you, Djokovic.

2. Coco Vandeweghe saw a great opportunity slip through her fingers by falling in straight sets to someone I had never heard of before, Tereza Smitkova (pictured below).

With Jovanovski upsetting Azarenka, Smitkova and Jovanovski will now battle it out for a spot in the fourth round, where the highest seed they could face would be Cibulkova. That’s right. Either Cibulkova, Safarova, Smitkova or Jovanovski will be in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, where they could potentially face Radwanska.

3. Speaking of draws, I wanted to look at what happened with David Ferrer going down in five sets to the non-American Kuznetsov today. All it does is open things up for Grigor Dimitrov, who now just has to get past Dolgopolov in the third round and then Leonardo Mayer or Andrey Kuznetsov (both first names needed!) in the fourth to make it to the Wimbledon quarterfinals. It would certainly be considered a disappointment if the Bulgarian didn’t make it through that section.

3. Great match from Sergiy Stakhovsky to knock Ernests Gulbis out of Wimbledon in straight sets. And, in case you were taking the rumors seriously, Gulbis insists that he DID NOT gamble away his French Open winnings.

4. I enjoyed this profile on Milos Raonic in Men’s Journal:

In 2008, at age 17, three weeks from entering the University of Virginia on a scholarship, Raonic presented his parents with a Plan B. His rankings had been hovering around 900 for most of the year, and he wanted to go pro instead of going to college. “To us, academics are the most important thing,” says his mother. But they believed in his determination, so they agreed — on two conditions: “We said, ‘We will continue to work and support you for two years, and if you are not in the Top 100 by then, you go back to school, no discussion,’” says his mother. “‘Also, you will go to online university and study while you are turning pro.’”

Raonic went into 2009 ranked No. 507, and it wasn’t until Melbourne in 2011 — almost exactly two years later — that his fuse truly lit, when he made a hard-charging run into the fourth round, taking out No. 10 Mikhail Youzhny before being stopped by No. 7 David Ferrer after winning the first set. But he had burst into the Top 100 (ranked 94), just as he told his parents he would. “He called home from Australia and said, ‘I am sending my schoolbooks home,” says Vesna Raonic. That same year he became the first player born in the 1990s to win an ATP World Tour singles title. And by 2013, he was the top Canadian player and its youngest ever in the top 20.

5. Venus Williams and Petra Kvitova both looked in fantastic form in their matches in the second round, and I have tempered (HAHA NOT REALLY) hopes that their third-round clash will be a classic.

6. Sam Querrey and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga love Wimbledon so much that they can’t stop playing! Both had their first-round matches suspended while serving for the match, and had to come back on Tuesday and serve it out. (Both did without drama, because they were saving that for today.)

Today their match was suspended at 9-9 in the fifth–it was supposed to stop at 8-8 in the fifth, but they both argued that they wanted to play two more games, a lot of good that did. So here we have it, a Frenchman and a tall American playing deep into a fifth set at Wimbledon. If this turns into another Isnut, I officially quit tennis. You heard it here first.

7. As promised, some quotes from yesterday’s pressers:

Q.  Are you getting a lot of congratulations and stuff from people?  Are people generally happy for you?

MADISON KEYS:  Yes.  I mean, I think they are.  Unless they’re really good liars.

Q.  You were talking a lot throughout the whole match and your level was going up and down.  Can you talk me through that.  You seemed to be talking to the umpire a lot.

GAËL MONFILS:  Well, no, I was just talking about some stuff, like funny stuff.

You know, on grass is never easy for me.  I’m very relaxed.  I’m just the coolest than ever on grass.

Then is hard for me to play like solid tennis, I will say, ’cause I can’t move.  Actually I can’t move.  I don’t feel comfortable.

So I try to play just some part of the match.  It was fun, so it’s good for me.

Q.  Not many players are that relaxed on the court and can talk to people around them.  Have you played someone who does that?  Were you thinking maybe it’s a bit distracting for the opponent?  Does it distract you if someone you’re playing does that?

GAËL MONFILS:  I wish ’cause, you know, I just have fun.  And basically for I will say a normal player, I think every coach will tell you that you should focus on your game, not on the opponent.

So if the guy look at me, yeah, it can be a little bit tricky for him.  Still I think the best one I manage to stay focused on them, you know.

But for me, I don’t care.  You know, is like if the guy talking to anyone, it’s fine.  If he can talk to me, it’s even better.

Q.  Three sets, no breakers.  That’s got to feel good.

JOHN ISNER:  Yeah, absolutely.  You know, I’m not known for super comprehensive victories, so for me on this surface, to start the tournament out like that, it’s a big positive.

Q.  It must feel fantastic that you are so clearly coming back to your best again.  Top 20.  How exciting is it?

ANDREA PETKOVIC:  It’s very exciting.  The nice thing after all my injuries is that I learned to appreciate it much more and enjoy the nice moments much more.

Before when I was in the top 10 and playing the quarterfinals of the Grand Slams, I was sort of caught up in trying to get better and getting more points and getting higher in the ranking ‑ which is important to stay hungry and trying to get better as a tennis player.  But you shouldn’t forget to enjoy the nice things you have achieved and to really appreciate everything that’s happening to you.

Now that I’ve embraced this second chance I’ve gotten, I feel much happier with being a tennis player.  I’m much more grateful for everything that has happened to me.

8.  This will never get old:

4 Responses

  1. Matthew
    Matthew June 25, 2014 at 8:08 pm |

    Great write-up, y’all. I always enjoy these.

    That wasn’t the first time Novak’s conceded a point, right? I think he did it once before against Dimitrov. I can’t remember where but I think it was on clay.

  2. Patrick of La Verne
    Patrick of La Verne June 25, 2014 at 8:49 pm |

    I’d like to echo your thoughts about Vera Zvonareva, who I think is one of the most admirable women playing this game.

    With all of the big name matches taking place today I was probably one of the few who watched the match between Bepa and Tara Moore.

    Zvonareva’s play today was spotty, to say, the least, and far below the standard that had made her a consistent top ten player for several years. The tennis calendar is so full, and there are so many fine players nowadays, that most people (including the announcers that covered the match) forget that it’s been almost two years (summer of 2012) since she’s been healthy. And they forget, too, I think, that as recently as the fall of 2011 she was playing in the WTA championships. Despite being far below her best, she held her nerve and managed to win the match. I wish her every success in the weeks and months ahead.

    And now, as Paul Harvey used to say, for the rest of the story.

    While I was pulling hard for Vera Zvonareva, I felt so bad for Tara Moore, her opponent. She’s ranked #250 in the world, and was within a whisker, several times, of defeating one of the eight or ten best players of the last several years. Tara, a Brit born in Hong Kong, has been struggling on the periphery of the WTA/ITF wheel of fortune for several years without ever scoring a big breakthrough. It was so clear, from her expression, what winning this match meant to her. She served for the match twice, and each time fell behind 0-40 because of nerves, only to fight back to 30-40 … only to double fault.

    Both times.

    The third law of tennis — for every moment of victory and exhilaration, there is an equal and opposite moment of desolation and despair on the other side of the net.

    Tennis can be a cruel sport.

    Good luck to you, too, Tara.

  3. Q
    Q June 26, 2014 at 12:59 am |

    Never seen querrey fired up like that before

    The maddog vs chardy match was a roller coaster to watch

  4. kwando
    kwando June 26, 2014 at 9:13 am |

    I found it so adorkable how both Federer and Wawrinka were both live tweeting the score of the Switzerland/Honduras match yesterday.

    Also, it certainly does seem that Querrey and Tsonga have a love for Wimbledon. Maybe even after one of them gets eliminated, they’ll just continue to show up for matches.

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