The weather is hot, some of the seeds were not…
1. It’s all down hill for Eugenie Bouchard
Bouchard is having an awful, awful year. I can’t help but feel sorry for the much-hyped Canadian, who played today despite suffering from a tear in her abdomen. That doesn’t seem like the most sensible of ideas, but Genie was defending finalist points here at Wimbledon so it’s hard to imagine her being willing to skip the event altogether. Her loss in straight sets to Ying-Ying Duan today sees her dropping down out of the Top 20.
No matter how much you feel Bouchard was over-hyped last year (she wasn’t, she played really well last year), I find it hard to believe anyone thinks she’s not at least Top 20 material. At least. Hopefully the confidence and the game will return to her soon – it’s sad to see any player plummet down the rankings as she is.
“I’m good for the learning experience to be over,” she said in press. “A couple of months ago when I had a loss in Indian Wells or Miami, I didn’t feel it was the end of the world, but to some people it was. We’re closer to the end of the world now.”
Sad Genie is sad.
Duan through, 7-6 6-4
2. The Wimbledon bakery is open
A few of the women’s seeds have been making their intentions well and truly known in this tournament already. Yesterday we saw Venus Williams dominate Brengle 6-0 6-0 and Andrea Petkovic drop the same score on Shelby Rogers. Today, more women were handing out bagels to their unfortunate opponents.
Petra Kvitova, the defending champion here, made short work of Kiki Bertens winning 6-1 6-0 in just 35 MINUTES. So, Petra should be feeling rested for her second round match against Kurumi Nara. Angelique Kerber, who I think has a good opportunity to go all the way to the final in this draw, was just as impressive dropping a double bagel on country woman Carina Witthoeft in just 44 minutes, setting up a second round encounter with Pavlyuchenkova.
Kvitova through, 6-1 6-0
Kerber through, 6-0 6-0
3. The ‘Big Four’ all look comfortable early in the tournament
Novak Djokovic had a easier-than-expected start to the tournament yesterday, and today Murray, Federer and Nadal all followed his path through to the second round.
Andy Murray, looking for his second Wimbledon title, didn’t have everything his own way against Kukushkin out on centre court, narrowly surviving the second set in a tiebreak before completing a straight sets victory. The Brit has looked strong for the last few months and is many people’s favourite for this title, having not lost to anyone other than Djokovic for a considerable number of weeks.
He also described himself as “Boring, Unfunny, Miserable” because he’s actually none of those things:
Rafa Nadal is by far the most vulnerable of the biggest names in the competition this year and with a no.10 seeding could find himself facing Andy Murray as early as the quarter-final, assuming they both make it that far. There were few problems for Nadal today though, starting his tournament with a solid win over Thomaz Bellucci out on court 1.
Roger Federer has looked in fine form lately, is great on grass and has spoken about how good the extra week of Wimbledon preparation has made him feel. While the focus has been on Djokovic and Murray for most people’s picks this year, there is no doubt that Federer will be a huge factor and could easily emerge the victor in two weeks time. He felt the heat today, commenting after his straight sets win over Dzumhur that he was already so wet he wouldn’t need a shower…which is…not how cleanliness works.
Murray through, 6-4 7-6 6-4
Nadal through, 6-4 6-2 6-4
Federer through, 6-1 6-3 6-3
4. British things happened
Heather Watson came back from match points down to defeat Caroline Garcia today in a match that had carried over from yesterday evening. This was…unexpected. Watson is generally better than people think she is but she probably isn’t somebody who Garcia would expect to lose to.
Laura Robson was back in action today, just her second match back on the tour after her lengthy absence due to wrist problems. She didn’t win, losing in straights to Evgeniya Rodina, but she looked to have picked up from her first match back and the point is she’s playing tennis again, which can only be a good thing.
James Ward benefitted from David Ferrer’s withdrawal, winning in four over Lucky Loser Lukas Vanni, while Aljaz Bedene’s debut as a British player at Wimbledon had a happy ending as he defeated none other than Radek Stepanek in a closely fought five set match.
Watson through, 1-6 6-3 8-6
Rodina through, 6-4 6-4
Ward through, 6-7 6-2 6-4 6-3
Bedene through, 7-5 1-6 4-6 6-3 6-4
5. Stakhovsky lost and he didn’t like it much
I think we can all agree this is a real shame…
And the prize CHOKER of @Wimbledon goes……to……. ME!!!!
— Sergiy Stakhovsky (@Stako_tennis) June 30, 2015
Coric through, 4-6 7-6 6-2 1-6 9-7
6. Halep is going through a rough patch
While Simona Halep didn’t have a terrible start to the year at all, she’s certainly been struggling over the last few months. I’d worried that she might not perform so well here at Wimbledon but a round 1 loss to Cepelova is certainly a big shock for the tournament. The no.3 seed seemed to be gripping onto the match when she narrowly won the first set, but from there on Cepelova was able to take advantage of a below-par opponent and make her way to the second round.
Im sure Halep, like Bouchard, will be back.
Cepelova through, 5-7 6-4 6-3
7. This is not how you serve
2013 finalist Sabine Lisicki is really, really good at serving. Usually. Not this time:
— Diandra Rodríguez (@Diandrar23) June 30, 2015
Sam Smith, world’s greatest tennis commentator, knows what Sabine is about.
“Welcome to the bonkers world of Sabine Lisicki.” Sam Smith, on point early.
— Victoria Chiesa (@vrcsports) June 30, 2015
But she won! So the bonkers kinda works.
Lisicki through, 7-5 6-4