1. Props to Wimbledon for offering full transcripts of press conferences this year in a timely manner. Last year’s embargo was unfortunate.
2. Rafael Nadal, an insightful interview, always puts things into great perspective in defeat:
I tried my best. Was not possible. That’s all I can say. Just congratulate the opponent. At the end is not a tragedy. That is sport.
I cannot say when I do a calendar if it was wrong or if it was positive. Since six hours ago was a perfect calendar, now is a very negative calendar. That’s not true. I played, as I said, since I came back after the injury, I played when I had the feeling that I can play. And my feelings were that I played the weeks that I felt right to play.
And to here is Wimbledon, so I try to arrive as good as possible to this tournament, knowing that probably this year will be harder than ever, and it really was.
So that’s all, no? The calendar was for me perfect, winning seven tournaments of the nine, and playing two finals. I cannot say I will make something different today because I will not. I will repeat my calendar. My season has been fantastic, much better than what I have thought five months ago. So I am happy about everything.
3. Monica Puig continues to impress. Although Sara Errani isn’t much of a threat on grass, Puig’s 6-3, 6-2 thrashing of the World No. 5 should not be overlooked.
4. Victoria Azarenka’s comments on Redfoo’s tennis match were entertaining:
He’s a champion in his heart. I mean, his forehand should get better, definitely. I mean, that’s something that he has to work on.
5. Bernard Tomic got some advice from Lleyton Hewitt, and had some kind words for his fellow Aussie:
“If I could take Lleyton as a coach anytime, I would for sure,” Tomic said. “He’s a nice guy. I got to know him really well the last few years. He helps me a lot … he knows a lot and he’s been around a long time. If you can pick up any information from a guy like this, it’s only doing yourself credit.”
1. You just never know what is going to happen. I mean, I know this, but you learn it time and time again. The day started out a bit crazy when Victoria Azarenka took a terrible fall during her first round match. Everything was routine, she was up a set and an early break, and then boom. She was on the ground in tears. It turned out she was okay (at least it seems so right now) but it was a moment that reminded you that anything can happen.
Then, of course, there was the Nadal upset. I’m still in shock, but I must say that Rafael Nadal handled himself incredibly well after the loss. Kudos.
2. Steve Darcis is a great guy. As I’ve already mentioned, I was media at Winston-Salem with Darcis when he upset Andy Roddick, which was a huge win for him at the time. After the match, he was called into press, which is right next to the Wake Forest locker room through mounds of security. We were all waiting for him downstairs (the locker room and interview room are downstairs, the player room and media room are upstairs), but when he came to talk to us he realized he had left his I.D. badge in the player room. The security guard would not let him in, despite the fact that all the media members and tournament staff were vouching for him.
Instead of getting upset or annoyed, which he would have had every right to do, he apologized to the media and the security guard profusely. I mean he was nearly grovelling. We ended up just following him back upstairs and doing the interview in the media room so he wouldn’t have to keep going up and down the stairs, and he thanked us over and over again. He was just the nicest guy ever. I know that it’s easy to be nice after a big win, but it really did seem genuine. It’s just a tiny thing that I will always remember. I couldn’t help but be thrilled for him, even though I was hoping and expecting to see Rafa pull it out.
3. I just can’t see everything at once. Due to my writing schedule and Internet streaming problems, I didn’t get to watch much of the Xavier Malisse/Fernando Verdasco match today, and I just have to cross my fingers and hope that this wasn’t Malisse’s last Wimbledon. I’m not ready to say goodbye!
4. Kiki Mladenovic is going to be a really great player. She was incredibly impressive during the first set against Sharapova today. Get used to the eyeliner, folks. It’s here to stay.
5. John Isner can win matches easily at slams–even at Wimbledon! He’s playing a Frenchman (Mannarino) next round though. I’m tired just thinking about it.
6. Serena Williams can learn. I gave her a lot of (deserved) flack for her comments and her first apology, but she has done a great job correcting herself and I will give her kudos. From her USA Today blog:
It’s been some eventful days since the recent Rolling Stone article. As I said in my press conference, I had some great conversations with the Steubenville rape victim and her family. It was ironic because when we spoke she said, ‘Maybe you can help’ — and we almost said it at the exact same moment. She sent me some information on shelters for rape victims, and we are talking about raising funds and awareness for various shelters. I’m working close with her on this, and we’re actually becoming good friends.
And this is much better too:
Serena Williams has issued a revised apology for her Steubenville comments, by the way. Much better. http://t.co/ZdFGalrTzc
— Ana Mitrić (@ana_mitric) June 24, 2013
7. I think that after today it is natural to wonder if Nadal will ever be successful at Wimbledon again. I broke down my thoughts in this piece.
8. I really, really miss Venus Williams and Andy Roddick.