Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Wimbledon Day One - Big Names Cruise

Day One of Wimbledon 2016 provided a few surprises, apart from rain failing to appear.  The tournament lost six seeds and organisers have apologised for that, assuring family and friends of Gael Monfils, Kevin Anderson, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Pablo Cuevas, Ana Ivanovic and Irina-Camelia Begu that a full scale search will be successful with the players safely returned by the end of the fortnight.

Anderson, the number 20 seed, had been picked by some experts as one to watch, and indeed for two sets he was worth watching, leading Denis Istomin 6-4 7-6.  The second set tie break was extended to 15-13 but it didn't seem to worry Istomin as he proceeded to win the next two sets using the same scoreline 6-4 7-6, but preferring a quicker tie break in the fourth 7-2.  Anderson left Wimbledon singles calculations via a fifth set loss and a happy Istomin remained.

The top seeds that were rolled out - from the top half of the men's draw and bottom half of the women's draw - all were successfully transported into round two, with the routes travelled mostly stress free and in kstraights sets.

Djokovic showed off for a set and a half before taking a rest and allowing Englishman James Ward to win a few games in front of an adoring crowd.  The magnanimous gesture lasted until the second set tie break, where the top seed switched the mode back to 'tournament' from 'recreation'.

Federer, in search of match practice at this level, having missed the French Open, chose to play tie breaks in the opening two sets against Pella, and appeared happy with that arrangement.

Roland Garros champion Garbine Muguruza took a bit of a risk, though, when playing Camila Giorgi, taking three sets to finally win her first round encounter.  I'm not sure that she can afford to be as accommodating to future opponents as the tournament progresses.

Among a clutch of impressive efforts, I have to highlight that of Germany's Sabine Lisicki, whose results over the last few years, especially 2016, have not been worthy of the 2013 Wimbledon finalist.  Sabine delivered three aces and an unplayable serve to Shelby Rogers in the 52 second opening game of their match, and things did not improve after that for the American.

The 6-1 6-3 victory took 59 minutes and with that sort of form on her best surface from Lisicki, second round opponent Sam Stosur needs to be at her very best, considering grass is her worst surface.

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