So, there was to be no “Toilet Break” at work for my scheduled change of underwear, or not just yet anyway . Williams came out firing, trading blows off the return and taking on her shots (as did Bencic). She broke at 5/4 in the First Set and never really looked back. There was a slight wobble at 5/0 in the Second, but She served it out at the second time of asking for a 6/4 6/3 Win.”I feel like she’s definitely been having a lot more power [compared to the match in Toronto in 2015]… I’m really happy to get through. It was probably the toughest first-round match in the draw, but that’s okay. It’s really good, I think, to have such a tough match early on”. Next up, she faces another tough test against Lucie Safarova. She progressed after Yanina Wickmayer blew nine (9) Match Points in this First Round encounter. Johanna Konta continued her winning streak with a 7/5 6/2 win over Kirsten Flipkens. Konta weathered the early storm here and set up a Second Round Match with Naomi Osaka. Heather Watson stunned Sam Stosur 6/0 in the decider. The Australian has never performed in her homeland and this was no exception, retirement cannot be far away now. Naomi Broady lost a late night match to Daria Gavrilova, the plucky Brit going down 7/5 in the decider. 2014 Runner Up Dominika Cibulkova fought off Denisa Allertova in a nasty first rounder. Aga Radwanska dropped a set against Tsvetana Pironkova, then fended off questions about her change of racket in the off season. There were easier Wins for 5th Seed Karolina Pliskova who cruised past Sara Sorribes Tormo and Caroline Woznaicki who dealt with Arina Rodionova.
Novak Djokovic comfortably dismantled Fernando Verdasco. Djokovic saving match points only a few weeks ago against Nando in Doha. There was to be no drama this time as he bested the Spaniard 6/1 7/6(4) 6/2. Verdasco lacked the consistency and Djokovic looked sharp here from the word go. “I’m very pleased with the first round, considering I had one of the toughest first-round draws, definitely considering his form and how well he played in Doha”. Nole faces Denis Istomin next. Milos Raonic and Rafa Nadal also secured an easy path through to the Round of 64. Neither player losing there Serve against Dustin Brown and Florian Mayer respectively. Raonic squares of against Gilles Muller next, Nadal faces Marcos Baghdatis. Kyle Edmund kept alive another possible 3rd Round match with Djokovic. Edmund winning 91% behind his first delivery in a routine 6/2 7/5 6/3 victory over Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo. Pablo Carreno Busta stands between him and the World Number Two. Elsewhere on Day Two there were wins for Grigor Dimitrov Richard Gasquet and Dominic Thiem. David Goffin survived a Five Set scare against Reilly Opelka as did Alexander Zverev against Robin Haase. Ivo Karlovic Won the longest match of the day, his 6/7(6) 3/6 7/5 6/2 22/20 win over Horacio Zeballos lasting 5 hours and 14 Mins. Its also been noted that the courts are playing a lot quicker than past years. This has not been to everyone’s taste as Verdasco commented “The ball bounced fast and low, it’s not normal. Very few times I hit so many frames on the forehand. On a court like this you cannot do anything, it’s crazy”.
Finally,one match caused a bit of a stir throughout the day in the betting world. Yulia Putintseva was backed in from 1.67 (4/6) to 1.23 (2/9) on the off to beat Lara Arruabarena. There seemed to be money here for the 2-0 aswel! Arruabarrena had ten (10) set points over the course of the two sets, double faulting on several of them. There certainly looked to be no injury play, so all I can really say after watching chunks of it is Strange. Putintseva winning 7/6(7) 7/6(10). This is a big move and one that will probably not be questioned again.
Andy Del Potro