Dan Evans once again came up with a big performance in a Grand Slam. Irrespective of what has been said of him in the past, the lad from Solihul has always been one of my guilty pleasures. His variation in play can be great to watch, this being another example. Cilic was awful 69 UE’s, simple as that. Evans does deserve huge credit for getting over a slow start, slicing effectively and showing controlled aggression. Evans 3/6 7/5 6/3 6/3, Bernard Tomic is next up for the Brit in the last 32. Two lads that certainly don’t conform to the norm hence why I’m a bit of fan! Evo’s pal (and supposed Doubles Partner) Nick Kyrgios faired poorly! He went to Andreas Seppi 10/8 in the Fifth. Even more bizarrely Kyrgios ate humble pie in his interview.”I did some things in the off season that I should not have done, like playing basketball, banged up my body.” Everyone has an opinion in the World of Tennis on the young Australian, me included, but he is nothing but honest. Time will tell if Tennis will ever be his priority, or if NBA exhibition matches tickle his fancy more. Like Evans and Tomic, who receive a lot of criticism, people should appreciate that these lads give us talking points. The Sport would lose a little bit without people who are characters and at times make you laugh with behaviour or comments! It does appear Kyrgios will “gas” the doubles with Evans. Andy Murray beat Andrey Rublev, the 19 Year Old Russian, who possess plenty of fire power 6/3 6/0 6/2. Murray went over on his ankle in the 3rd set and called over to his box “this isn’t good”. He said afterwards “It’s okay. I don’t think I’ve done too much damage. See in the morning how it feels when I wake up. But hopefully it will be all right.” Sam Querrey awaits in the last 32. Roger Federer just about got the job done in straight sets against Noah Rubin. Federer hasn’t look convincing at all yet, but this is a sign of the times. Tomas Berdych is next up after his straight sets win over Ryan Harrison. The Czech hasn’t been in great form for sometime, but this will prove more of a test to see where the ‘Fed-Ex’ is at. Berdych, as in the past will fancy this. Federer has struggled with his power at times.There were also easy wins for Nishikori and Wawrinka after their First Round scares. As there were once again easy wins for Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Jack Sock against Dusan Lajovic and Karen Khachanov. Mischa Zverev outlasted John Isner 9/7 in the fifth in a big hitting affair on Court 8!
Angelique Kerber appeared to be in serious trouble against fellow German Carina Witthoeft. Kerber looked edgy and erratic for large parts of this. Had Witthoeft kept her composure after breaking at the start of the third, we would of witnessed a big upset here. In her interview, Angie summed up what gets her through these, “I know that I can trust my legs and can run for hours. Yeah, when the other things are not working, I know I have to run for every ball”. Kerber 6/2 6/7(3) 6/2, Kristyna Pliskova will pose a threat next. Carla Suarez Navarro is out though, the Spaniard losing to Sorana Cirstea in straights. She admitted afterwards that the right shoulder is proving a problem currently. There were impressive straight sets wins for Elina Svitolina,Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova. 7th Seed Garbine Muguruza won a heavyweight contest against Sam Crawford 7/5 6/4,and thinks the thigh injury is getting better! I’m looking forward to Bouchard v Vandeweghe, another big hitting contest. Coco is always good entertainment and when she hot, she hot! They will face each other in the 3rd Round after beating Shuai Peng and Pauline Parmentier respectively. Australian hope, Ashleigh Barty beat Shelby Rogers (conqueror of Simona Halep) to keep the home fans buzzin!! This is turning into a worthwhile comeback. A winnable Last 32 match against Mona Barthel, who beat Monica Puig lies ahead. I’d fancy her to get at Barthel’s serve here and that could be the difference.
Andy Del Potro