Day 1, RG 2017 – Petra & The Dominator ease through as Kerber and Evans lose!

I saw a headline to an article ‘Is Murray the worst ever world number one?’. My initial reaction was I don’t think he’s even the worst current world number one. I didn’t read the article, I’ve got your back Muzza! Angie Kerber’s form since gaining top spot has also been pretty average, to say the least. She looks tired, shot of confidence and self-belief right now. Like myself, it looks like she needs a nice holiday and a good rest might do her some good!Russian, Ekaterina Makarova bullied her today with some punishing forehand winners. Kerber’s depth of shot had a lot to answer for on this showing. Svetlana Kuznetsova said she had felt nervous prior to and during her victory over Christina McHale, she will have to be in the zone against Oceane Dodin, who’s next up. Reading Kuzzy’s interview suggests she’s putting a lot of pressure on herself to do well here. Petra Kvitova was an easy winner against Julia Boserup. This, Petra’s first match since the horrendous goings on, reports say she played like a dream and that Boserup was not a push over. If this form continues then expect her to be one of the main contenders on the grass. With what she has been through in the last 5 months this is a great effort, wishing her all the best. There were straight sets wins today for Venus Williams, Dominika Cibulkova and Timea Bacsinszky. Other players to make it through to the second round were Monica Puig, who beat Roberta Vinci in a tight 3 setter and Jelena Ostapenko who edged out Louisa Chirico.

Dan Evans lost to Tommy Robredo today, he was struggling with the conditions despite winning the first set. Evans apparently hadn’t eaten beforehand and was sick during the match when he went off court. I do like Evo, he just says it as it is, “I think he just didn’t find his feet at the start, and then it was clear he was way better than me on that surface and looked physically better as well, which was a bit worrying.” The last comment here is brilliant. He can look forward to the grass now, a surface which suits his game so much better, he can really use his slice backhand and attacking style to full effect. Dominic Thiem hammered Bernard Tomic, who said after ”He killed me from the start, from the 2-All game, and that’s why he’s been playing so well”. Sounds like Tomic didn’t show an awful lot after the first set here, but gotta love his honesty. Other winners today were Grigor Dimitrov, who beat 37-year-old Stephane Robert, Albert Ramos-Vinolas took Marius Copil out in 4 and Pablo Carreno Busta made light work of Florian Mayer. Lucas Pouile backed up that’s he’s a 5 set match player by coming from 2 sets to 1 down against compatriot Julien Benneteau. This was a trickier match than it looked on paper for Pouille. Benneteau has been hampered by injuries for some time now and at the age of 35 that’s unlikely to relinquish, but he can still operate, especially on the Phillipe Chatrier. Karlovic’s bants was at very high level after he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas (20 years his junior). Karlovic said, “I’m a nice guy, I don’t want to give lessons to younger guys,”. He also went on to say how he think Tsitsipas will have a good career, I personally don’t disagree with that.

Let’s see what day 2 brings!

Andy Del Potro

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