Oh Stanley, that was brief. Daniil Medvedev came on Centre Court and outplayed Wawrinka, by the time I started watching properly in the fourth, Stan looked to have checked out if I’m honest. He was hampered by a knee problem and says he’s had this injury on/off since the end of last year and at the Australian Open. For the Russian it continues his hot streak, only getting edged out by Djokovic in the semis at Eastbourne. He is loving life on grass and says it’s his favourite surface and it suits his game especially the flat strokes. Stan says he is going to take a time out!
Muzza wasted little time against the Lucky Loser, Alexander Bublik. The Kazak didn’t look to test Muzza too much if I’m honest, it was all fairly routine. Bublik has come across a top guy in all this, buzzing about getting the LL spot, shown in his tweet pre -tournament. Then these kind words, tweeted after his loss “Thanks sir @andymurray and @wimbledon for an amazing experience, best day of my life so far, thanks for all support.” Sterner tests will lie ahead for the Scot but great appreciation of the occasion from his opponent!
Nick Kyrgios pulled out at two sets down against the Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, admitting he wasn’t fit enough to play with the hip injury sustained at Queen. Kyrgios gave it a go though! Fair! Lucas Pouille beat Malek Jaziri in 4, Tsonga beat Cameron Norrie (Nozza) in straights and Tommy Haas played his last match at Wimbledon after losing to Ruben Bemelmans! Much love for ya Tommy lad. x
Rafa Nadal took poor old John Millman apart for the loss of just 6 games, a good start from Rafa, who on that showing ‘looks to have picked up where he left off’. Probably a decent match up for the Spaniard but even so props for getting it wrapped up so convincingly. Like Muzza tougher tests ahead, Donald Young next then potentially Khachanov followed by Muller who both won today.
Unlike Stan, Marin Cilic avoided a potential first round exit with a comfortable win over Philipp Kohlschreiber, the German could have proved a very nasty first round opponent, an Impressive win that. Aljaz Bedene defeated Ivo Karlovic, saving the only break of the match for the last game. 8/6 in the decider. I felt sorry for Andrew Whittington when I read his comments about being “shattered to lose that”, in reference to his loss to Thiago Monteiro. Makes you realise how much it means to these boys and girls who get through qualies to do well when they have the opportunity!
Venus Williams got her tournament underway with a hard fought win over Elise Mertens, this was a tough draw as the Belgian can certainly play, Williams served and played well. Sadly, after in her press conference she was asked about the accident, Venus broke down in tears when clearly upset and left the conference! I wish they wouldn’t ask these type of questions, I know I’m biased but come on! Have some respect for all concerned!
Sabine Lisicki lost convincingly to Ana Konjuh and Dominika Cibulkova edged out Andrea Petkovic 9/7 in the decider. She faces big-serving American Jennifer Brady in the second round. It is a big IF as I saw Brady play Mladenovic at the French recently, nerves were quite apparent then. However, if she can serve and keep her emotions in check this will prove a very difficult ride for Bulky who looks out of sorts right now! Brit Naomi Broady lost to Irina Begu, the Stockport lass will be disappointed with that going down 4 and 2!
Elina Svitolina tore up the grass court form book with a win over Ashleigh Barty, The Ozzy miss-firing too much today. Good win for the Ukranian who I found out has an affinity with England as her current boyfriend is English! Wins today also for Madison Keys (first match back after minor surgery) and Jelena Ostapenko. The Latvian will now play Francoise Abanda who added to her 3 wins in qualifying with a straight forward victory over Kurumi Nara. Let’s see if Francoise can get at the French Open Champ in this one. I would love to see the Canadian do well here for several reasons. The tweet Wimbledon put out in qualies mixing up Sachia Vickery and Abanda was very poor and understandably I don’t think either lady was too impressed! I honestly think Ostapenko is there for the taking currently, but as usual, when she’s on, she’s on!
Jo Konta gained revenge for her defeat at the French Open to Su-Wei Hsieh, the 6/2 6/2 scoreline and no signs of the injury from Eastbourne will please the Brit. Konta overpowered her opponent, however, she will need to stay focused as Donna Vekic is next up. The Croat beating Konta in the final of Nottingham just a few week ago, a good win against Natalia Vikhlyantseva today for her.
Petra Kvitova wasn’t at her best today in beating Johanna Larsson but ultimately also had too many weapons for her opponent on this surface. It’s like she says it’s all about playing matches, there is no substitute! Madison Brengle is next up, one of those tricky players who doesn’t give you any pace. She actually has a 2-1 head to head with Petra and obviously beat Serena in Auckland at the start of the season. Like on that day, it will need a lot of errors from the Czech’s racket as there were from Rena’s in New Zealand!
Vika Azarenka gained an impressive win over CiCi Bellis, by all account improving as the match progressed. Last year’s semi-finalist Elena Vesnina is her next opponent after she just about beat Anna Blinkova, the talented 18-year-old Russian. Heather Watson was edgy in closing it out against Maryna Zanevska but played some good stuff, the 18th seed and the Mallorca Open champion Anastasija Sevastova next in the round of 64. Laura Robson was a bit erratic as she lost to Beatriz Haddad Maia but every time I have seen the Brazilian play I have been impressed, a big tall lefty who can pack a punch! Simona Halep beat Marina Erakovic 6/4 6/1, hands up I thought that may have been a stiffer test so credit where it’s due there. Erakovic is a bit of a grass court operator on her day!
Finally, Mandy Minella announced she had played Francesca Schiavone at 4 1/2 months pregnant after the loss she said she will be taking some time out. Serena Williams also posted a video of her doing drills at 7 months on her insta account, that must send shock waves through the locker room. It would appear that my Hero is striking the ball pretty well. Simply Incredible!
On to day 2.
Andy Del Potro