Bernard Tomic has caused a bit of a stir with his comments after losing to Mischa Zverev “It was definitely a mental issue out there. Yeah, I just tried to break a bit of momentum but just couldn’t find any rhythm and wasn’t mentally and physically there with my mental state to perform. I don’t know why but I felt a little bit bored out there. To be completely honest with you.” The last sentence sums it up, I’m sure he isn’t the only player to think that but some others would never admit it! Not justifying it because I’d love to be out there playing but I do like people to be real and Bernie is all that in his press conferences!
Raonic and Sascha Zverev both won in straights as they head for a fourth-round showdown. Sascha plays Frances Tiafoe next, a match I’m looking forward to watching. They played at the OZ this year, Zverev winning in 3, a similar result will be expected here but I’m expecting Tiafoe to give him a game. The young American, still only 19 is going to be an operator, mark my words. Raonic also disposed of Jan-Lennard Struff in straights. The formidable serve doing the business. Jack Sock made hard work of Christian Garin and I think Sebastian Ofner could spring a big surprise next round.
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic only had to win a set a piece to progress through to the next round. Messrs Dolgopolov and Klizan having ankle and calf injuries respectively. It left the centre court crowd slightly miffed! In Federer’s section Dimitrov eased past the boi Diego Schwartzman, whom he normally has a few struggles against but this is a totally different surface and as expected he completed the win in straights. Still, want to see Diego play!! The wait will continue!
Dominic Thiem ousted Vasek Pospisil, this looked like an upset in the making on paper but the Austrian impressed and has maybe benefited from some early losses on the grass, could he be slightly fresher now?? Richard Gasquet certainly wasn’t as David Ferrer kept up his decent record against the Frenchman besting him in 4. Gasquet said, “he was embarrassed on his backhand”. Not often that happens!
In Nole’s 1/8th, there were wins for Del Potro ( against Kokkinakis who played well again, Delboy in 4) and Monfils. Kyle Edmund came from a set down to beat Alexander Ward but Feli Lopez pulled out in the fourth set against last week’s runner-up in Antalya, Adrian Mannarino. As with Klizan, the ankle was the problem. Feli was a set to the good when the injury started restricting him to the point of no return. It is a shame for Lopez as he has been playing really well and I genuinely feel he could have caused some damage here if fit! Nobody wants to play him in the form he has been in on grass!
Angie Kerber opened up on Centre Court in the absence of Serena, she beat Irina Falconi in straights but she’s still nowhere near last years kind of form. Lucie Safarova gave Oceane Dodin a bit of a walloping, 2 and 2 that led to her opponent describing her performance as “crap”! Garbine Muguruza also won in straights and faces Yanina Wickmayer next.
Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Ons Jabeur, her Tunisian opponent loves to go for broke, Kuzzy was far too solid today. It doesn’t get easier though as Ekaterina Makarova is her next opponent after Alison Van Uytvanck ran out of steam, saying her legs felt heavy during the warm up. The Belgian was fancied for this but hindsight says she has played too much tennis of late. Makarova is a real threat on grass and Kuzzy will need to be on it here! Katie Boutler nearly took out Christina McHale but lost from a break up in the decider and Aggie Radwanska beat an injured Jelena Jankovic who got served up a bagel for her troubles in the second!
Karolina Pliskova got her first match out of the way with a comprehensive victory over Evgeniya Rodina, a typical serving display on show here. She does face Maggie Rybarikova next and this is a BIG one. Pliskova has mentioned this is just about the toughest second round match she could have got as a seeded player. She is not wrong! She is certainly aware of the danger here. Daria Gavrilova made some interesting comment after losing to Petra Martic, insinuating that out of Australia she struggles to deal with the pressure of a Slam. Her comments about being overly sweaty etc due to nerves, she’s up there with Bernie in the honesty stakes! Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova also lost to Arina Rodionova after having 7 match points. I also see that the Pavy/Gavrilova partnership have pulled out of the doubles event.
Finally, comfortable wins for Kontaveit, Kasatkina, Pironkova,Vandeweghe and Alison Riske, who beat the returning Sloane Stephens, reports suggest Sloane was understandably a little rusty! Glad she’s back out there though. Kiki Mladenovic hammered her close pal Pauline Parmentier and Caroline Wozniacki survived a scare against Timea Babos. The Dane was a break down and all but 2/0 down in the decider before Babos tightened and Woz raced through. The alarm bells are ringing though, Pironkova followed by Kasatkina/Kontaveit followed by Vandeweghe/Mladenovic. Traps littered there!
Let’s see what Wednesday brings, a lot of worrying comments coming out about Murray’s fitness. Though a good pal, Brown could make this tricky for Muzza. Can he hit the target often enough is the question?
Andy Del Potro