Muzza got past Dustin Brown today with minimal fuss. The truth is, this is a great match up for Murray and Brown has to constantly produce winners and drop shots galore to make a dent in Muzza’s armoury and so it proved. We will find out a lot more about his movement when he faces off against Fabio Fognini next. The Italian certainly looks like he is going to embrace the occasion and also mentioned how he worked on his fitness for 15 days after RG and how he is now reaping the rewards. We know what a shot maker he is but he served 11 aces today against Vesely in his comfortable straight sets win.
Ruben Bemelmans put an end to Daniil Medvedev’s chances. Some strange goings on in this one. Medvedev had fought back from two sets down to lead by a break in the fifth. A few ‘dodgy’ line calls later and the Russian was totally gone! Throwing coins in the direction of Mariana Alves after appeared to be insinuating she was bribed hence the line calls. Daniil denies this and says he will apologise personally to Alves. Bemelmans now plays ‘Big Kevin Anderson’ next. Jerzy Janowicz rolled back the years with his four-set victory over Lucas Pouille, BIG win for the Pole this, in what was a powerhouse encounter. Jo-Wilfred Tsonga put an end to qualifier Simone Bolelli’s hopes, he will face Sam Querrey next.
Rafa Nadal took out Donald Young in 3, a very impressive performance from Rafa here until he failed to serve it out at the first time of asking. It will be a totally different match against Karen Khachanov in the last 32, the Russian will look to blow Rafa out of the water on Friday. Looking and doing though is very different as we know. Khachanov struggled past Thiago Monteiro in 4 today but by all accounts, the Brazilian has acquitted himself very well on the SW19 lawns. Aljaz Bedene beat his good pal Damir Dzumhur and he will get a shot at Gilles Muller next, Muller saved match points in beating Lukas Rosol. 5 Years since that ridiculous performance against Nadal now from the Czech who made the draw after making it through qualies this year!
There were also wins today for Marin Cilic, Steve Johnson, Roberto Bautista Agut and Kei Nishikori, who struggled like others with these flying ants that seem to have fallen upon Wimbledon. Sergiy Stakhovsky gave him a game, Nishikori edging him out in a fourth set breaker.
I was worried for Venus today. From 4/2 up in the first against Qiang Wang she lost 4 straight games. The errors were coming at this stage and I feared for the worst. There is a lot going on right now for her and it has to be immensely difficult. This showed strong character and the serve was working well which is encouraging. Big hitting contest against Naomi Osaka next who ousted Barbora Strycova in 3. Dom Cibulkova and Anna Konjuh will meet next after beating Brady and Begu respectively. Konjuh only just scraping through!
Francoise Abanda gave Jelena Ostapenko an almighty scare. Like I previously said, I like Abanda and am pleased she’s starting to make her mark. Qualifying for both the French and Wimbledon now and winning a round at both. The ranking will be going only one way from here. She didn’t quite get it done today but it shows she is not far off! Ostapenko in a tight 3. She plays Camila Giorgi in the third round after the Italian took out Madison Keys. I’m not expecting either player to compromise in that one, the same would have been true had Madison made it through. The American obviously taking a bit of time to get back from surgery. Elsewhere, Svitolina hammered Francesca Schiavone for the loss of just 3 games. An open 1/8th of the draw now with Ostapenko, Giorgi, Svitolina and Carina Witthoeft left!
Fair play to Jo Konta today. A serving clinic was on show from both herself and Donna Vekic, lasting over 3 hours. Konta prevailed 10/8 in the decider. Great atmosphere on Centre for this one and some big hitting full stop. She gains revenge for the loss in the Notts final. Barely anything between these two on both occasions. Great stuff! Maria Sakkari is her next opponent after she beat Kristyna Pliskova, sounds like Pliskova struggled in the heat and lost from a winning position!
Petra Kvitova was beaten by Madison Brengle again. I mentioned how Brengle could make it awkward with her Vinci/Santoro style of play. Petra looked to have run out of gas in the decider here and errors before that point had cost her in the first set. She obviously doesn’t like the matchup as she trails 1-3 in the head to head now and it’s not hard to see why. The variation causes ultra attacking players problems especially when they have an off day. Konta, on paper, is the player to benefit in this section of the draw.
Vika Azarenka will square off against Heather Watson. Watson was impressive in beating an out of sorts Sevastova as Vika continues to gain confidence with a 3 and 3 win over Elena Vesnina. I’ll say it again but I think Vika will win the US at the moment, the question is how far will she go here? Should she get past Watson then Shuai Peng or Simona Halep will be waiting! Peng will like her chances against Halep who struggled against Beatriz Haddad Maia and should have lost the first set. Like Monteiro another Brazilian who looks like they can play on the grass, Beatriz! I can think of Andre Sa, Guga Kuerten and Flavio Saretta who have all made the second week here off the top of my head!
I shall also leave you on that note.
Andy Del Potro