Long day but as always worth it! Got an added bonus today as my pal let me have his ticket for court one for part of the day. So much going on the outside courts and a lot of quality there too and scorching hot weather to boot.
I left home at 4.30am this morning to queue and found myself around 4,100 in the pecking order. I’ll go in draw order and mention my experiences along the way.
Milos Raonic almost found himself 2 sets down against Mikhail Youzhny, saving set points in the second-set tie-break. Doesn’t sound great from Milos today but his serve can get him through, we know that! Albert Ramos waits in the 3rd round after his five-set victory over qualifier Andrey Rublev. Fair to say I called Sebastian Ofner right, he’s done Jack Sock in 5. I watched a bit of the third set here, Ofner looks very steady and calculated. Sock not right at the moment and will be looking to the US swing to get things back on track. He faces Sascha Zverev who put in a very solid performance against Frances Tiafoe. I stayed to watch this one. Tiafoe was a bit hit and miss but that’s what he’s like right now. Thoroughly enjoyed this with blistering winners from both players. Let’s see where Frances is in a years time, I’m sure he is on the rise. Big forehand at his disposal!
Roger Federer took out Dusan Lajovic in straights but found himself an early break down. Lajovic didn’t come with the intention of making up the numbers but he simply wouldn’t go with the Fed-Express, nothing disgraceful about that! Mischa Zverev in the last 32. Serve and volley anyone? Expect Federer to be attempting to pick his opponent off with his passing shot in this one! Dimitrov battered Baghdatis for the loss of just 6 games and Dudi Sela came from 2 sets to 1 down to defeat John Isner. All 5’9 of him!
I saw a bit of Thiem v Simon on Court one. He was just about tho turn the tide when I left. He didn’t look comfortable in the first, that’s what Gilles does though. Thiem upped it here but in fairness, it was a necessity he did. He plays Jared Donaldson next, a very strong favourite for that. Ferrer and Berdych also got through when Steve Darcis retired at 0/3 in the first and Berdych beat American Ryan Harison in 4.
I also saw most Novak beating up Adam Pavlasek. Good performance from Nole, Pavlasek couldn’t hurt him as Djokovic pulled him from pillar to post. Never any danger here, very one-sided. Djokovic will also be relieved hat Ernests Gulbis has played out of his nut and taken Del Potro out in straights! It all seems to be working right now for the Latvian from the blistering serve and forehand to his mental attributes. Let’s see if he can play to this level against Novak next up, we know he can! Kyle Edmund played ok against Gael Monfils but inexperience cost him, losing a tight 3 sets. An all-French clash awaits against Adrian Mannarino who despite his point penalty (looked harsh for bumping into a ball boy) beat Yuichi Sugita. He did get revenge for last week.
I couldn’t resist watching a bit of Fognini/Seppi in the doubles. Gotta love watching The Fog.
Beth Mattek-Sands has picked up what I can only decide as a horrendous knee injury against Sorana Cirstea. Thoughts and wishes are with her for a speedy recovery. Cirstea was quite clearly very upset as were onlookers. Lucie Safarova, Matteks-Sands best pal and doubles partner lost to Shelby Rogers and reports suggest the Czech as “deeply distressed” about the injury going on court to give support to the American. Angie Kerber and Garbine Muguruza also progressed both with straight sets wins against Kirsten Flipkens and Yanina Wickmayer respectively.
Kuzzy played well in beating Makarova, a little wobble in there but that’s tennis, the ebb and flow. Polana Hercog continued her run, like Ofner through qaulies, she beat American Varvara Lepchenko in a decider. Aggie Radwanska saved a couple of match points against Christina McHale who from reports was playing well (50 winners). More question marks about her getting over the line here after this. A-Rad now plays Timea Bacsinzsky, who dropped a single game against Kristina Kucova.
Magdalena Rybarikova was the person to take Karolina Pliskova out as I suggested in my preview, it’s not all been going right from that, so I’ll take this! A wicked performance, she pulled Pliskova from left to right and her touch was a joke. Very clever player Maggie. Exposed Pliskova’s movement ane the variation wore her down. It’s a winnable section now with Lesia Tsurenko net up. The Ukrainian in a good bit of form herself. Zarina Diyas and Petra Martic complete the 1/8th of that section.
I watched Coco Vandeweghe dismantle Tatjana Maria earlier. The power that Vandeweghe has at her fingertips is unreal and its blunts Maria’s variation when like this. The German just totally out powered here. Coco was comfortable on serve. Plenty of opportunity teeing-off for Coco here! She plays Alison Riske who defeated Kiki Mladenovic who by all about, whinged about the conditions and didn’t play well. Anett Kontaveit was superb against Daria Kasatkina and Caroline Wozniacki disposed of a very dangerous opponent in Tsvetana Pironkova. Straights and all!!
Andy Del Potro