It is great to have Serena back. Plus that catsuit, if you’ve got it, flaunt it! A slight roll back to 2002. Also, boss to see Patrick and Alexis in the corner pumped and ready for action. I have missed my fix from The G.O.A.T. As a Rena fan, you want to see the passion, fist pumping and shout of “COME ON” back and they were back against Kristyna Pliskova. The rest should fall into place with matches.
After a first set that was dominated by big serving a tiebreaker was inevitable. Having trailed 3-0 in the breaker Serena rallied and upped her intensity and level to reel of six straight points. She was pumped. The second set was not as watertight on serve but she played well enough today. A 7/6 6/4 win set up a second-round match with Ash Barty, who is certainly a level above Pliskova right now, as the seeding suggests. I am just trying to enjoy having Rena back for the time being but you all know I will be super pumped everytime she steps out on the court.
Muguruza impressed in her 7/6 6/2 ousting of former champ Svetlana Kuznetsova. A high standard from both and it is a good start for her. With Muguruza it is always a question of whether she can maintain it? When she does, she takes some beating. We know that.
Caroline Garcia gave Ying-Ying Duan a bit of a pasting, losing just the one game. A nice opener no two ways about it. From what I gather, all I can say is Shuai Peng will get a lot more balls in play in their second round
Sharapova surprisingly struggled past Richel Hogenkamp. From 6/1 3/1 she trailed 6/1 4/6 0/3. The panic had started to set in here but she won six straight games to take the win. Hogenkamp kept it consistent but it wasn’t quite enough.
Other winners included Angie Kerber, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Julia Goerges, Elise Mertens and Kiki Bertens.
Rafa Nadal did come from a break down in the third to finally win it in the breaker. Bolelli played really well, he had a break, breakpoints and set points (6-3 up in the breaker). The Italian just could not get over the line and that was just to win a set. The usual Nadal intensity evident.
Kyle Edmund easily beat Alex De Minaur in three. Another good performance this from the Brit. He once again impressed by dominating today. De Minaur didn’t have much of a say. Edmund plays last weeks Champ in Geneva next, Marton Fucsovics.
Jack Sock’s miserable form continued after he lost from two sets to one up and a break in the fourth to Jurgen Zopp. Sounds like had some ‘beef’ with the umpire as well.
Fognini said something interesting in his interview after walloping Pablo Andujar 6/4 6/2 6/1. “I preferred to play last week because it is more effort to start again when I stop”. Keeps him on the ball by the sounds of it. Played well today.
Juan Martin Del Potro looked like he could be in a bit of trouble against Nicolas Mahut. Delpo dropped the opener 6/1 and having had the groin injury coming in you may have thought the worst. He turned it round in four though and roared away by the end.
There were wins for Marin Cilic, John Isner, Kevin Anderson, Pablo Cuevas, Guido Pella and Denis Shapovalov. Tomas Berdych trails Jeremy Chardy by two sets to the delight of the home crowd. Bad light stopped play tonight to ruin the Frenchman’s party.
On a final note, I am really looking forward to seeing how Cameron Norrie gets on against Lucas Pouille. It has been put on the Philippe-Chatrier and you would think he would thrive on the stage and atmosphere.
Andy Del Potro