It was a frustrating day for Evo today. It just didn’t happen, part of me thinks this could be down to it being one of those infuriating matchups, especially in windy conditions like this. Nishioka went high to the backhand today and it worked. Evans kept going and looked like he might start to turn it around in the third but it was just one of those days. Nishioka just seemed to have the answers, one breakpoint summing it up when he managed to put a reflex volley away, it could have gone anywhere.
It has been a very positive start to the season for the British number one though and with the indoors coming up, we could be in for a good few weeks. When speaking after the defeat I read that Evo says he will probably give the Olympics a miss this year, he says he sees that more as an individual event. On to Montpellier. #UptheEvo.
Serena described her performance against Tamara Zidansek as the one with the most errors so far this season. The first set went pretty quickly but there was more of a struggle in the second. Am I concerned? You can’t play your best every round in a slam, so not yet. I thought she played well enough against Potapova to show she is there. When push came to shove today she upped it. It is difficult to have too many complaints after a 6/2 6/3 win. The serve was used when it was needed, though she will want to cut down on the 28 unforced’s committed here. It sounds like Ash Barty had a similar time (struggled in the second) against Polona Hercog, it is all about getting the job done though.
It was a disappointing day for a couple of bets in the mens with both Berrettini and Dimitrov going out. The wind certainly didn’t help the Italian in his defeat to Tennys Sandgren but it was very frustrating as he came back from two sets down and had his chances. Sandgren does seem to like these courts in fairness, even if I’m not his biggest fan. Dimitrov also came from two sets down against Tommy Paul and served for it at 5/3 but ended up being on the wrong end. The American won the last seven points of the final set tiebreak. This would have been the first time Grigor had come back from two sets down but it wasn’t to be. Paul was struggling physically but just upped the ante.
Elsewhere, in the men’s, there were easy wind for Federer and Djokovic against Krajinovic and Ito, neither player being extended. Roberto Bautista Agut got moved indoors midway through against Michael Mmoh and finished him in four sets. Stefanos Tsitsipas got a walkover against Phillip Kohlschreiber and Diego Schwartzman has made the third round and is yet to drop a set after hammering Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina. Fognini beat Jordan Thompson, another five-set win, another final set breaker. He plays Guido Pella next, I haven’t a clue what will go down there. Could be brutal that one!
In the womens, Caroline Wozniacki was too steady for Dayana Yastremska, the Dane in her last ever event. She was a double break down in both sets but won both of them. I did wonder whether the occasion might get to the Ukranian here and it seemed to. Great for Caro though, we all love her and we love seeing her do well. It was a similar story for Carla Suarez Navarro, who is also playing her last event, she upset Aryna Sabalenka. Sabalenka also had chances in both sets but it was the experienced, more consistent player that won through.
Petra Kvitova came past a stern test in Paula Badosa. The Spaniard had set points in the second and Kvitova admitted like many, to struggling with the windy conditions. Ekaterina Alexandrovna should be a decent encounter in the next round. We will also get a repeat of the US Open third round between Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff. Gauff showed plenty of fighting spirit to come from a break down in the decider against Sorana Cirstea and she is loving the crowd support here. Everyone takes to her don’t they?
On Brit watch, Heather Watson came from a set down to grind it out against Kristyna Pliskova and continue her decent start to the season. She will play Elise Mertens again after beating her in Hobart recently. It is a big ask again but it’s possible, no doubt.
Andy Del Potro