Absolutely heartbroken probably doesn’t even sum this up. It is really hard to take a Serena defeat but it is even harder when an injury puts her out. I just knew immediately yesterday it was game over. After the slip, the pause and then the service motion. It was clear as daylight. We were done here. It is, without doubt, the most cut up and emotional I have felt after a Serena exit for a while. It is usually all about Wimbledon, that is the one we as Renas Army fans look to, SW19 then the US Open. These are the big chances. Through no fault of her own, she has had Wimbledon snatched away from her in the last two years, the opportunity to put this annoying (and mostly meaningless record) to bed has been snatched away from us, both under circumstances, nobody could have foreseen.
I think the biggest worry for me was how she embraced the crowd after shaking hands with Sasnovich. This was followed by the one-finger salute on the way out as she exited Centre Court in tears. She loves the Centre Court crowd and she told them so. The way she has done it, in my opinion, suggested she doesn’t think she will be coming back here. I thought the same after Melbourne and Paris but I am more sure after last night. Things can of course change but that is genuinely what I think is the feeling in the camp right now. I have genuinely never hoped I am wrong more than this, that is a given. Patrick had just been saying pre-event how ready she was for this and her preparation had been perfect. It makes it worse.
Serena you have nothing to prove at the end of the day, you do what is best for you. The obsession with the media was always to beat Graf’s 22 grand slams. It was only ever after you conquered that people remembered who Margaret Court was. She doesn’t even come close to Graf, so she comes nowhere near you. You are the GOAT and anyone who says anything different is just deluded.
That injury is also made worse by the fact it happened in the match straight after Adrian Mannarino had injured himself on Centre Court against Roger Federer, the match was just in the fifth set. Certain media can say what they like but the truth is this isn’t like the normal ‘slipping’ on grass from years gone by. They need to sort it. Muzza and Federer were two of the players to speak up about it straight away, both players were devastated for Serena. Sasnovich said the same in her oncourt interview too, so did Nole etc etc.
In better news, it was great to see Evo take out Feliciano Lopez so comfortably. I was worried about this one as we all know what Lopez is capable of on grass. In retrospect, I needed this victory for any sanity yesterday. It was a good performance as well, Evo played some really good stuff in the second set especially. To get this done in three was something I wasn’t expecting at all. The British Number One will play Dusan Lajovic on Court One today for a place in the last 32, a match he is 1/10 for in the betting markets. This tournament is proving that we shouldn’t take things for granted though and I won’t be. Up the Evo.
Elsehwere in the mens, Alexander Zverev was a straight sets winner agaisnt Tallon Griekspoor. Daniil Medvedev won in four sets against Jan-Lennard Struff, this started to get a bit more interesting from the third set, the Russian was having it his own way until then. As I already mentioned Federer progressed after Mannarino retired at the start of the fifth after his slip. A seeded player to go was Alex De Minaur, who lost to Sebastian Korda (Evo’s section). Ugo Humbert and Nick Kyrgios were treating us to a late-night match on Court One before the 11 pm curfew stopped them in their tracks at 3-3 in the decider. On Brit watch, Jay Clarke lost the fourth set and the match on resumption to Egor Gerasimov.
In the Ladies, there were wins for Coco Gauff and top-seed Ash Barty. Gauff beat the Brit, Francesca Jones and Barty beat Carla Suarez Navarro who got a standing ovation in her last appearance at Wimbledon. Lovely to see players and the crowd embracing her once again after what she has been through. Very touching. Nice to see her nick the second set too. Venus also won and snapped her losing streak. There were some edgy moments at the end against Mihaela Buzarnescu but she held firm. I think Venus was right in her comments about a five-time champion playing on Court 3. Disgraceful really and she is right a five-time male champion wouldn’t be chucked out on there.
Andy Del Potro (Al Davies).