For those of you who don’t know where Wimbledon takes place, it’s in London. This means that for us in the US that are interested in watching, we need to wake up pretty early. I woke up at 3:30 am just to watch today’s matches. Why would anyone wake up at that time? Simple, Wimbledon is on of the most popular tennis tournaments in the world, not only do us tennis fanatics love it, but so do casual fans. Day 1 didn’t disappoint. The top two stories of the day were the upsets of Tomas Berdych and Venus Williams. American John Isner was also upset in the first round by Alejandro Falla of Colombia.
Tomas Berdych, of Czech Republic, is the number 6 player in the world. He was a semi finalist in Wimbledon two years ago. He defeated Roger Federer in the QF and Novak Djokovic in the Sf before losing to Rafel Nadal in the final. Ernest Gulbis, of Latvia, is number 87 in the world. Most people probably saw this draw and thought it would be an easy match for Berdych. Gulbis proved them wrong. The two played for a little over 2 and a half hours before Gulbis upset the 6th ranked player. Before this, the last time Gulbis had won a match in a major tournament was in last year’s US Open. Two of the things that helped Gulbis in this match was his serve and movement. He had a huge first and second serve, and was able to run down most of the balls that Berdych hit to him. Berdych will be leaving Wimbledon wondering how he lost. But this will definitely be one of Gulbis’ biggest wins in his career. He will face Jerzy Janowictz of Poland in his second round match.
Venus Williams was another player who lost in the first round. Williams hasn’t been playing her best tennis lately, but no one could’ve predicted that she’d lose in the first round. After all, she has won 5 Wimbledon titles. She lost to Elena Vesnina of Russia, in her worst Wimbledon defeat since her Wimbledon debut back in 1997. Right from the start, you could tell this wasn’t the Venus Williams who’s won over 10 majors. She seemed to lack energy and was quickly down 0-5 in the first set. She managed to win a game, before losing the first set 6-1. Williams tried to get back into the match during the second set, but was only able to win 3 games. Vesnina deserves a lot of the credit though. She didn’t let the fact that she was playing a Williams sister intimidate her and was able to move Williams around. She was also to come up to the net and win points there. Although she hasn’t said it herself, many are wondering if this was Williams’ last Wimbledon tournament. After all, she will be 33 years old next year and most professional tennis players usually retire by this age.
Another American player that was upset was the number 1 American, John Isner. Most people first became aware of Isner when he and Nicolas Mahut played in the longest match in tennis history. In 2010, at Wimbledon, Isner and Mahut played a match that lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes. This match was played in a period of 3 days, Isner eventually won the match. The following year, Isner and Mahut met in the first round of Wimbledon yet again. This time, they didn’t have a marathon match, Isner won that match too. Coincidentally, Mahut and Isner were scheduled to meet for the 3rd year in a row, this time in the second round. Unfortunately, since Isner lost, there wouldn’t be Isner-Mahut part 3. Isner has had a roller coaster year. He had two huge wins over Federer and Djokovic earlier this year, but hasn’t had much success in the majors. Isner has a strong serve that was made for this kind of surface, but wasn’t able to use it to his advantage. His return wasn’t as good, and his movement really hurt him. Isner will be competing at the Summer Olympics next month. He needs to take this time and think about what he needs to do in order to do well. After all, the Summer Olympics will take place in London and he will be playing on the grass courts again.
The favorites- Djokovic, Federer, Maria Sharapova, and Kim Clijsters- all made it to the second round without a problem. Tomorrow, Rafael Nadal will start his quest for another Wimbledon title. The first matches start at 6:30 am EST. The matches will be shown on ESPN 2.
Here are some of the results of Day 1
E. Vesnina d V. Williams 6-1, 6-3
E. Gulbis d (6) T. Berdych 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4)
A. Falla d J. Isner 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 7-5
(3) R. Federer d A. Ramos 6-1, 6-1, 6-1
(1) M. Sharapova d A Rodionova 6-2, 6-3
K. Clijsters d (18) J. Jankovic 6-2, 6-4
(5) S. Stosur d C. Suarez-Navarro 6-1, 6-3
(1) N. Djovokovic d J. Ferrero 6-3, 6-3, 6-1
Americans(the Americans are in bold)
T. Babos d M. Oudin 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
S. Stephens d K. Pliskova 6-2, 6-2
(23) P. Cetkovska d V. King 6-4, 6-2
R. Sweeting d P. Starace 6-2, 2-0 (retired)
M. Russell d A. Menendez-Maceiras 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7)
(26) M. Youzhny d D. Young 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3
R. Harrison d Y. Lu 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
B. Becker d J. Blake 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 6-0, 6-4
(13) G. Simon d P. Matthieu 6-3, 5-4 (retired)
(8) J. Tipsarevic d D. Nalbandian 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
(17) F. Verdasco d J. Wang 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, 7-5
(18) R. Gasquet d T. Kamke 6-2, 6-2, 6-2
(15) J. Monaco d L. Mayer 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5)