Grass Clippings: Wimbledon Day 1
Sloane Stephens fell to former top-ten player Maria Kirilenko in a moderately surprising upset. Stephens' play has been up and down all year, but until yesterday she'd been saving her best for the majors—she had made at least the fourth round in the past six Majors before Kirilenko snapped her streak. Sam Stosur also lost to Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, despite a clean-looking stat sheet. Stosur hit 25 winners—including 13 aces—and committed just 9 unforced errors, but was unable to hold on to her serve or the match, losing 6-3, 6-4. Fernando Verdasco, a former Grand Slam quarterfinalist, was upset as well by Australian Marinko Matosevic.
Before this year's French Open, Marinko Matosevic seemed like he was cursed at the Grand Slams. In twelve tries, Matosevic had never managed to win a match at a Major. Then, on his thirteenth try, Matosevic broke his curse and won his first Grand Slam match against Dustin Brown at Roland Garros. Though he did lose his very next match in France, it does appear that Matosevic may have broken his curse for good. He came through a tough first round match at Wimbledon with a four set win over the 18th seeded Fernando Verdasco.
Murray Stout in Opener
Defending men's champion Andy Murray looked solid and strong in the opening match of his title defense, topping David Goffin 6-1, 6-4, 7-5. Goffin—a former top 50 player—can be a dangerous opponent, but Murray dismissed him with relative ease. This is Murray's first Slam with new coach Amelie Mauresmo, who is also a former Wimbledon champion and WTA #1. Apparently Murray also took time out of his busy Wimbledon schedule to stop traffic and rescue a dog that was running loose in the streets of London.
Sticks and Stones
Roger Federer didn't play on Day One, but he still managed to make some news. Over the weekend he showed up to his practice session with a bandage on his right hand. It turns out that he "stabbed a stick" into his hand while playing in the woods with his twin daughters. Fortunately, it seems that his play will be unaffected by the… erm… injury.
First Round Rollercoasters
I have to be honest, as soon as I saw the draw and the Day One schedule, I was sure that Dustin Brown and Marcos Baghdatis would produce the wildest match of the day. Their match certainly was entertaining, but it didn't live up to the Monfils-Fognini match last month at Roland Garros. Surprisingly, David Ferrer's match also left some people scratching their heads. Leading 6-0, 3-0 Ferrer seemed to lose his way, eventually dropping the second set in a tiebreak. He did right the ship, running through the third and fourth sets 6-1, 6-1. Fabio Fognini also didn't disappoint. After losing the first two sets badly and ranting about a racquet abuse point penalty, Fognini came roaring back to win 9-7 in the fifth.
Press Conference Funnies
Ernests Gulbis—who's almost always good for something humorous during press conferences—was asked if he agreed with John McEnroe that umpires should be eliminated from tennis. Ernie agreed… except he thought he was being asked about vampires. Once he realized the mix-up, he clarified: "Umpires, no. Without umpires, it wouldn't work. I thought it was vampires." After his win, Robin Haase was asked whether he was following World Cup soccer. He replied "Nothing." When the reporter followed up, Haase elaborated: "I just won my match. I don't want talk about soccer."
It's a bad time for a rain delay for…
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Sam Querrey, both of whom were getting ready to serve for the match. Five other matches were interrupted by the end-of-the-day rain shower, including Radwanska/Mitu (Radwanska leading 4-2), Pironkova/Lepchencko (Pironkova leading 7-6, 0-2), Wozniacki/Peer (Wozniacki leading 6-3, 2-0), Errani/Garcia (tied 6-2, 6-7) and Kuznetsova/Larcher De Brito (on serve at 1-2).
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