Former Roland Garros finalist and 14 seed Sara Errani fell yesterday to rising Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia. Their match started Monday but was pushed into a second day because of darkness and late-day rain. Huge-serving Ivo Karlovic also fell to lucky loser Frank Dancevic, while Svetlana Kuznetsova lost to Michelle Larcher De Brito. Jelena Jankovic was upset by big-hitting Kaia Kanepi. Seeded 7th, JJ is the highest seed in either bracket to fall so far. Her loss derails a potential fourth round meeting with countrywoman Ana Ivanovic. Seventeen year-old Donna Vekic also scored an upset over the 21st seeded Roberta Vinci. It was Vekic's first ever singles win at Wimbledon.
Felciano Lopez became the fourth man to compete in 50 consecutive Grand Slams. He joins Roger Federer, Stefan Edberg and Wayne Ferreira. Felo advanced to the second round with a tight straight sets win over Yuichi Sugita.
The Grass is Greener for Nadal
After two years of struggles at Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal came through with his first grass court win since 2012 and his 700th career win. Things looked grim when Rafa dropped the opening set—the seventh straight set he'd lost on grass—but he quickly rebounded and swept the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th sets. Rafa's next opponent will be Lukas Rosol, who dismissed him from The Championships in 2012. Nadal did beat Rosol earlier this year in Doha in straight sets.
Speaking of 700
Nadal is the 11th man in the 700 wins club. He and Roger Federer are the only two active members. The list is headed up by Jimmy Connors, who has an astounding 1,253 career wins. Federer is third on the list with 958, and Nadal is eleventh, behind Boris Becker's 713 wins.
Two of the day's scheduled matches went unfinished due to darkness. Vera Zvonareva and Tara Moore are tied 6-4, 6-7(3) while Zarina Diyas leads Kristina Mladenovic 7-6(4). Once those matches finish the first round of singles will be complete.
Amidst all the excitement that goes with the world's most prestigious tennis tournament, it's important to remember that there's so much more to life than tennis. On May 4, 2014, retired pro and former British #1 Elena Baltacha passed away from liver cancer at age 30. Baltacha was well-known for her selflessness and even opened a tennis academy to provide children of all backgrounds with an opportunity to experience the game that gave her so much. Yesterday, her life and contributions were celebrated with a special coin toss ceremony. Marion Bartoli was on hand for the ceremony, as was Baltacha's husband, Nino Severino. Also present was a nine-year old student from Baltacha's academy and former tennis great Martina Navratilova.
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