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    #26
    First break points of the day for Venus at 4-3

    Comment


      #27
      And a double fault. A blink. 4-4 (Venus did two straight doubles to hand the break away, so that is 1-1 on gifts).

      Comment


        #28
        Gauff breaks back in the next game after many deuces and luck on both sides of the net. She will serve for the match.

        Comment


          #29
          And an immediate break back...

          Comment


            #30
            Spin in the first serve? No way. Then a second serve ace. Two mps...

            Comment


              #31
              One saved, Venus clipping the outside of the line.

              Comment


                #32
                Clean winner backhand down the line after a big second serve from Gauff. But now match point no.3...

                Comment


                  #33
                  Wrongfooting winner from Venus. She only just scrambled the return back into court. But now break point.

                  Comment


                    #34
                    108mph second serve on the line. Service winner. Holly moly. Deuce. And now mp 4...

                    Comment


                      #35
                      Net from Venus! Gauff wins. I think we will hear that phrase a lot in the coming years.

                      Comment


                        #36
                        A big smile and lots of words at the net from Venus. Well she was playing her legacy there.

                        Comment


                          #37
                          Incredible start to the tournament. Gauff's going to on every back page this morning, and will almost certainly get more attention than the eventual champion (unless of course she is the eventual champion, but they'll be making movies about it if that happens).

                          Comment


                            #38
                            Have I put the curse on Novak too?

                            Comment


                              #39
                              Likely not.

                              And better late than never, the rest of the previews.

                              #6 Alexander Zverev
                              Well, it feels a bit weird to be writing this after day one when the player in question is already out of the event, and hindsight is obviously 20/20 but there is no way I was going to tip Zverev to turn around his poor slam form at Wimbledon. His tactics are just all wrong for grass, hitting the big shots but then staying way back. I could use words like excessively cautious but in fact Iím going to go the whole hog and says he plays scared. Itís dispiriting to observe. Glad itís over.

                              #Stefanos Tsitsipas
                              As I say up thread, Tsitsipasí R1 exit was completely out of left field. Both for me, and by the sounds of his press conference for him as well. He looked OK at Queens, but not exceptional. His grass court game is still a work in progress, clearly. I think he will get there in the next year or two and start making deep runs in this Slam as at the others, but like Thiem his game was developed on clay and there is adaptation needed. Time to study the tapes of Nadal again, for yet another reason.

                              #8 Kei Nishikori
                              At least Nishikori is yet to start his tournament. That makes talking about his chances easier. They are... pretty remote in terms of the title, to be honest. Nishikori might may well make week 2 as there are no deep horrors lurking in his segment of the draw, but he has always found grass tricky as he is a bit too tied to his baseline. In a decade of trying, he his best result is a QF once, though to be fair that was last year. Compare that with three or four QFs or better at each of the other three Slams. One thing in Keiís favour in 2019 has been his consistency Ė he made the last eight in both Melbourne and Paris. Matching those and last years run would be a decent performance, counting as at least par.

                              #9 John Isner
                              Only a handful of players succeeded in changing the very fabric of a sport. But Isner has. A scoring system, advantage sets, that Wimbledon clung on to the last vestiages in the face or modern developments of matches taking far longer and huge serves that are close to impossible to break died last summer as Isner and Anderson played themselves to a standstill in a 26-24 Semi. That was the fourth longest match in history in terms of duration. My parents had tickets for it, and my Dad still spits feathers about the spectacle, calling it interminable. The longest by a distance still and presumably now forever being Isner-Mahut, of course. It has lead to the ĎIsner ruleí as Rogin has it of a final set tie-break, though Kevin Anderson might wonder how he doesnít get a credit seeing as he played a 15-13 QF against Federer followed by the 26-24 SF. Is there any wonder he was reduced to a slow shuffle in the Final? Anyway, Isner in 2019. That Semi last year final broke something of a Wimbledon hoodoo as, despite being just about unplayable if his serve functions, Isner had previously not been beyond R3 in a decade of trying. Even now, with the 5 wins last year, he has still won more matches in Paris than London. And that makes one think maybe not, particularly with Isner having missed the French this year with injury. That was suffered in the Miami Final, confirming again that Big John just isnít lucky. The draw has been kind though, so there is a route open to the last eight again...

                              #10 Karen Khachanov
                              ĎSilent Kí as the surname is pronounced Hachanov. Which is just a bit bemusing, seeing as the name must be a transliteration. Why not simply spell it in the Latin alphabet phonetically like we do with every other Cyrillic name? Anyway... Lots of similarities to both Isner and particularly Zverev here. Khachanov is a big guy with a huge serve, but he is entirely loathe to come forwards. That leaves him tied to the baseline and in the Ďnever going to do ití category for this tournament. The height and thumping serve will win him a few matches, such as the runs to R3 and R4 in the last two years but itís always likely to come to a sticky end against the first really accomplished player he meets. His section of the draw looks open, but even so I would be surprised if it was Karen who emerged from it into the QFs.

                              Comment


                                #40
                                #11 Daniil Medvedev
                                Medvedev is an interesting player in that itís hard to see exactly what he does well. He is steady, solid, unspectacular. And that is it really, he does everything decently and nothing badly. That makes him troublesome to deal with as there are no gifts against Medvedev. The only way to beat him is to play well. Itís not a recipe for a Slam title in all likelihood, but a QF showing and a match against Djokovic? Very plausible.

                                #13 Marin Cilic
                                Marin Cilic probably wonít see it this way, but I think he has delivered in his career. One slam title and two other finals is a good return for a talented but not earth-shatteringly good player. Put it this way, equally good players like Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga would gladly swap right here, right now. The big serve and willingness to move inside the baseline to pound away balls that deserve it make for a good combination on grass, which is why Cilic has a solidly consistent record on the lawns. He made three straight QFs in 2014-16 before going two further and reaching the final in 2017. Federer rather beat him up in that, and Cilic underperformed significantly on his return last year as the #3 seed, going out to Pella in R2. He should do much better than that this year, and if he makes it through to his as seeded R4 tie against Nadal may be able to pull off a big win.

                                #15 Milos Raonic
                                Milos Raonic is another who would take Cilicís resume. The big Canadian has stuttered somewhat since his own Wimbledon Final in 2016 (vs Murray), with injuries playing a part in that. He is, however, a very accomplished grass court operator with a string of deep runs in Wimbledon behind him and now has company from younger countrymen to share the burden of expectation. He looks the class of his quarter of the draw, so I expect him to make the Semis. But then, Djokovic and the end again.

                                #17 Matteo Berrettini
                                Matteo Berrettini is one of the breakout stars of 2019 with three titles to his name and one other runner-up finish. The first three of these (2-1) were on clay, but then he won the grass court title in Stuttgart, going through the whole tournament without losing serve. It will be fascinating to see how he goes here, what massive self-belief can do for a man. His section of the draw looks very tractable, which could set up a shot at Federer in R4.

                                #19 Felix Auger-Aliassime
                                For all Berrettiniís titles and the feeling that he is a proper player, the man generating the hype is the player the Italian beat in that Stuttgart title match, Felix Auger-Aliassime. Itís a measure of how far and how fast the young Canadian has come that he didnít even play the main draw in Melbourne as his ranking wasnít high enough. An unfortunate injury in the Lyon Final two days before the French Open meant he had to miss that, which makes this just his second ever slam. And itís one that he is a proper outside bet to win. The basis of his game is a shuddering serve and crisp groundstrokes, but there is also a tactical cuteness, a willingness to come forward and use touch that makes for a very complete looking package. He feels like the future of the Menís sport, and that future is soon. Now? Yes, it could be.

                                #20 Gilles Simon
                                Gilles Simon has long been a handy grass court player, of a very unusual type. Itís rare for an out-and-out defender to succeed on the quickest surface, but that is what the Frenchman manages. He just keeps the ball alive and asks tricky questions. That is enough to get him things like the Queens final, and could be enough to properly him through an open looking segment of the draw to a QF here, but enough to beat a Nadal over five then? No. Still, he could well be around for an extended stay before that.

                                #22 Stan Wawrinka
                                Grass is very much not Stan Wawrinkaís friend. The big cuts he takes at the ball need that beat longer to line up, particularly the backhand where the timing point is critical. Whilst he has won each of the other Slams, his best at Wimbledon is the QFs twice and in the last three years he only has two match wins. However, given the concentration of Slam titles with just three players Stan is the fourth most decorated man in the draw and as such he has to be taken seriously. He also appeared to be refinding the old form in Paris last month. If the courts are playing slow as some players claimed today, that could give him the time to unleash his fearsome groundstrokes.

                                Dan Evans
                                Lots of players get called mini-Fed. But, whisper it, is Dan Evans stylistically the closest anybody else comes? Federer himself seems taken, as he reportedly invited Evans over to train with him recently. And Evo is very much a grass court player. Two titles in Surbiton and Nottingham mean he is in form. Yes, they were both Challengers and yes, he did go out relatively early in the full Tour stuff at Queens and Eastbourne, but this is a man who knows his way around a grass court and who loves the big occasion. A run to the second week? Now that is very plausible.

                                Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
                                Itís weird for Jo-Willy Tsonga to not be a seed at a slam. He has been for so long. That is somewhat injury related, but time is also ticking rapidly down on the Frenchman, who is now into his 34th year. The Wimbledon Semi appearances in 2011 and 12 are now a while ago. One last hurrah of a deep run would be extremely popular, but given how little has been achieved recently, it feels like a long shot. Included for nostalgia as much as anything.

                                Nick Kyrgios
                                Well, what is there to say? The guy is a loose cannon. A wild talent, whose mind is working against the capabilities of his body. If his mentality were different, he has the shots making abilities to be a multiple slam champion and World No.1. But his brain is an intrinsic part of Nick Kyrgios. Clearly that is always going to hold him back. He is presumably very determined to set up the grudge match with Nadal in R2, but I suspect that even if he wins that he wonít go much further. Heíll be emotionally burned out. Or he might implode in his tough R1 match with fellow Aussie Jordan Thompson. That feels more likely, in fact.

                                Feliciano Lopez (WC)
                                And finally, we have the Queens champion. Singles and Doubles mark you. Who needed a wild card just to enter Wimbledon. As is well established, Lopez, with his swing lefty serve and net rushing tactics, is a difficult grass court proposition for anyone. Partly because he is a throwback. Hardly anyone plays this way anymore. Opponents are inexperienced at dealing with it. Whilst Feliciano, aged 37, has seen it all before countless times. He holds the record for consecutive slam main draws featured in at 70, and in the previous 69 Wimbledon has been the best one. Lopez has made three previous QFs. Is a fourth possible? Oh yes, for sure. Maybe even a first ever Semi? Well, actually, with Anderson, Raonic and Khachanov as the competition, why not?

                                Comment


                                  #41
                                  #6 Petra Kvitova
                                  The main thing is Petra Kvitova says she hit on Saturday without pain from the arm injury that kept her out of the French Open. That is good news, and the period off may have helped the Czech as this is the most intense time of year for players but she should be fresh. The big question is whether she is ready without any grass court practice? Well, given her past (champion here in 2011 and 2014), how much does she honestly need? How to play on this stuff must be in there, somewhere. Itís just a case of letting it out. Petra was in fine form before the injury struck, making the Aussie Open final amongst a total of fourth title matches reached in 2019. She is overdue a good run in SW19 after a shock R1 loss last year. And she would be a popular winner. Itís hard to tip her given the lack of clarity over her fitness, but if she is still about this time next week she will become an increasingly menacing presence.

                                  #7 Simona Halep
                                  That isnít the case for Simona Halep at the moment, who appears to be drifting somewhat. The 2018 French Open win was supposed to be the breakthrough moment, the monkey off the back of one of the most talented players that would allow her to go from first amongst equals to the dominant player on the WTA. Which is something her talent makes a possibility. But rather than that, she has only won one event since, with no titles so far in 2019. Itís almost as if that French title was a culmination rather than a springboard. Simona has split from the coach who got her over the hump, Darren Cahill and then hired and fired a replacement before the latest incumbent, Daniel Dobre, came on board. That speaks of a lack of clarity. Halep is too good not to make the later stages of Slams regularly, but something definitely feels amiss at the moment and as such itís hard to tip her to still be around for the final. And that was all true before she hurt herself in R1.

                                  #8 Elina Svitolina
                                  2019 has been a dog of a season for Elina Svitolina so far. It has been injury marred and when she has played she has only managed a W-L record for the year to date of 14-11, which is low for a player used to featuring regularly in the later stages of tournaments. Clay isnít her best surface, but three wins total from that was a poor return. Zero (well one now) on grass is even worse. And itís not like there were good memories to come back to at Wimbledon, either. This has generally been an unhappy hunting ground, with more losses than wins (5-6) and progress past R2 only once in her previous visits. No expectations, then. Given the lack of return when the expectations were higher, is this a good thing? I doubt it. It just means her early departure this year will be less remarked upon.

                                  #9 Sloane Stephens
                                  A year ago, Sloane Stephens had the world at her feet. She was the US Open champion and had put together a very strong body of work in the 2018 French Open, which she finished as runner-up. Her ranking was on its way up to a peak of #3. And then she got absolutely battered in R1 of Wimbledon by Donna Vekic. 2019 was a bit of a mess up until the clay court season. Then things seemed to be picking up, until that pesky Jo Konta repeatedly intervened. Will Sloane have be glad or frustrated to see her name so close to Kontaís in this draw? How she reacts to such things will determine if this is a breakable slump. Because in terms of game, Stephens has loads. A superb athlete and defender with the weight of shots to counterpunch, she should be an factor in every tournament she enters. Itís now over a year since Sloane won a tournament and coming up to two since she claimed that debut slam title. Itís becoming overdue to add to those.

                                  #10 Aryna Sabalenka
                                  This is another of those post-hoc justifications, as Sabalenka is already out of the event. But as I said above in my selection of her R1 match, she seems to be lost at the moment. The joyous, powerful, attacking player of mid-2018 has gone, replaced by someone still striking it hard but with clearly extremely brittle confidence. It doesnít take much to make the Belarussian doubt herself these days, which is a difficult cycle to break. It didnít happen here.

                                  #11 Serena Williams
                                  Who? Only the GOAT, thatís who. 23 Slam titles, 7 Wimbledon crowns and countless other accolades over one of the greatest, most significant sporting careers most of us are going to witness in our lifetimes. If John Isner changes the rules of the sport, Serena Williams (and Venus) changed the rules of the game and said to sporty black girls that Tennis could be for you. Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens, Taylor Townsend, Cori Gauff. These players are all here partially because of Serenaís achievements. But there is one she hasnít managed yet Ė winning as a mother. And that isnít just Slams, Serena hasnít won a tournament of any sort since doing so whilst pregnant at the 2017 Aussie. That is two-and-half years ago now, or one-and-a-half since her return to the court. Why is that? Well, she never seems to be fit these days. Is she this time? Who knows, she hasnít played any warm-ups once again. There are only so many chances for Serena to get to the 25th title she clearly desperately wants, and she looks like she knows that as much as anyone. The pressure is obvious. It isnít helping. So, for once, Iím going to tip against her this time. I think she goes out early, possibly offering a walkover due to injury.

                                  #13 Belinda Bencic
                                  Belinda Bencic has had a strong year so far in 2019, getting back into the top 20 after three years spoiled massively by injuries and associated loss of form. She also won her first title in four years when she took the Dubai crown. All that has been missing is the Slams really Ė R3 in both Melbourne and Paris are not dreadful, but they also far from eye-catching. And actually, strong Slam performances are what is missing from the New Swiss Miss so far in her career Ė since making the US Open QF as a 17 year-old in her debut Slam season of 2014, Bencic has not got that far again since. If she is going to improve on that, Wimbledon is a very good candidate. Her varied all court game, quick hands and quick brain make her a strong grass court player. A third of her palmares are on grass Ė 1/3 titles and 3/9 finals reached. That is disproportionate to the amount of grass tournaments available. She made the final in Mallorca in preparation for this year so must be considered in form. Her section of the draw is rather stacked, but if she can come through to at least a R4 against Barty, then anything is possibleÖ

                                  Comment


                                    #42
                                    #16 Marketa Vondrousova
                                    What a difference a month makes! From flying along to your first Slam Final to being eliminated 4&4 in R1 yesterday by Madison Brengle. I wouldnít have predicted that for the Czech, who has a powerful game with the sort of variation on drop shots that one would have thought adapts well to grass. Maybe it will come in time, but the signs were there Ė her record on grass prior to this year was 3-6, and none of the 3 came at full Tour level (Birmingham qualifying). She only won one warm-up match. She will adapt in time, but not 2019, obviously.

                                    #17 Madison Keys
                                    That 2017 US Open final defeat to Sloane Stephens when she was the favourite still looms large over Madison Keys. That should have been a springboard to a push up to the very top of the rankings, somewhere her power on serve and off the ground makes look attainable. Instead she has been slightly undermined and is not even in the top 10. Injuries havenít helped in that, Keys seems to arrive at every Slam having missed chunks of the warm up. Itís the same again this time, Madison having not played since Paris having backed out of Birmingham. However, the good news is that when she gets to the big shows, she generally produces at somewhere close to her best Ė she made the QFs in Paris again, for example. In fact, rather bizarrely for a player whose game seems made for grass, and who is a previous Birmingham and Eastbourne champion, Wimbledon has been Keysí least successful slam so far. She has just one QF to her name compared to Semi or better and at least 2 QFs at the other three events. That ought to change in the long run, and she did cruise through R1 yesterday (she was the first winner this tournament to hear ďGame, set and matchĒ) which raises hopes she is fit this time. If she gets rolling, she could be unstoppable.

                                    #18 Julia Goerges
                                    Julia Goerges pushed Ash Barty hard in the Birmingham final, and that wasnít random Ė she has a game well suited to grass with a big serve, big forehand and comfort at the net (sheís a handy doubles player). That was all evident in Brum, and on these courts last year as Goerges made her Slam breakthrough at long last by reaching the Semi (l to Serena). That run does put some pressure on, those points are a substantial chunk of her current ranking. But it should also breed confidence at being back on her best surface. She has landed in a massively stacked section of the draw though as if she gets to the QFs it means that none of Serena, Sharapova and Kerber have! That is probably a killer.

                                    #19 Johanna Konta
                                    Another former Semi-Finalist hoping to return to that sort of level is home hope Jo Konta. There are reasons to believe, and also reasons to worry. So all pretty typical for Jo! The good point is the out-of-the-blue discovery that she can play on clay after all, and play bloominí well. As a confidence player, having the Rome final and a Roland Garros Semi in the recent past is a really positive thing. She is now an all-surface Slam Semi-Finalist. The next step appears a problem (she really should have won that Parisian matchÖ), but that is not an issue for week one of the tournament. That is more bringing the best Jo to the court, which brings the worry. The warm-ups werenít great. Not awful, but not great. As always with Jo she needs to serve well, get flowing and BELIEVE. On her day, she can beat anyone in the world on any surface. This would be a wonderful place for that all to come together.

                                    #22 Donna Vekic
                                    One day, Donna Vekic is going to make significant waves at Wimbledon. Itís inevitable. She is completely comfortable on the surface, not a great surprise as she spent much of her Tennis development in the UK and we play on grass courts here. So she knows how to move and how to construct rallies on the surface. She is also blessed with a cannon of a serve. Itís not random that 3 of her 8 WTA Finals have been in Britain, which means on turf. It looked like last year was going to be the breakthrough until she was surprisingly stopped by Goerges in R4. This year? Maybe. An outside bet to win the whole shebang. Absolutely yes.

                                    #23 Caroline Garcia
                                    Caroline Garcia looked very good in winning the Nottingham Final a few weeks ago. I would have tipped her to do well in these two weeks. Shows what I know, as she went out in R1 with a whimper, beaten 6-4 6-0 by Zhang Shuai. Disappointing.

                                    #25 Amanda Anisimova
                                    Anisimova is probably more of a hard court player than a grass court one at the moment. She takes such a big swipe at the ball. It needs to be in a reliable spot, and grass court bounces are not that. She didnít even bother playing Wimbledon in her last year in the Juniors in 2017. A couple of low key warm-ups in the Rosmalen doubles and Mallorca singles do not prepresent a great deal of preparation or experience with how to handle the surface. However, her idol and obvious template Sharapova won this title and did so when she was 17. Which is Amandaís age at the moment. That wasnít Mariaís debut though, and it is for Anisimova. Probably a year or two too early for the big hitting American.

                                    #26 Garbine Muguruza
                                    Propriety says we have to include Muguruza in this preview. She is a former champion and recently (2017) and also a finalist before that (2015). However, the Garbine of 2019 is not the same character as had those achievements. Her world ranking has plummeted from #1 to the mid-20s as her form and confidence has departed. She has won the title in Monterrey in each of the last two years, but that is a fairly minor International event with a patchy draw (only 5 top 50 players involved this year). Her last crown of importance was nearly two years ago in Cincinnati. She hasnít even played a grass court warm-up. Her run to the final in 2015 was out-of-the-blue. If she manages anything similar this year that will be nearly as unexpected.

                                    #27 Sofia Kenin
                                    20 year-old Sofia Kenin is the under-the-radar rising young American. But she is a burgeoning talent nonetheless. Two titles, one of them on grass in Mallorca (bt Bencic) and three finals in 2019 so far give an indication of her rise, as did her run to R4 in Paris last month. She even took a set of Ash Barty on the French clay, just one of two the World No.1 has lost recently. Kenin plays a typical short womanís game, feisty defence from the baseline. She slices well, moves well and counterpunches effectively when she can. Overall she is probably underpowered to ever win Wimbledon, but she is not a player anyone can comfortably face. Beating her is always going to be tricky.

                                    #28 Hsieh Su-wei
                                    No-one, but no-one wants to play Hsieh Su-wei. One of these days she is going to make significant waves at a slam, and when she does the crowds are going to take her straight to their heart. Particularly if itís at Wimbledon. Why? Because her style is so different from the pros, but so familiar to the rest of us. Itís about manipulation of the ball around the court, the sort of game you have to play if your ball strike isnít reliably crisp. Which Hsiehís is if she wants to, but this way works better for her. R4 remains her best at a Slam for now, which she has reached three times including Wimbledon 2018. And that included toppling the then World No.1 and just crowned French Open champions Simona Halep. Such results are always possible, but it would be wonderful if Hsieh could string a bunch of them together and slice and dice her way to the very latter stages.

                                    #31 Maria Sakkari
                                    Marai Sakkari is a clay courter, isnít she? Well yes, but she is also a player in good form and that counts for a lot. Sakkari went out disappointingly early in the French Open so a good Wimbledon would be a useful consolation. Given she is not well adapted to the surface, needing a rather higher bounce for her topspin heavy shots she isnít a likely champion. But she has an open part of the draw which could see her last into week 2.

                                    Maria Sharapova
                                    Ugh, do we have to talk about her? Well probably yes. Even though it is a very long while (15 years!) since her one Wimbledon title and 8 since she was last in the final. And even though, since she was no longer fuelled by Meldonium, she has only made one final (Tianjin 2017, which she won against Sabalenka). That she isnít seeded over two years on from returning from the doping suspension is indicative of the lack of success. Yes, there have been a string of injuries, the most recent of which saw her missed Paris but there have been six completed Slams Maria returned and that includes just one QF. She was beaten by a qualifier in R1 last year. Her one warm-up for event, in Mallorca, saw her win a match and then get trounced in R2 by Kerber. There is no form then. But somehow, that doesnít matter. She will try and play her way into it. But that is going to be tricky with Kerber scheduled for R3 and Serena for R4. This is the sort of thing one can expect without a seeding.

                                    Comment


                                      #43
                                      Day 2 selections

                                      Womenís

                                      #1 Barty vs Zheng Ė 1st on #1
                                      #22 Vekic vs Riske Ė 4th on #15, not before 6pm
                                      Maria vs #5 Kerber Ė 1st on Centre
                                      Strycova vs #32 Tsurenko Ė 1st on #5
                                      Jabeur vs #6 Kvitova Ė 3rd on #3

                                      The first chance for the new World No.1 to glory in her status. Zheng Saisai will present a somewhat interesting challenge as she is a slightly unconventional player, but then so is Ash Barty and she is much, much better at that sort of game. After some early sparring, it should be straightforward. That was the pattern of their previous meetings as well.
                                      Nothing will be straightforward in the clash of two grass court experts like Donna Vekic and Alison Riske. There is still a style contrast, though. Vekic is very powerful, whilst Riske succeeds on the surface because of her ultra-short bunted swings that make her difficult to hit through. Both will come to the net in what should be a very watchable match that might find itís way from the outside courts onto a bigger stage. Riske won their only previous grass court meeting in Birmingham in 2017Ö
                                      No bigger stage than Centre of course, which begins day 2 in traditional fashion with the defending Womenís champion. Angie Kerberís opening opponent is a countrywoman, Tatjana Maria. And Maria might present problems. She has a big serve and plays a varied game, with considerable amounts of slice. She has done decently on grass before. But will she be intimidated by playing the national no.1 for the first time and by the surroundings?
                                      When is a shock not a shock? Possibly when itís the no.32 seed against a player who is often numbered herself. Strycova vs Tsurenko looks a real toss-up as to who wins. Particularly as, of the two, the Czech veteran is the player with grass court results previously. She is a two time Birmingham finalist and has played a Wimbledon QF. Tsurenko has never been beyond R3. It tip Babs for this.
                                      Is Petra fit? Can she hit through the ball at 100%? Those are the big questions in this match. An only slightly smaller one is ďIs Ons fit?Ē as Jabeur withdrew from her Eastbourne Semi a few days ago. That she made that, and made mincemeat of a very good player in Konta is the warning flag that if both are ready to go, this might not be entirely straightforward for two-time champion Kvitova. But she should come through it.


                                      Menís

                                      #5 Thiem vs Querrey Ė 2nd on #2
                                      Tiafoe vs #12 Fognini Ė 4th on #18
                                      #13 Cilic vs Mannarino Ė 4th on #3
                                      Tomic vs Tsonga Ė 3rd on #12
                                      Ruud vs #9 Isner Ė 4th on #2

                                      Sam Querrey in R1? A former Semi-Finalist? That is not a nice draw for Dominic Thiem at all. He will have to be on his mettle both on serve and return, because as always with Querrey there wonít be a lot of breaks. Thiem hasnít played (competitively) since making the French Open final, whereas Querrey comes in off a final showing at Eastbourne. If Thiem was after a gentle R1 to adapt to grass, then draw would have been a nasty shock. A second one of those looks very possible on the cards.
                                      Fabio Fognini has never been past R3 of Wimbledon. Neither has Frances Tiafoe for that matter, but in one case that is after over a decade of trying and in the other itís only two years in. They played to five on Fogniniís surface in Paris two years ago and while Tiafoe is also more at home on slower courts, itís less distinct in his case. He does have a big serve and some nice touches around the net. Another five setter would be no surprise at all.
                                      If that is two clay-courters, then Marin Cilic vs Adrian Mannarino is the opposite, two players very comfortable on grass. Frenchman Mannarino finally won his first career title in Rosmalen a few weeks ago (bt Thompson) and has generally done better on quicker surfaces throughout his career. His compact swing is made for the surface. Cilic is a former two-time Queens champion and Wimbledon runner-up. His grass pedigree needs no introduction. He is probably too powerful for Mannarino here, but it will take some time to impose his dominance.
                                      Bernard Tomic and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga are two players much lower than they once were for very different reasons. With Tsonga, itís time and injury. For Tomic itís, well, does he even care? Because the Aussie is still a talented Tennis player if he wants to be. Itís just playing Tennis seems such a chore. If Bernard is on for the fight this could be a good match, but he normally runs and hides when the going gets tough. Tsonga has won all their previous meetingsÖ
                                      Will John Isner get to play the first ďIsner BreakerĒ. Possibly, as both he and Casper Ruud have big serves and somewhat ropey return games. However, I tend to think not. The big Norwegian is too much of a clay courter, too tied to his baseline. Isner is overly that of course, hence his relatively poor record overall at Wimbledon, but he should edge through with a break somewhere along the line. Four sets, three of them breakers and Isner wins.

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                                        #44
                                        Remember when days one and two of Wimbledon were a litany of plucky British losses? Well so far this week it's four wins from four. And only one set lost in total.

                                        Heather Watson's win over Caty McNally was mentioned yesterday. I knew Watson had been really struggling. I didn't realise she hadn't won a full Tour match since last July prior to that! Also from yesterday, Kyle Edmund got a Centre Court billing for a straightforward win over Jaume Munar with just a slight wobble closing out set one (it took 10 set points to get over the hump) and set three (broken the first time he tried to complete).
                                        So far today Dan Evans has picked up a straight sets win over Federico Delbonis and Harriet Dart has registered an impressive come-from-behind while over Christina McHale. That was Dart's debut Grand Slam win, the closest she had come previously being when playing well but losing in R1 last year (beaten 6-7 6-2 1-6 by Ka.Pliskova, which is completely respectable).

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                                          #45
                                          Three other Brits are currently on court. Cameron Norrie is an early break up on Dennis Istomin, Katie Swan an early one down to Laura Siegemund and James Ward is into a final set against #18 Nikoloz Basilashvili. Ward was two sets to love up, though.

                                          In other news, Nick Kyrgios has just won a third set tie-break 12-10 to go two sets to one up on Jordan Thompson.

                                          Comment


                                            #46
                                            Running R3 Draws

                                            With the normal arbitrary decisions on whether to include the names of winners as well as the strike through the loser (it's down to my confidence that the winner won't get knocked out themselves immediately!)

                                            Gentleman's Singles

                                            Novak Djokovic Srb [1] vs Dusan Lajovic [i]Srb[/i] [32] Hubert Hurkacz Pol
                                            Felix Auger-Aliassime Can [19] vs Gael Monfils [i]Fra[/i] [16] Ugo Humbert Fra
                                            Daniil Medvedev Rus [11] vs David Goffin Bel [21]
                                            Kyle Edmund [i]GBr[/i] [30] Fernando Verdasco Esp vs Stefanos Tsitsipas [i]Gre[/i] [7] Thomas Fabbiano Ita

                                            Kevin Anderson RSA [4] vs Guido Pella Arg [26]
                                            Stan Wawrinka [i]Sui[/i] [22] Reilly Opelka USA vs Milos Raonic Can [15]
                                            Karen Khachanov Rus [10] vs Roberto Bautista Agut Esp [23]
                                            Benoit Paire Fra [28] vs Alexander Zverev [i]Ger[/i] [6] Jiri Vesely Cze


                                            Dominic Thiem [i]Aut[/i] [5] Sam Querrey USA vs Laslo Djere [i]Srb[/i] [31] John Millman Aus
                                            Gilles Simon [i]Fra[/i] [20] Tennys Sandgren USA vs Fabio Fognini Ita [12]
                                            Marin Cilic [i]Cro[/i] [13] Joao Sousa Por vs Nikoloz Basilashvili [i]Geo[/i] [18] Daniel Evans GBr
                                            Denis Shapovalov [i]Can[/i] [29] Jo-Wilfred Tsonga Fra vs Rafael Nadal Esp [3]

                                            Kei Nishikori Jpn [8] vs Alex de Minaur [i]Aus[/i] [25] Steve Johnson USA
                                            Jan-Lennard Struff Ger [33] vs John Isner [i]USA[/i] [9] Mikhail Kukushkin Kaz
                                            Matteo Berrettini Ita [17] vs Diego Schwartzman Arg [24]
                                            Lucas Pouille Fra [27] vs Roger Federer Sui [2]


                                            Ladies Singles

                                            Ashleigh Barty [1] vs Garbine Muguruza [i]Esp[/i] [26] Harriet Dart GBr [WC]
                                            Donna Vekic [i]Cro[/i] [22] Alison Riske USA vs Belinda Bencic Sui [13]
                                            Serena Williams USA [11] vs Julia Goerges Ger [18]
                                            Carla Suarez Navarro Esp [30] vs Angelique Kerber [i]Ger[/i] [5] Lauren Davis USA [LL]

                                            Kiki Bertens Ned [4] vs Lesia Tsurenko [i]Ukr[/i] [32] Barbora Strycova Cze
                                            Elise Mertens Bel [21] vs Wang Qiang Chn [15]
                                            Sloane Stephens USA [9] vs Johanna Konta GBr [19]
                                            Amanda Anisimova [i]USA[/i] [25] Magda Linette Pol vs Petra Kvitova Cze [6]


                                            Elina Svitolina Ukr [8] vs Maria Sakkari Gre [31]
                                            Petra Martic Cro [24] vs Anastasija Sevastova [i]Lat[/i] [12] Danielle Collins USA
                                            Marketa Vondrousova [i]Cze[/i] [16] Karolina Muchova Cze vs Anett Kontaveit Est [20]
                                            Hsieh Su-wei Tpe [28] vs Karolina Pliskova Cze [3]

                                            Simona Halep Rou [7] vs Daria Kasatkina [i]Rus[/i] [29] Victoria Azarenka Blr
                                            Madison Keys [i]USA[/i] [17] Polona Hercog Slo vs Aryna Sabalenka [i]Blr[/i] [10] Cory Gauff USA [Q]
                                            Caroline Wozniacki Den [14] vs Caroline Garcia [i]Fra[/i] [23] Zhang Shuai Chn
                                            Sofia Kenin [i]USA[/i] [27] Dayana Yastremska Ukr vs Naomi Osaka [i]Jpn[/i] [2] Yulia Putinseva [i]Kaz[/i] Vikorija Golubic Sui
                                            Last edited by Janik; 04-07-2019, 22:27.

                                            Comment


                                              #47
                                              "The Royal Box is being graced by the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Michael of Kent today as well as some familiar faces from sport and the arts.

                                              BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew is here with his wife Emma as well as former England opener Geoffrey Boycott, with his daughter Emma."

                                              And they say the royals don't earn their money.

                                              Comment


                                                #48
                                                "ĎSilent Kí as the surname is pronounced Hachanov. Which is just a bit bemusing, seeing as the name must be a transliteration. Why not simply spell it in the Latin alphabet phonetically like we do with every other Cyrillic name?"

                                                The Russian letter "X" is always transliterated into English as "kh". It's a sufficiently different sound from our "h" (which is mere aspiration) that to transliterate it as "h" would be misleading (as, in my view, is saying it's "pronounced Hachanov"). Of course, the "kh" leads to some errors because many English speakers don't get that "kh" is supposed to mean a very different sound from "k", but that's just ignorance, like with people - including many British quiz programme presenters - who get the pronunciation of German "ie" and "ei" the wrong way round, not a failure of the transliteration convention.

                                                Comment


                                                  #49
                                                  Originally posted by Janik View Post
                                                  Three other Brits are currently on court. Cameron Norrie is an early break up on Dennis Istomin, Katie Swan an early one down to Laura Siegemund and James Ward is into a final set against #18 Nikoloz Basilashvili. Ward was two sets to love up, though.

                                                  In other news, Nick Kyrgios has just won a third set tie-break 12-10 to go two sets to one up on Jordan Thompson.
                                                  Ward lost 8-6 in the fifth. Ah, nuts. Swan was well beaten by Siegemund, 2 & 4. Norrie won though, 2, 4 & 4. And currently Jo Konta is a set up and a break up on Ana Bogdan and Jay Clarke one set all with Noah Rubin (Clarke has just won the second).

                                                  On a world view, Kygios lost set four 6-0 but won his fifth 6-1. Because, obviously. Dominic Thiem was beaten in four by Sam Querrey. Barbora Strycova beat Lesia Tsurenko. And currently Garbine Muguruza is in trouble against Beatriz Haddad Maia (the Brazilian is a set up), Bernard Tomic is being thrashed by Jo-Willy Tsonga but most notably Roger Federer lost his opening set to Lloyd Harris. Federer has won the second since, and has just gone a double break up in the third however.

                                                  Comment


                                                    #50
                                                    Konta's just beaten an opponent called Bogdan, albeit (unsurprisingly, given her gender) as a surname rather than a given name. All I can think of is "and fuck your eyebrows!"

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