I was at Wimbledon for the first Monday of the 2014 Championships and had a tremendously majestic day. I had Court No.2 tickets (thanks to my Brother), but we spent much of the afternoon roaming around the outside courts. Nothing beats the first day of Wimbledon because there is sooo much going on! I’m still playing catch-up with previews, but should be back to normal for tomorrow where I am preparing a double preview of some fantastic day 4 matches. In the meantime, I hope your enjoy my account and photos of Wimby 🙂
Tomas Berdych d. Victor Hanescu, 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 6-3
The grounds were so busy to start with Centre Court and No.1 Court not beginning until 1pm. Therefore, we started out on court no.2. It was my first ever time with tickets on this court and there really are no bad seats in this court. We were one row from the back, but had a great view and could see scores updating on the scoreboard on Centre Court, which was really handy!
I watched the first two sets and a half of Berdych v Hanescu. It wasn’t a match that particularly stood out on Monday’s schedule, but it turned out to be pretty good actually. In the first set, Berdych has so many break points, but was unable to convert one. He slipped on three occasions, one pretty hefty and all in a similar location, which happened to be where Maria Sharapova slipped during her second round loss to Michelle Larcher de Brito on court no.2 last year. He was walking a little gingerly after the last slip, but was fine.
Hanescu has a pretty good game for the grass. He has a brilliant slice, of which he utilised it beautifully and barely missed any. Both were slicing a lot and both were dealing with each other’s pretty well. Berdych’s forehand was particularly impressive. Hanescu, who won just eight points on Berdych’s serve in the first set, would take it, on the tiebreak. Hanescu earnt the mini break with a killer return that literally swept Berdych off his feet. The ballboy had to hand his racquet back to him. Hanescu didn’t blink and wrapped up the set.
In the second set, there were a few interesting calls. In one rally, Berdych went for a winner, which was aimed at Hanescu, but flew long. He claimed that it had hit Hanescu and was therefore, his point although I couldn’t tell from my angle. He argued for quite a while with the umpire. After the shot, Hanescu looked back at Berdych, seemingly wanting an apology. Later on, Berdych got called for a foot fault and it was really odd because the lines judge called it before Berdych had barely even began his service motion. I was so confused!
Berdych really got his game together in a flawless second set as he converted break points and controlled the rallies with some really controlled, but accurate hitting. We went wandering after the second set, but there were some fun moments and Berdych was starting to find his mojo.
Lauren Davis d. Alisa Kleybanova, 6-1 6-2
I saw a couple of rallies and Kleybanova really seemed to be struggling. She had heavy strapping on her shoulder. Davis has been in good form and it was no major surprise since Alisa had played no grass court warm-up events.
Ernests Gulbis d. Jurgen Zopp, 7-6(7) 7-5 7-6(10
I’ve always wanted to watch Gulbis live and although I had to go on tiptoes (i’m short, i can’t help it) and look between through several bodies, it was a fun experience. Gulbis kept opening his mouth wide open; at the time, I thought he was yawning or had jaw issues, as we all do. Someone tweeted me that he has trouble with breathing problems apparently.
Gulbis hit one serve that hit a ballgirl and he shouted out across the court “you OK?”. Gulbis also bent down on his knees in despair when a linesjudge called one of his shots out, which was then overruled bu the umpire who said “replay the point”… “it was a winner”, Gulbis proclaimed. The third set tiebreak was long and his opponent, Zopp had a number of set points. However Gulbis kept it together and wrapped up an impressive straight sets victory. Zopp had some support from a passionate Estonian fan, but it wasn’t to be.
Luke Saville d. Dominic Thiem, 7-5 6-4 3-6 6-3
I watched bits of this match, but predominantly the latter half of the fourth set. It wasn’t great stuff early on although it was clear that Saville was the more comfortable player, particularly coming into the net. Thiem has some lethal power on that forehand and settled as the match went on; however with scoreboard pressure, he faltered serving at *4-5 in the fourth set.
Saville’s celebration was pretty epic.
Lucie Safarova d. Julia Goerges, 7-6(3) 7-6(3)
I watched the last couple of games of this match. It was as you would expect, some crashing winners and plenty of errors, most from Julia’s racquet. Goerges went up a mini break in the second set tiebreak and gave it away with a succession of errors. She looked mad and flung her racquet through the air. Lucie kept it together and was the more consistent player in the patch of play I witnessed.
Safarova was delighted with the win and it was a really lovely handshake between two of the nicest players on the WTA tour.
Venus Williams d. Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor, 6-4 4-6 6-2
This was an interesting match on court No.2. When Venus and Torro-Flor had rallies, they were pretty awesome. However, large chunks of this match were decided by some big serving. Torro-Flor has a lethal forehand and hit some really sensational winners. Unfortunately, she is so erratic and lost the first set with one loose service game at 4-4. It looked like the same might happen in the second set as at 4-4, she went from 40-0 up to deuce. She held impressively though and then broke Venus in the next game, surviving a Venus body serve and winning that point (see picture below)
In the third set, Venus played a solid set and took it with two breaks of serve. Torro-Flor was pretty petulant and got called for ball abuse after whacking a ball. Torro-Flor kept dropping her racquet to the ground. She could have gone the whole hog and given us a racquet smash.
Torro-Flor got a warm applause at the end for her efforts. I’ll be surprised if Venus go deep in this draw, but it was a good match for her to get under her belt and survive.
Roberto Bautista-Agut d. Steve Johnson, 6-3 6-7(3) 6-4 7-5
I only saw a few games; Bautista-Agut has a pretty extended grunt. It looked a reasonable match.
Flavia Pennetta d. Jana Cepelova, 6-2 6-3
I only saw a few points and I wanted to get a picture of Cepelova.
Casey Dellacqua d. Anett Kontaveit, 3-6 7-6(4) 6-3
I watched the second half of the second set. Casey was really struggling and didn’t seem to be hitting the ball particularly hard. She was constantly on the back foot against Kontaveit’s weighty groundstrokes, which were frequently landing deep and in.
Dellacqua saved a match point with an excellent forehand winner DTL. In the second set tiebreak, Kontaveit just hit two loose errors quite a bit long and Dellacqua kept fighting and capitalised. There was quite a bit of support for Casey.
Two guys in the crowd kept imitating Kontaveit’s grunt (which wasn’t that bad at all)… naturally, it annoyed me because they wouldn’t have done it for one of the men grunting.
Coco Vandeweghe d. Garbine Muguruza, 6-3 3-6 7-5
This was certainly the most dramatic match I watched. Coco’s serve was the deciding factor in the first set and it wasn’t a great match as there weren’t many rallies and most of them were decided with errors.
Things really picked up in the third set, which I saw in its entirety. There was an exchange of breaks early on, but it went with serve the rest of the way. Muguruza’s camp including a few youngsters and her dad (guessing!). They were really animated and were constantly yelling and fist pumping. Muguruza was frequently looking to her camp, often looking pretty lost and close to tears at times.
Muguruza’s fight though in this match was tremendous. I believe she saved 12 match points (that’s up for debate, I was trying to count, but it was tough). Firstly at 5-4*, Muguruza went down 0-40 with three terrible unforced errors. She saved all of them as Coco looked really nervous. Muguruza saved another one before holding, screaming into the grass and producing an epic fist pump.
Surprisingly, Vandeweghe then held with relative ease to put the pressure back on Muguruza at *5-6. Muguruza went down *15-40 as Coco produced an absolutely incredible DTL winner that made me shout out “wow” and look like a doofus. The game would last for quite some time as Vandeweghe kept bringing up match points as Muguruza and kept extinguishing the opportunity. I remember Muguruza saved three points in a row on the AD court with aces. Coco held it together quite well and didn’t look too visibly frustrated. Muguruza kept fighting, but didn’t create ANY game points in an epic final game that must have been pushing fifteen minutes. In the end, her challenge would end on two double faults.
Vandeweghe’s celebration was muted because of the double fault, but she was obviously delighted. At the end of the match, these two women who had been watching the match behind me and trying to figure out the scoring, said to Garbine’s dad (again, i’m guessing) “she did great” and he smiled back.
Varvara Lepchenko d. Tsvetana Pironkova, 6-7(6) 6-2 6-2
Only saw the last point of the match, which was an incredibly long rally. Pironkova was not doing anything with the ball, just rallying it back and Lepchenko slipped on the final point. I was not surprised at all to see Pironkova lost in three sets, but gutted for my predictions! I wonder if Pironkova may have been injured.
Agnieszka Radwanska d. Andreea Mitu, 6-2 6-1
We saw a few points before the rain arrived. Mitu was striking the ball well, but as the rain came, she rushed the break point and lost her serve.
1. Kaia Kanepi and her coach were watching Jurgen Zopp play his match on court 19. I also spotted Tamira Paszek watching Dom Thiem and Ashleigh Barty watching Casey Dellacqua.
2. We saw John Lloyd twice; once walking with Gary Richardson (the terrible interviewer) and then again around by court no.2 where I presume he was commentating.
3. At the end of the day, Sam Smith and Tracy Austin were sharing an umbrella and they walked around Court No.2.
4. Taylor Townsend was practising with Anabel Medina Garrigues (i think) and Billie Jean King came on to watch. Taylor was awesome and generates so much powe on her strokes. She really turned it on when BJK turned up, who she was chatting and laughing with. BJK was complimenting her after most shots. BJK also shouted over to Martina Hingis at one point, who was on the adjacent court.
5. Martina Hingis was practising with Arantxa Parra Santonja and Tommy Robredo.
6. Donna Vekic, Nick Kyrgios and Andrea Hlavackova were just a few names to walk past us onto the practice courts.
7. Aleksandra Wozniak and Anett Kontaveit practising on adjacent courts.