A small handful of Wimbledon tickets are realised at 9am before each day on Ticketmaster and I got really lucky and managed to get a court 3 ticket for Monday. Here are my photos and recaps from the matches I watched on court 3 on day 1 of the 2015 Wimbledon Championships.
Marin Cilic d. Hiroko Moriya, 6-3 6-2 7-6(4)
I watched the last set and a half of the Cilic-Moriya match. It was a little on the dull side and didn’t really capture the crowd’s attention. Cilic was clearly the better player although credit to Moriya who kept fighting. The loudest cheer of the match was when Moriya broke Cilic back in the third set. It was a great game from the Japanese player although he had played a rough game to get broken in the first place, sending errors long at the start of the set.
Cilic served very well throughout the match but he kept going long with his groundstrokes and never looked secure. At *4-5 *0-30 with Moriya just two points away from the set, Cilic flipped a switch with some huge serving to get out of danger. He raised his game in the tiebreak and despite a brief resurgence from Moriya, won in straights. I fancied Marin to make the quarters in my original predictions. While I wasn’t that impressed with his performance in this match, he’s in a nice section of the draw with Kei who was not convincing (healthwise) on Monday.
Ana Ivanovic d. Yi-Fan Xu, 6-1 6-1
I stuck around to watch Ana Ivanovic‘s first round match, which was fun despite the one-sided scoreline and featured some entertaining points. It was the first time I had seen Ivanovic live for quite a few years. It was really warm on court 3 with barely any wind and I ws melting. I can’t deal with any heat and to be honest, i’m glad I am not going in the next three days where the weather looks HOT! Ivanovic’s wonky ball toss is even more noticeable in person and I laughed at the first one. However, it doesn’t seem to phase her anymore and she just gets on with it.
Xu, playing her first main draw Grand Slam match, looked nervous from the outset and was very tenative. Ivanovic took advantage of this and was dominating with her forehand, hitting plenty of winners and maintaining her aggressive stance. Ivanovic had a point for the bagel but Xu held on for her first game of the match and with a little smile.
Up a set and a break, Ivanovic lost her cool with the umpire on a point that was replayed, but she felt was hers. She was really going at it. The crowd was starting to get fed up with the general consensus that she should deal with it and get on with the match. Ivanovic also had one of the worst challenges i’ve ever seen! She challenged a serve that was WAY out. The crowd was baffled even before the Hawkeye was initiated. A few points later, Ivanovic did another challenge and she was laughing with her team.
Ivanovic lost her double break lead, but quickly rebroke and powered home to a very convincing win. There was a nice handshake and Ana was all smiles at the end. She did hold onto the umpire’s hand for ages as they were obviously discussing the point earlier where Ana was mad. There was plenty of ajdes, idemos and hardcore fistpumps. I do the twirling fistpump in the spirit of Ana when i’m happy. Ana is fun to photograph. The Serb plays Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round which should be a great match.
Venus Williams d. Madison Brengle, 6-0 6-0
Ohhhhhhhh Madison! At the end of the first set, she was kind of smiling, but that soon faded in the second set. She looked sad and close to tears as she walked off. The crowd really tried to get behind Madison with one woman in particular giving her plenty of support. However, it never happened for her. Venus played an impeccable match, serving bullets and approaching the net at any given opportunitiy. She was aggressive and consistent, and Brengle never stood a chance. Madison was passive and looked lost out there, serving a number of double faults at key moments. It all went pear shaped after a really lengthy seven deuce game at the start where Brengle saved multiple break points.
Venus got a really big applause at the end and the crowd, though disappointed that the match was not competitive, respected that they had seen a grass court masterclass. The American player gave a wonderful twirl and looked understandably happpy. Venus plays Yulia Putintseva in the second round… *already getting stream ready for THAT match!*