Serena Williams won her first match at Rio 2016, overcoming Daria Gavrilova in a scrappy yet entertaining first round match, 6-4 6-2. Serena failed to serve out the first set at *5-3 with Gavrilova playing a brilliant return game but Serena stepped it up herself on return to bag the opener. There were a number of close deuce games at the end of the second set but Serena advanced in straight sets.
The rally linked below from the first set was the highlight of the match. I love how Daria twice pauses to catch a breath!
Oh and this was funny 🙂
Angelique Kerber edged Mariana Duque-Mariño, 6-3 7-5, saving a set point in the second set. The second set was a wild one ending with two five game streaks; Duque-Mariño went from 0-2 to 5-2, but Kerber reeled off five straight games at the end to book her place in the second round where she will play Eugenie Bouchard (Preview HERE).
After the number 4, 5 and 6 seeds all went out on day 1, the remaining top eight seeds in action on Sunday all survived. Garbiñe Muguruza lost the first eight points of her match against Andreea Mitu but rebounded to win in straights, 6-2 6-2. Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Wang Qiang in a breadstick-bagel sandwich, winning 6-1 4-6 6-0. Kuznetsova was a break up in the second set but lost her serve at *4-5 in a marathon eight deuce game where Wang needed six set points.
Petra Kvitova didn’t face a break point in a commanding 6-1 6-2 first round victory over the Florianopolis finalist, Timea Babos.
Kvitova next faces Caroline Wozniacki – Note all 16 second round matches will be played on Monday!
Monica Puig beat Polona Hercog, 6-3 6-2… she’s loving it in Rio 🙂
Ekaterina Makarova saved a match point to defeat Cagla Buyukakcay, 3-6 6-0 7-6(6)… so close for Cagla but still a brave effort!
The day session was of relative calmness compared to day 1. Sam Stosur dropped the opening set of her first rounder to Jelena Ostapenko, but fought back to win, 1-6 6-3 6-2.
All was calm and then the upsets ensued again as the number one seeds in the women’s doubles and men’s singles both went out. Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova inflicted a first ever defeat for Serena and Venus in the women’s doubles, winning through, 6-3 6-4. There had been some rumours beforehand that the Williams sisters may pull out with Venus suffering from an illness. I feel for Venus and Serena but i’m delighted for Lucie and Bara!
And then Delpoooooooo!
I’m still processing del Potro’s 7-6(4) 7-6(2) victory over the world number one. There was amazing sportsmanship from Djokovic at the end and the scenes of him crying are really tough to watch. But what a win for Delpo after all he’s been through. It’s hard not to well up watching their embrace at the net.