Wimbledon 2019, Day 2 Review: The Kerber-Maria slice show, Haddad Maia upsets Muguruza

Day 2 at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships was a quieter day in terms of the drama with just three seeds going out. However, it was still a first-round-at-a-Slam day with 32 matches on the schedule and a late finish with the new No.1 court roof coming into play! This post reviews my fun-filled day of watching, as well media highlights. Read on for Tuesday’s Set Points post from Wimbledon…

Match of the day 🎾

Alison Riske d. (22) Donna Vekic, 3-6 6-3 7-5

The most attractive match-up on paper delivered the best match of the day as Donna Vekic and Alison Riske christened the No.1 Court roof with a late night three setter. The pair covered every blade of grass in a wonderfully contested clash. It’s such a shame that these two had to meet in the first round 😭.

Vekic won six of the last seven games in the first set, completely turning the tables on a fast-starting Riske. The key moment was Vekic winning a 13-deuce game at 0-2. Vekic celebrated emphatically with both arms in the air! Despite the disappointment of multiple break points missed, Riske battled valiantly and was increasingly aggressive as Vekic’s serve broke down towards the end of the second set. One set all…

Vekic reset in the decider and broke with an absolutely sensational backhand passing shot winner. The serve helped Vekic to consolidate to 4-1 but again, it broke down towards the end. Vekic clawed her way to 5-4, with a lot of help from Riske’s missed returns. Riske though was playing the better tennis and on the resumption of the roof closing, won the final two games and closed it out with an ace.

A memorable match and one not to forget for all future pub quizzes!

Match reviews 🎾

(9) Sloane Stephens d. Timea Bacsinszky, 6-2 6-4

Sloane Stephens recorded her first singles win at Wimbledon since 2016, beating Timea Bacsinszky in straight sets. Stephens failed to serve out both sets, getting broken to love, but generally, I thought it was excellent start for Stephens. The American player constructed points thoughtfully and patiently, and played with measured aggression as she moved Bacsinszky from side-to-side and showed positive intent coming forward. Stephens hit 25 winners to 22 unforced errors, and won 18 of 28 points up at the net.

Bacsinszky tried to unsettle Stephens with her slices but Stephens handled it very well. The Swiss player was a bit more aggressive towards the end and had a game point for 5-5 in the second set but couldn’t take it. I thought it was an improved display from Bacsinszky compared to her qualifying match in Eastbourne. Stephens moves onto the second round where she will play Wang Yafan.

(1) Ash Barty d. Zheng Saisai, 6-4 6-2

In her first match as world number one, Ash Barty produced a solid performance to beat the all-court game of Zheng Saisai. Barty has now won her last 13 matches! I thought it was a bit of a passive and nervy start from Barty but she was always in control of her game. I just love how every shot she hits has a purpose. The Aussie improved in the second set as she upped her first serve percentage and dropped just two points on serve.

(5) Angelique Kerber d. Tatjana Maria, 6-4 6-3

In a super fun match to open Centre Court proceedings on Tuesday, the defending champion, Angelique Kerber survived a really tricky opponent in Tatjana Maria. It kind of felt like a nightmare match-up for Kerber because Maria was slicing most balls with little pace and drawing Kerber into the net. Kerber thrives on pace and is not the most comfortable at the net! I thought Kerber handled the occasion and situation well. She stayed patient, didn’t get too frustrated and was accurate with her passing shots when Maria came forward.

There were so many enjoyable points to watch in that second set – the match point was great and see the hot shot section below where Angie even hit a successful tweener! 😲

(4) Kiki Bertens d. Mandy Minella, 6-3 6-2

This match was moved to Centre Court in the early evening. In light of the piece I shared in yesterday’s post about Bertens, I wonder how she felt about the court move! This was a classic 2019 Bertens performance – solid in all departments, nothing spectacular or flashy, just got the job done. Bertens defended well in the second set. The Dutch player did remark in her post-match interview that she’d like to be more aggressive in her next match.

Brit watch 🇬🇧

It’s been a great start to the tournament for the Brits and Harriet Dart had a landmark moment on Tuesday as she won her first ever main draw match at a Slam. It was a battling display from Dart as she edged Christina McHale in three sets, 4-6 6-4 6-4. In a nervy decider, Dart held it together when serving out the match at *5-4. The Brit served an ace, her only ace of the match, down break point and played a great point to set up the match point that she converted. Dart joins Johanna Konta and Heather Watson in the second round.

Seeded upsets 😲

Just the three upsets on day 2 with Alison Riske (d. Vekic), Barbora Strycova (d. Tsurenko) and Beatriz Haddad Maia (d. Muguruza) all defeating seeds en route to the second round.

Beatriz Haddad Maia d. (26) Garbiñe Muguruza, 6-4 6-4

Playing a supremely solid match, Beatriz Haddad Maia scored one of the biggest wins of her career to beat two time Slam champ, Garbiñe Muguruza. I thought it was a passive display from Muguruza who mostly resorted to grinding from the baseline. The Spaniard played a great game to get out of a *3-4 *0-40 hole in the second set, but couldn’t hold on in her next service game, serving a double fault down match point. Muguruza was lucky not to get a warning, or even be defaulted, when she swiped at a ball that seemed to hit a ballkid at the net in the second set.

It feels to me like Muguruza is at a crossroads and something’s got to give. A great win for Haddad Maia who plays Dart in the next round – the winner will reach the third round of a Slam for the first time so a big opportunity for both.

Stat watch 🔢

Good job, Wimbledon. In fact the top two courts had six women’s matches today! 👍

Point of the day 👏

Another crazy match point! Not the cleanest of displays from Serena Williams but a win is a win. All the credit to Giulia Gatto-Monticone for a terrific fighting display. The pair shared words in a wonderful moment at the net. Gatto-Monticone looked like she had tears in her eyes at the end!

Hot shot of the day 🔥

Angelique Kerber hitting a successful tweener was the highlight of the day 🤣🤣🤣. Nice finish from Maria!

Handshakes and hugs 🤗

Lots of nice moments at the net today – here’s Petra Kvitova and Ons Jabeur after their first round match. Petra looked great today. There didn’t seem to be any obvious complaints with the arm and fingers crossed there were no issues post-match!

LOL moment 🤣

Vekic’s reaction to winning her first game of the match against Riske in a 13-deuce game.

Super snap 📸

😛😛😛

Recommended reading 📚

Love reading Mert’s in-depth match reviews – here’s his take on Golubic-Swiatek from Monday.

Tomorrow’s OOP ⭐

I think Court 18 is the place to be tomorrow with Hsieh Su-Wei vs. Kirsten Flipkens and Sofia Kenin vs. Dayana Yastremska, both tantalising match-ups. Thoughts about the women’s matches are up on the separate page.

Wednesday’s polls 🤔

Readers of MTB went 1 out of 3 on the selected match polls for Tuesday with only 20% picking Riske to beat Vekic. I went for Vekic too but expected that poll to be much closer!  Here’s my three selected match polls for day 3 of Wimbledon…

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