The 2022 Wimbledon Championships began on Monday, kickstarting my favourite two weeks of the year. It was a bit of a subdued start to the tournament with rain halting play after just half an hour and then again early in the afternoon. It was an odd concept at lunchtime to have no play going on despite two roofed courts with No.1 Court beginning at 1pm. But then things went supersonic from late afternoon and I remembered how overwhelming first days of Slams can be! Read on for my highlights from day 1…
Best match 🎆
Marie Bouzkova is giving me Angelique Kerber vibes in that she keeps appearing in all of my favourite matches. It’s definitely no coincidence! My favourite match of day 1 was Bouzkova’s 5-7 6-4 6-4 victory over the number seven seed, Danielle Collins. It was a constant yo-yo battle between Collins blasting winners and Bouzkova’s quite remarkable retrieval skills. The rallies were fantastic and Bouzkova just will not give up on any ball!
Bouzkova came back from 0-2 down in the third set, ultimately managing to wear down Collins over the course of an absorbing contest. Bouzkova hit 24 winners to SIX (!!!) unforced errors in a match that lasted two hours and 23 minutes.
In the most anticipated match of the day, Emma Raducanu won her first match on Centre Court and her first match on grass this year, beating the in-form, Alison Van Uytvanck, 6-4 6-4. I was relieved for Raducanu because I was worried for the media reaction had she not won. Yet, she wasn’t the favourite with the bookmakers and understandably so! It was a super win because Van Uytvanck has been one of the most prolific players on grass this year, winning 12 matches across four tournaments in the run-up to Wimbledon.
It was a cagey match for the most part. I think Van Uytvanck was actually the nervier of the pair. AVU just wasn’t able to string good points together. It’s tough to read too much into Raducanu’s level. Mentally, I thought it was a very impressive display. Raducanu held serve in a marathon opening service game in the first set (so key to get on the board early) and then recovered from a break down in the second set before closing out the match in clincial fashion.
The potential Bencic-Haddad Maia third rounder is already in tatters. For the second straight year, Kaja Juvan defeated a seed in the first round of Wimbledon. Last year it was Bencic. This year, the Nottingham and Birmingham champ, Beatriz Haddad Maia, 6-4 4-6 6-2. It’s a shock on paper because BHM has been playing so well on the grass but Juvan is a dangerous opponent. Belinda Bencic was also on the brink but lives to fight another day. Wang Qiang led Bencic 6-4 5-1 and twice failed to serve out the match. Wang Qiang fell apart while Bencic, who had lots of taping on her leg, freed up. Bencic won six of the last seven games to level up at one set all. The pair will return to finish their match on Tuesday.
Best of the rest 🎾
-> Welcome to the party, Maja Chwalinska. The 20-year-old won her first main draw Slam match against Katerina Siniakova, 6-0 7-5. Chwalinska has a great game for the grass. Chwalinska can slice off both wings and ran rings around Siniakova, dragging the Czech player across every blade of grass imaginable.
-> Ons Jabeur delivered a statement win, needing just 54 minutes to see off Mirjam Bjorklund, 6-1 6-3. Ons’s first Slam win of the year!
-> Angelique Kerber won the first set over Kristina Mladenovic in 16 minutes (!) and then had to work much, much harder in the second set to seal the win in straights. The highlight was listening to Caroline Wozniacki on commentary for the BBC. I did chuckle when she said Angie was playing passively at one point.
-> Anett Kontaveit won her first match since Stuttgart, beating Bernarda Pera, 7-5 6-1. From 4-1 to 4-5 to 7-5 in that rather wild first set. Really pleased for Anett.
DAY 1 MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
Funny moment 🤣
Dasha on Insta 😂😂😂
Snap of the day 📸
One of my favourite views at Wimby ❤.
Recommended media 📺
Powerful words from Ons in press.
Recommended reading 📚
A thought-provoking piece from WTA Insider with Maja Chwalinska who talked about her battles with depression.
Final thoughts 🤔
I kept saying over and over again that day 1 was an odd day! It took a while to get going. Day 2 is going to be manic with many matches leftover from Monday. Bring it on…