Bad Day for Venus, Isner, Berdych
June 25, 2012 | 07:48 PM
John ISNER is relieved of one worry: he won't be playing Mahut next for the 3rd year in a row. While Nicolas had play suspended in the 5th set of his match, Alejandro Falla (COL) staged the kind of upset against Isner that he failed to do 2 years ago in the 1st round against FED when he served for the match in the 4th set but lost 0-6 in the 5th. Although today's match was short by the Marathon Man's standards (under 3 hours when the 5th set started), Isner looked tired - or injured? - by the end, and neither rain nor darkness could suspend his doom. His 1st serve speed fell dramatically to 115 mph (average) from 125, and he both sprayed and underhit balls, giving away 16 points and allowing Falla to pass him easily at the net to set up the break points that ended the final set 6-3. For the 28 year old Falla, this was a huge win and gives him a realistic chance to exceed his 2nd round best ('07) at Wimbledon. [This is good news for 8th seed Tipsarevic, who did Nalbandian a favor by giving him the freedom to flee his assault charge if he wishes. With #23 seed Seppi eliminated 8-6 in the 5th by Denis Istomin, the highest remaining seed in his bracket is #26 Youzhny, who beat Donald Young in 4 sets.]
With Isner go any hopes America had in the men's draw. While Roddick comes in on a high note after winning Esstbourne on Saturday, he's far from playing the way he did 3 years ago when he last reached the final, and is more apt to go out with a whimper as Venus did today, 6-1, 6-3, to #79 Elena Vesnina.
Ryan Harrison, who notched a good win over Yen-Shun Lu in 4 sets, won the chance to face JOKER, who won easily over Ferrero, losing just 7 games. Joker's fortunes were improved when 6th seed BERDYCH was upset by Ernie Gulbis, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4). This is good news for #18 Gasquet, who has a chance to reach his 2nd straight quarterfinal in a major and get closer flirt with the top 10 for the first time in 5 years. A 4th round meeting with Gulbis would be his 3rd straight 4th round in a major, and one Gasquet could win to get past his personal rubicon in majors: the 4th round (in the 11 times he's reached the 4th round in a major, only at Wimbledon in '07 when he beat Tsonga in the 4th round and upset Roddick on his way to the semis (where Fed dispatched him in straight sets).
Two other American men survived the 1st round, while James Blake lost in 4 to Ben Becker:
- Ryan Sweeting is past Potito (you say Potito, I say...) Starace when the Italian retired down a set and a break 0-2.
- Michael Russell beat a 26 year old Spanish qualifier ranked 212
3rd seed Federer, who has more pundits than usual recently who are suggesting/hoping he will come though to win one more major here this year, won his most decisive 1st round in his 12 straight opening victories, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 over #43 Albert Ramos playing in his first Wimbledon. Fed's 2nd round may have been made easier by Michael Llodra, who lost in 4 sets to #68 Fabio Fognini.
Aside from Venus, it was a mixed day for American women, with one important match suspended for darkness at 7-7 in the 3rd set (#28 seed Christina McHale v Johanna Konta, ranked #210):
- Jamie Hampton staged a minor upset, defeating #27 seed Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 7-6 (1)
- Sloane Stephens def. Pliskova 6-2, 6-2
Two American hopefuls lost to rookies:
- Melanie Oudin to #69 Timea Babos in 3 sets
- Vania King to #23 seed Cetkovska (6-4, 6-2)
Kim Clijsters defeated Jankovic 6-2, 6-4 to get her final Wimbledon started right.
All the seeds cruised to easy victories.
TUESDAY SCHEDULE OF PLAY (3 Show Courts)
Centre Court 1:00 PM
- Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) v Petra Kvitova (CZE)
- Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) v Rafael Nadal (ESP)
- Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) v Andy Murray (GBR)
No. 1 Court 1:00 PM
- Vera Zvonareva (RUS) v. Mona Barthel (GER) To Finish 2-6 7-6(3)
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
- Irina Falconi (USA) v Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
- Jamie Baker (GBR) v Andy Roddick (USA)
No. 2 Court 11:30 AM
- Bernard Tomic (AUS) v David Goffin (BEL)
- Serena Williams (USA) v Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE)
- Robin Haase (NED) v Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)
- Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) v Tamira Paszek (AUT)
All of these matches look to be interesting except Kvitova's and Roddick's, as they should win easily if nerves don't destroy either favorite.
Of special interest may be:
- Tomic v Goffin
- Haase v Del Potro
- Wozniacki v Paszek (won Eastbourne on Saturday over #8 Kerber)
Wimbledon Opening Day, 6.25.12