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Opening Weekend Olympic Action at Wimbledon

Berdych, Radwanska eliminated


July 29, 2012 | 05:09 PM

The Opening Saturday brought the kind of glorious weather missing from the enchanted isle for most of the past 4 months, and featured the super stars of tennis in singles and doubles action (Fed, Serena, Isner, Bryans). There were some whiny complaints that some of the courts were too slick for play (Tipsarevic, court 14). On the show courts, though taken to 3 sets by Colombian Alejandro Falla who had led him 2 sets to nil in the 1st round of Wimbledon 2010, #1 seed FEDERER felt Centre Court played no differently after 3 weeks, while SERENA - under the watchful eye of Lady M'Obama - adopted the manners of the host nation, allowing only that the surface played 'a wee bit slippery':

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olympics/other-events/wimbledons-wee-bit-slippery-courts-prove-a-test-for-tennis-olympians-7984970.html

Before the kick off the Olympic tennis action, a Tennis Flash Mob Dance entertained those gathered on Henman Hill:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9lrePRbBn8

Had the mob known that the day would produce good news for home hopeful MURRAY, they might have danced on into the night: while Andy didn't play singles, the day's only major upset was #6 seed in his quarter, Tomas BERDYCH, who's lawn tennis torments continued at the hands of Belgium's Steve Darcis 6-4, 6-4. Andy and older bros Jamie did take to the doubles court to play a solid Austrian duo, Melzer & Peya, who edged them out 5-7, 7-6, 7-5.

The Bryans needed 3 sets to get past Brazilians Bellucci & Sa, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3. Bellucci was very hard for #5 seed Tsonga to eliminate in one of the the 6 men's singles matches completed after today's rain delay (6-7, 6-4, 6-4).

JOKER also dropped his first set in a breaker today to Italian Fabio Fognini. After a rain delay of 3.5 hours, they returned to Court One at 7-7, and Fabio proceeded to win 2 points and the set with a combo of his slicing defensive play and net attacks to set up his sure volleying skills. For much of the 1st set he outplayed Joker, who continued to have start up difficulties. Becoming more himself, Joker took control of the next 2 sets, 6-2, 6-2.

MURRAY played a masterful two sets under the Centre Court roof to keep Swissman Wawrinka off balance, winning easily 6-3, 6-3, and showing a variety of the strengths that got him to the Wimb final 3 weeks ago. When asked what he had done to put his 4th major final loss behind him this time, Andy told of visiting Centre Court 3 days after the final to reflect on his experience there and leave his grief behind. He acknowledged the value of Lendl's experience ins helping him mature in his attitude toward losing. Learning how to lose the big ones is as important for top players as learning how to win. Now that he has a masters degree in the former, perhaps professor Ivan can help with the latter. This time he will have to be the one to upset Joker, but having opened with a stronger performance than the other top 6 players. He has no great threat in his quarter (#16 Gasquet, #11 Almagro).

As for AMERICANS:

- ISNER won 7-6, 6-4 over the shortest man on the tour, Belgian Rochus

- Harrison lost 5-7, 3-6 to Colombian Giraldo

- Young lost 4-6, 4-6 to Italian Andrea Seppi [what was the Donald doing there???]

- SERENA cruised past the train wreck known as Jankovic, 6-3, 6-1

- McHale lost 4-6, 5-7 to #11 seed Ivanovic

UPSETs on the women's side include:

- #5 Stosur, who still can't find her legs on grass and went down to Spain's Suarez-Navarro, 3-6, 7-5, 8-10 (no tie-breakers decide 3rd sets in the Olympics)

- #2 Radwanska, who was out-dueled in a see-saw 3 setter by German Goerges, 5-7, 7-6, 6-4

(given that Julia has won a ton of matches and events this year, this was a terrible 1st rounder for Aggie)

Two other WOMEN's seeds struggled through the 1st round:

- #6 seed Kvitova and #8 seed Wozniacki needed 3 sets to get by

Cruising to round 2 were:

- MARIA def. Israel's Peer 6-2, 6-0 (she recovered from carrying the flag

- Clijsters def. Italian Vinci 6-4, 6-1

Rick

Olympic Tennis 7.29.12


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