RIO DE JANEIRO, August 7, 2016
The Rio 2016 Olympic Games began with a vibrant Opening Ceremony at the Maracana Stadium on Friday night and on Saturday the Olympic Tennis event kicked off at Barra Olympic Park. 56 countries are represented this week.
On Day one, Kei Nishikori advanced to the second round, where he will play John Millman, after seeing off Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 19 minutes.
“It’s great to start like this. It’s not easy for me and for him too, first match. It was also windy and not easy conditions but I played patient and some points very aggressive, so played some good tennis today,” Nishikori told.
“I usually give up the point but this time I thought, no if I get the racket back I have a chance to get a point. I tried to hang in and luckily I get a point so … it never happens like that!”
France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga entertains the crowd after defeating a spirited Malek Jaziri from Tunisia on Centre Court 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. Jaziri served for the match in the second set but the Frenchman prevailed and in true showman style he played musical conductor with the crowd making them cheer on command before hitting three match balls into the assembled onlookers.
Kyle Edmund started his Rio campaign with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Australia’s Jordan Thompson.
“It wasn’t quite a team feel like in Davis Cup by having people sitting there but in terms of off court it has the same feel – you’re staying in the same apartment with pretty much the exact same people as in Davis Cup but when you come on court I feel it is a little more individual-based because you haven’t got a captain on court. It’s a bit of a mixture,” the British youngster told, taking on Taro Daniel next.
Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber books a second round clash with Andrej Martin after defeating Guido Pella 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 38 minutes. Martin eased past Denis Kudla, winning 6-0, 6-3.
There was no dream comeback for Thanasi Kokkinakis on his return to the courts after 10 months on the sidelines with a shoulder injury. Despite his best efforts, his Olympic debut ends in losing two tie-breaks 4-7, 3-7 to Portugal’s Gastao Elias.
Venus Williams Falls
The biggest shock took place in the women’s draw when Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens upset four-time Olympic gold medallist Venus Williams 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 in a marathon match on Centre Court lasting three hours 13 minutes.
“I just played point after point, keep focusing, keep believing. I told myself before just go for it 200 percent and enjoy, and this amazing crowd helped me so much to go through this match,” Flipkens said, playing Lucie Safarova in the second round.