WASHINGTON, July 3, 2018 (by Michael Dickens)
During the first two days of a Grand Slam, all the stars are in action – such as women’s defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza and World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, headlining Centre Court on Tuesday – and many of the big ones are away from Centre Court and Court No. 1, too. It was a great day to have a grounds pass in order to see Juan Martín del Potro, Johanna Konta, Alexander Zverev, Kei Nishikori, Maria Sharapova, Angelique Kerber, David Goffin, Nick Kyrgios and Naomi Osaka.
Muguruza begins title defense
Defending women’s champion Garbiñe Muguruza, seeded No. 3, was up to the task of playing against an English favorite in front of a Centre Court sellout crowd. The Venezuelan-born Spaniard beat No. 138 Naomi Broady, who was playing in her seventh Wimbledon, 6-2, 7-5, in one hour and 28 minutes.
Muguruza, who now resides in Geneva, was solid in winning 28 of 35 (80 percent) of her first-serve points and hit 18 winners against 10 unforced errors. She lost just 13 points on her serve. In outpointing Broady, 73-53, Muguruza broke her opponent three times in 11 opportunities.
“It’s a beautiful court,” Muguruza said to the BBC during a post-match interview adjacent to Centre Court. “It’s always good to win and actually enjoy it more. I found the crowd very fair with both of us. Controlling one’s emotions is always important.”
Since winning the 2016 French Open, Muguruza has compiled a 33-7 win-loss record in Grand Slams.
Zverev powers past Duckworth
Fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany was solid in his first-round win over James Duckworth, 7-5, 6-2, 6-0, hitting 25 winners to offset 16 unforced errors. Zverev won 93 percent of his first serves (39 of 42), controlled the net by winning 17 of 25 opportunities, and broke Duckworth six times 10 opportunities. Duckworth committed 14 backhand unforced errors.
Zverev outpointed the Aussie, 95-54, and lost just 10 points on his serve during the 90 minute match played on No. 2 Court.
In other men’s results:
• No. 5 seed Juan Martín del Potro advanced in straight sets over Peter Gojowcyk of Germany, winning 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, to improve to 9-0 in Wimbledon first-round matches.
• No. 14 seed Diego Schwartzman defeated Mirza Basic, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.
• No. 15 Nick Kyrgios needed two hours and 34 minutes and four sets to advance over Denis Istomin, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 6-3.
• No. 20 seed Pablo Carreño Busta was upset by 98th-ranked Radu Albot, 3-6, 6-0, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-1, in a match that finished Tuesday after it was suspended because of darkness on Monday evening.
• No. 21 Kyle Edmund, the top ranked British male at this year’s Wimbledon, advanced with a 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 win over Alex Bolt of Australia.
• No. 24 seed Kei Nishikori advanced over qualifier Christian Harrison, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2.
• No. 27 seed Damir Dzumhur reached the second round for the third straight year with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Germany’s Maximilian Marterer, who was making his Wimbledon debut.
• Jiri Vesely needed two hours and 42 minutes to advance over German Florian Mayer, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
In other women’s results:
• British No. 1 Johanna Konta, seeded 22nd, eased past Natalia Vikhlyantseva, 7-5, 7-6 (7). She became the second British woman to reach the second round following teenaged wild card Katie Swan, who stopped Irina-Camelia Begu on Monday.
• No. 11 seed Angelique Kerber won in straight sets over Vera Zvonareva, 7-5, 6-3.
• No. 17 seed Ash Barty needed just 77 minutes to beat Stefanie Voegele, 7-5, 6-3.
• No. 26 seed Daria Gavrilova advanced in just 67 minutes over Caroline Dolehide, 6-2, 6-3.
• No. 28 seed Anett Kontaveit moved on with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Denisa Allertova.
• No. 30 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was upset by Su-Wei Hsieh, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
News and noteworthy
• The headline in Tuesday’s New York Times read: For Federer, A New Way to Impress With White. Needless to say, Federer captured worldwide attention when he unveiled his new apparel sponsor, Uniqlo, as he walked out on Centre Court Monday afternoon. While Nike had been Federer’s clothing sponsor throughout his entire professional career – creating many memorable looks during previous Wimbledon fortnights – it appeared that Nike was unwilling to match the length or dollars of Uniqlo’s offer, “particularly for a player near the end of his career who now spends a handful of months every season at home in Switzerland to preserve his health, rather than at tournaments,” wrote Naila-Jean Meyers in her New York Times story.
• Feliciano Lopez of Spain set an Open Era record by playing in his 66th consecutive Major on Tuesday. The 36-year-old Spaniard advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Federico Delbonis. “When I was about to break the record, I though, ‘Wow, I’m going to beat Federer at something,’ which is a lot already,” Lopez was quoted as saying to the ATP World Tour website. “It’s only a number, and I’m really proud of my consistency. It’s not about the number of Grand Slams played. It’s about how many years I have been playing at the top level. This is the most important thing.”
• History was made on Monday when for the first time in the Open Era, two Top 5 women’s seeds lost in the first round at Wimbledon. Early in the day, Donna Vekic beat reigning U.S. Open champion and French Open finalist Sloane Stephens, 6-1, 6-3. Then, as twilight fell, Mallorca Open champion Tatjana Maria upset No 5 seed Elina Svitolina, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-1. It was the first time that both Vekic and Maria had scored Top 5 wins. Four other women’s seeds bowed on Day 1: No. 16 CoCo Vandeweghe, No. 19 Magdalena Rybarikova, No. 21 Anastasia Sevastova, and No. 31 Zhang Shuai.
• On Monday evening, Ons Jabeur of Tunisia became the first Arab woman to win a singles match at Wimbledon since her compatriot Selima Sfar in 2005. The 23-year-old, 130th-ranked wild card Jabeur recovered from a poor start to defeat 99th-ranked Viktorija Golubic, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. Next, she faces Katerina Siniakova, who beat Vandeweghe, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 8-6.
• Agnieszka Radwanska is now 13-0 in Wimbledon first rounds, thanks to saving six match points against qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse en route to a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 win.
• Victoria Azarenka was asked by WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen about not getting a seeding last year after become a new mother while Serena Williams did this year. She said, “I didn’t get it last year. She got it this year. I think it’s an important conversation that has been started. This conversation has led to numerous meetings, numerous occasions where we are discussing the rules and how can we be a leader in sports to have the best maternity polity for not – I don’t think just women, but I think all sports. And that conversation is ongoing.
“A couple of days ago we had a big meeting, and I feel like we are moving in a really good direction. I feel that our voices, as a player council, are heard. We do implement things that are going to be important for players.
“But my main thing is that it has to be for everyone, and the rules have to be applied for everyone. So that is one thing that we haven’t come to the conclusion yet, but it’s coming. I think I’m pretty proud of what kind of conversations we have been having.”
What they’re tweeting
• Stuart Fraser, tennis correspondent for The Times of London, tweeted: “In the new version of ‘Come on, Tim,’ someone has just shouted ‘Come on, Andy’ during Kyle Edmund’s match. Unfortunately, the crowd laughed.” Later Fraser tweeted this gem: “Kyle Edmund happy he is finished in plenty of time before England v Columbia: ‘All the best to England. Hopefully they can do it and make the nation proud.'”