Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wimbledon Day 3: Another Slam, Another Tweener

Hey, all. Galileo here.

Sometimes there are no words for the Aussie. The rain has been and will continue to disrupt play. So the storylines are thin on the ground. Instead, let’s just dive right into the festivities.

*Suicide Picks*
MS 1st Rd: Mahut d. Klein {W}
MS 2nd Rd: 2nd Rd: Karlovic [21] d. Lacko [Q]
WS 1st Rd: Makarova d. Larsson
WS 2nd Rd: Vandeweghe [27] d. Babos

...Since Stan defeated Novak in last year’s French Open final Novak has lost no slam matches. None. His streak today moved up to 31. He will lose a slam match again eventually, but the competition is just not there right now. Mannarino was the latest and he pushed Nole for two hours before folding 6-4, 6-3, 7-6[5]. Broken three times to one, the Frenchman put in a decent performance. He knew he had to go for his shots and he did so. He went 30-42 on the errors count and also won 75 per cent of his first serve points. It was not enough as Novak survived hitting eight doubles and hit just 21 errors. The Serb was too solid, too much of a wall for the Frenchy to break through. Sam Querrey is up 6-4, 5-2 against Bellucci. If indeed it is Querrey, Novak will have a real handful to deal with.
...Willis’ story is of a fairy tale like quality. He has come from nowhere to qualify and complete a dream. Imagine playing on Centre court with a home crowd against the greatest to ever play the game. Sure the dream lasted just 84 minutes, but he gave it everything. Willis shed a lot of weight and was convinced not to retire by his girlfriend. When he beat Berankis he earned 50,000 pounds in cash, giving his career a further boost. But Federer is still majestic on grass despite a dip in form. 34 winners from the Swiss, including 9 aces, and just 14 errors. The Swiss was never broken but he broke five times and won 45 per cent of receiving points. It was a procession. Now he must face either another Brit, Dan Evans, or Dolgopolov. They are locked at 6-6 in the first set.
...Seeded 19th, Tomic was unlucky enough to draw Verdasco as his opener. It was always going five. Tomic managed to win the see-sawing match without having to resort to breakers, winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. After a multitude of rain delays, the Aussie won the match that started on Tuesday. He later admitted, rather honestly, that he would have preferred to sleep on his 5-3 lead and finish on Thursday. Verdasco rained down 71 winners, including 28 aces, and broke four times. He played an exceptional match and even kept the errors down to 40. But Tomic broke once more and was a controlled 53-34 on the winners count. He played a very precise match and moves on. He plays Albot, though, who knows when that will be. Still, Albot will be far less of a test than the Spaniard.
...No problems here for the Austrian. This is one of those matches where the upset would not be so surprising; Mayer is a recent titlist. But Thiem has found top form and it is going to take something special to see him off. He won in 90 minutes 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 against the two-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist. The Austrian has never been beyond the second round here. If he makes it that far his clashes against Berdych and then Wawrinka will be exceptional. But now he needs to focus on Vesely. The Czech is a fiery big-hitter who will give Thiem everything he can handle. The Austrian faced no break points and broke three times himself. If he can keep that up he will go far. 43 winners to 16 errors is also pretty impressive.
...Speaking of Berdych, he edged through against Dodig 6-7[5], 7-5, 6-1, 7-6[2]. He was not at his sparkling best but he squeaked through in four. Combined the pair hit just 32 aces and there were 12 breaks. It was a sloppy match and not of the calibre that was suggested by this match on paper. Berdych edged the winners 54-51 so there was some champagne tennis at least. Dodig was always going to be a banana peel for the 10th seed. Now he has avoided that one he can focus on the next. It is a clash with Benjamin (no-relation) Becker. But after that Zverev and Thiem lurks. If he can beat both of them it would be quite the achievement.
...It isn’t just the victory, it’s the score. The German dominated his opponent and won 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in just 96 minutes. Despite the Frenchman’s talent the German blasted 20 aces and broke six times to see himself through to the second round. He is just so consistent and so on-form right now that he is almost the favourite against Berdych. He has to beat either Zeballos or Youzhny first but that seems a conclusion of the foregone variety. He’s returning at 48 per cent of points won and winning 70 per cent of his own service points. The German has hit a purple patch. How far can he ride it?

Kiki has played no singles matches yet, thanks to the rain. She and Sasnovich should be playing tomorrow. She has yet to start her doubles, either, where she is of course playing with Garcia. She has not even bothered to enter the mixed. That’s a strange decision.

Thanks all and visit WTA BACKSPIN please.

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