Day one of Wimbledon 2017 had a bit of everything: sunshine, rain, upsets, drama and of course many exciting matches.
The #Smashtalk team of Paul Moore, Vivienne Christie, Matt Trollope and Leigh Rogers kept an eye on all the highs and lows…
Paul Moore: Andy Murray. There were plenty of question marks hovering over the Brit going into this one, and he was up against a tricky opponent in Alexander Bublik. That he came through it, and comfortably, will be a huge relief to the defending champion.
Vivienne Christie: Having noted the threat that Andrea Petkovic posed to the struggling Dominika Cibulkova, the No.8 seed has to be my biggest winner after claiming their first round 9-7 in the third set. Spanning two hours and 43 minutes, it could be the match that helps Cibulkova return to her fighting best.
Matt Trollope: Daniil Medvedev. The young Russian continued his fine grasscourt season by stunning fifth seed Stan Wawrinka on Centre Court to win his first Grand Slam main draw match. Quite the arrival on the big stage.
Leigh Rogers: Elina Svitolina. The No.4 seed had a tough draw against in-form Ashleigh Barty and after beginning the tournament under an injury cloud, proved she should not be discounted. It was also her first win over a top 80-ranked opponent on grass in three years, a result that can only do wonders for her confidence.
PM: It’s a toss-up between Stan and Nick, but I’m going to go with Nick Kyrgios (although loser seems a bit harsh in this instance). It’s a disappointing end to a grass court season that had promised so much for the Aussie No.1. Let’s just hope he can get that hip fixed.
VC: The sentimentalists would have loved Mirjana Lucic-Baroni to match her stunning AO2017 run with another push at Wimbledon, where she was a teenage semifinalist in 1999. But it wasn’t to be, the 35-year-old downed 8-6 in the third set by Carina Witthoeft. Leading 5-0 and even holding a match point in that final set, that’s a loss that has to sting for the No.26 seed.
MT: Eugenie Bouchard. The Canadian, oft-struggling for form, had the chance to score a real statement victory over 25th seed Carla Suarez Navarro, especially so when she stormed through the first set 6-1. Somehow, she lost the next two 6-1 6-1 to bow out meekly. A shadow of the player who reached the final here three years ago.
LR: Laura Robson. The once-promising Brit had a big opportunity to gain some valuable ranking points and confidence here, but is clearly still miles away from returning to the level that saw her peak at world No.27 as a teen. The now 23-year-old was easily beaten by Brazilian Haddad Maia, a player who had never previously won a tour-level match on grass.
PM: I’m going to go with the obvious: Alexandr Dolgopolov against Roger Federer. Both are exquisite shot makers, and if Dolgopolov plays anywhere near his potential he can offer Federer a solid challenge.
VC: Expect high intensity – and likely theatrics – when 2012 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska and former No.1 Jelena Jankovic meet for the 12th time. Radwanska leads 7-4 in head-to-heads but with both struggling to find form in 2017, they’ll each spot an important opportunity to turn their seasons around.
MT: Juan Martin del Potro v Thanasi Kokkinakis. You cannot go past this match-up between two extremely popular, likeable players who after enduring horrendous struggled with injuries are finding their feet again. This is a feel-good match with the promise of explosive hitting – which is always fun on grass.
LR: Martin Klizan v Novak Djokovic. The No.2 seed does not typically play the week before a Grand Slam so it will be interesting to see how fresh he is after his Eastbourne triumph. Klizan might not have won a match on grass in three years – but he is a former world No.24 and with wins over Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori before, is a proven dangerous opponent.
PM: Dominic Thiem. Not only does the indefatigable Austrian look wobbly on the green stuff, but he’s up against a tricky opponent in Vasek Pospisil. The former Wimbledon doubles champion is the kind of guy nobody wants to face in the opening round, and he’s got nothing to lose against the eighth seed.
VC: Despite the disparity in ranking and experience, I wonder how Juan Martin del Potro will fare against first-time opponent Thanasi Kokkinakis. Yes, I’m a biased Aussie – but there are injury questions surrounding Delpo and Kokkinakis, who upset Milos Raonic at Queen’s, deserves a run of good form.
MT: Jack Sock. The American has a game built for success on clay or slow hard courts – not slick lawns. Having not played since Roland Garros, the 17th seed lacks grass court matches which is exactly what his opponent, Christian Garin, has in spades after coming through three rounds of qualifying.
LR: Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The clay-loving No.25 seed only has four career wins on grass and faces a challenging first round opponent in improving Australian Jordan Thompson. The Spaniard should be wary after Thompson stunned world No.1 Andy Murray at Queen’s a fortnight ago.
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