On a busy day at the Championships six unfinished first round matches were completed with wins for the Americans John Isner and Donald Young, the Italian Fabio Fognini, the Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny, the Australian Matthew Barton and the Frenchman Lucas Pouille.
In a match lasting four hour and two minutes, 24 year Sydney born Barton defeated little known Frenchman Albano Olivetti 6-7(7), 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-7(5), 14-12 on court no. 10. In another five setter on court no. 11, the Italian Fabio Fognini got the better of the Argentine Frederico Delbonis.
The established gen next stars Milos Raonic of Canada and Kei Nishikori of Japan have safely made it into the round of 32. Raonic was impressive in his 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-2 win over the Italian Andreas Seppi, while Nishikori overcame a slow start to beat the veteran Frenchman Julien Bennettau 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
The big news of the day was the welcome return to form of the Bulgarian Grigor Dmitrov who upset the 16th seeded Frenchman Giles Simon 6-3, 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-4. Simon looked set to force a fifth set as he led by a break of service in the fourth but lost his way as the 2014 semi-finalist Dmitrov held his nerve to seal the three hour two minute duel on Court no. 1 on Thursday.
Earlier in the day 26 year old Daniel Evans of England upset the 30th seeded Ukrainian Alexander Dolgopolov 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-1 in just under two hours on court no. 2 to start the proceedings on Day 4. Australian Bernard Tomic, the 2014 U.S. Open Champion Marin Cilic of Croatia, David Goffin of Belgium and the Americans Sam Querrey, Nottingham winner Steve Johnson and Jack Sock advanced into the round of 32.
The Spanish veteran David Ferrer, seeded 13th offered little resistance as he lost tamely to the Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 1-6, 4-6, 3-6. Ivo Karlovic, Victor Troicki and Benoit Paire too were among the notable upsets on Day 4.
John Millman beat Paire in four sets and Lucas Lacko who took out the big serving 36 year old Karlovic. Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas took five sets to upset Troicki, while another Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut got a walkover from the dangerous Mikhail Kukuskhin of Kazakhstan.
Andy Murray dropped serve in the opening game to Yen Hsun-Lu of Chinese Taipei but recovered quickly to beat the man whose claim to fame includes a win over Andy Roddick at Wimbledon 2010, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1. Dominic Thiem is the highest seed to fall as he lost in three tie-breaks to the giant left hander Jiri Vesley of the Czech Republic. The score 7-6(5), 7-6(4), 7-6(3). Vesley is only one of three players to beat Novak Djokovic in 2016, apart from Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez.
There are intriguing matches lined up on Friday as under with my pick mentioned first:-
Stanislas Wawrinka (4) v. Juan Martin Del Potro
Roger Federer (3) v. Daniel Evans
Novak Djokovic (1) v. Sam Querrey (28)
Milos Raonic (6) v. Jack Sock (27)
Nick Kyrgios (15) v. Dustin Brown
Kei Nishikori (5) v. Andrey Kuznetsov
Tomas Berdych (10) v. Benjamin Becker
David Goffin (11) v. Denis Istomin
Jo Wilfred Tsonga (12) v. Juan Monaco
Marin Cilic (9) v. Lukas Lacko
John Isner (18) v. Matthew Barton
Grigor Dmitrov v. Steve Johnson
Alexander Zverev (24) v. Mikhail Youzhny
Feliciano Lopez (22) v. Fabio Fognini
Lucas Pouille (32) v. Donald Young
Nicolas Mahut v. Pierre Hughes Herbert
In the women’s singles little known Jana Cepelova stunned the French Open champion and last year’s finalist Garbine Muguruza of Spain with a surprisingly easy 6-3, 6-2 win in just 59 minutes on court no. 1. Third seeded Agnieska Radwanska survived a scare against 18 year old Croat Ana Konjuh winning 6-2, 4-6, 9-7 in 2 hours 36 minutes.
There were wins for Eugene Bouchard, Simona Halep, Timea Bacsinszky, Coco Vandeweghe, former champion Venus Williams, Angelique Keber and Dominica Cibulkova and Sloane Stephens. Belinda Bencic, the seventh seed retired trailing 4-6, 0-1 to the American Julia Boserup.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: email@example.com]