2018 Wimbledon: Day 2 Review

In what is traditionally known as Ladies Day at Wimbledon, the men’s action was almost a mirror image of Day 1 as two time champion Rafael Nadal of Spain, Alexander Zverev of Germany and Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina all advanced with straight sets wins. Just like yesterday two promising seeded players bit the dust as Dominic Thiem and David Goffin of Belgium bowed out without offering any real resistance on Tuesday.

Just like his arch rival Roger Federer; Nadal, the top ranked player in the world and winner of the event in 2008 and 2010, dropped only eight games enroute to a 6-3,6-3,6-2 win over Dudi Sela of Israel. After splitting the first six games, the Spaniard went on to win an astonishing 17 straight points from 3-3 in the opener to 6-3,1-0,15-0 in the second set.

Nadal improves to 44-10 at The Championships where he has also been a runner up in 2006,2007 and 2011. Nadal who lost to players with a triple digit ranking from 2012-2015 at Wimbledon, No. 100 Lukas Rosol in 2012, No. 135 Steve Darcis in 2013, No. 144 Nick Kyrgios in 2014 and No. 102 Dustin Brown in 2015, needs only to reach the round of 16 to ensure he retains the number One ranking in the world.

The fifth seeded Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro had an early start on Court no. 3 against the No. 39 ranked German Peter Gojowczyk but took only one hour minutes in his 6-3,6-4,6-3 win to advance to the second round. Fourth seeded Alexander Zverev, registered his tour leading 35th match of the year as he defeated the Australian James Duckworth 7-5,6-2,6-0 in only 90 minutes. Zverev won 93% of first-serve points and hit 25 winners and is now 4-0 in first round matches at Wimbledon.

On Monday Stanislas Wawrinka, a three time major champion had caused the biggest upset of the tournament so far by beating the World Tour Final champion Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, today it was the turn of the 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis and the in-form Australian Matthew Ebden to continue the string of upsets. Baghdatis beat the French Open champion as the seventh seeded Austrian retired with an injury trailing 0-2 in the third set after dropping the first two sets 4-6,5-7. Tenth seeded David Goffin of Belgium was routed 4-6,3-6,4-6 by Matthew Ebden who reached the round of eight in Halle before losing to Roger Federer.

Other seeds to advance were the Antalya champion Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia Herzegovina, former world number Four Kei Nishikori of Japan, Kyle Edmund of England, the fiery Italian Fabio Fognini and Diego Schwartzman of Argentina. The temperamental Australian Nick Kyrgios, seeded 15th, hit a personal best 42 aces in his 7-6(3),7-6(4),6-7(5),6-3 win over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, best known for his five set shock win over Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Australian Open in 2017. Kyrgios who had 37 aces in his four set win over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014, never lost serve and broke Istomin’s serve in the eighth game of the fourth set, the only time either player dropped serve.

The GenNext star Frances Tiafoe of the U.S.A. caused a minor upset as he beat the veteran Spanish left hander Fernando Verdasco 7-6(6),7-6(5),3-6,6-3. Earlier in the day Radu Albot of Macedonia wasted little time in taking the decisive fifth set 6-1 to upset the 20th seeded Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain. The pair had split the first four sets and Albot led 3-1 in the fifth set. Another Spaniard Feliciano Lopez who is competing in his 66th consecutive grand slam breaking the previous record held by Roger Federer, celebrated his feat in style with a straight sets win over the Argentine left hander Frederico Delbonis, 6-3,6-4,6-2.

In other minor upsets French Open semi finalist Marco Cecchinato of Italy, was beaten by another GenNext star Alex de Minaur of Australia who won in four sets 6-4,6-7(6),7-6(5),6-4, however Cecchinato’s compatriot Matteo Berrettini ended the hopes of the eighteenth seeded American Jack Sock coming back from a two set deficit to win 6-7(5),6-7(3),6-4,7-5,6-2.

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, seeded 26th overcame a tricky first round opponent in Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3,3-6,7-5,6-4. However the most famous win of the day was recorded by the three time champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia who defeated the American Tennys Sandgren 6-3,6-1,6-2. The 12th seeded Serb won the title in 2011,2014 and 2015 but is on his way back after elbow injury which kept him out of action for six months after last year’s Wimbledon.

Following is the list of matches to be played on Day 3 in the top half of the men’s draw with my pick mentioned first:-

Roger Federer (1) v. Lukas Lacko (-)
Ivo Karlovic (-) v. Jan-Lennard Struff (-)
Adrian Mannarino (22) v. Ryan Harrison (-)
Daniil Medvedev (-) v. Guillermo Garcia Lopez (-)
Sam Querrey (11) v. Sergiy Stakhovsky (-)
Gael Monfils (-) v. Paolo Lorenzi (-)
Phillip Kohlschreiber (25) v. Gilles Muller (-)
Kevin Anderson (8) v. Andreas Seppi (-)
Marin Cilic (3) v. Guido Pella (-)
Nicolas Jarry (-) v. Mackenzie McDonald (-)
Lucas Pouille (17) v. Dennis Novak (-)
Milos Raonic (13) v. Liam Broady (-)
John Isner (9) v. Ruben Bemelmans (-)
Aljaz Bedene (-) v. Radu Albot (-)
Stefanos Tsitsipas (31) v. Jared Donaldson (-)
Stan Wawrinka (-) v. Thomas Fabbiano (-)

The defending women’s section started the proceedings on center court on Ladies Day with a 6-2,7-5 win local favourite Naomi Broady. Joining her into the second round are the former world number One Angelique Kerber of Germany, world number one and French Open champion Simona Halep of Romania, the 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, Daria Kasatkina of Russia, Elise Merterns of Belgium, Naomi Osaka of Japan, the Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, Ashley Barty of Australia and the Briton Johanna Konta.

There was disappointment for two famous former champions. The two time champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic was beaten by Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 4-6,6-4,0-6. In an all Russian match up, little known Vitalia Diatchenko upset the 2004 champion Maria Sharapova 6-7(3),7-6(3),6-4. In other upsets Belinda Bencic of Switzerland beat the Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, seeded sixth, 7-6(2),6-3. Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei upset the 30th seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-4,4-6,6-3.

– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@gmail.com]

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