Serena Returns; Djokovic vs. The Worm on Wed. at Wimbledon
by Staff | June 25th, 2014, 1:49 am
  • 66 Comments

Shaking off the disappointment of an early exit at the French Open in her last appearance on court roughly a month ago, world No. 1 Serena Williams returned to the Grand Slam stage with a resounding boom on Tuesday, defeating newly-Americanized Anna Tatishvili 6-1, 6-2 at Wimbledon.

“Who said I was over it?” Serena said of her French Open loss. “The last time I played [Tatishvili], she ended really strong. Today, she started where she left off last time. She can hit the ball really, really hard.”

Other Top 10 winners all easing into the second round in straight sets were No. 3 Simona Halep over Brazil’s Teliana Pereira 6-2, 6-2; No. 4 Aggie Radwanska dismissing Romanian qualifier Andreea Mitu 6-2, 6-1; No. 5 Maria Sharapova spanking Brit wildcard Samantha Murray 6-1, 6-0; and No. 9 Angie Kerber topping the other Radwanska sister Urszula 6-2, 6-4.

“I recovered very well from the [back] injury and I can play now,” Halep said. “And this was the perfect start for me. First rounds are always difficult, but I think I played really well today. The court was beautiful, so I was enjoying every moment of it.”

Sharapova, who suffered a second round exit last year, was only looking ahead.

“I try not to dwell on what has happened in the past, whether good or bad memories,” she said. “This is a new day. It’s not a new tournament, but it’s a new opportunity. You start from scratch. And I have a great opportunity to do well here — there’s no reason I can’t turn those results around this year.”

It was a big day for upsets as six seeds were dismissed in the first round, led by Estonian Kaia Kanepi who ousted No. 7 Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-2.

Also upset-minded on Tuesday were France’s Caroline Garcia who topped No. 14 Sara Errani 2-6, 7-6(3), 7-5; Croat Donna Vekic who outlasted No. 21 Roberta Vinci 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; American Alison Riske who came from a set down to beat No. 26 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 4-6, 7-5, 6-1; Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito who wore down No. 28 seed and multiple Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6, 6-3, 6-1; and American qualifier Victoria Duval in her first Wimbledon main draw match, defeating No. 29 Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

Additional seeded players into the second round on Tuesday were No. 11 Ana Ivanovic over fellow French Open winner Francesca Schiavone, No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard, No. 15 Carla Suarez Navarro, No. 16 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 19 Sabine Lisicki, No. 20 Andrea Petkovic, No. 24 Kirsten Flipkens edging qualifier Tamira Paszek in three, No. 25 Alize Cornet winning from a set down against Anna Schmiedlova, and No. 31 Klara Koukalova over American wildcard Taylor Townsend.

Among unseeded winners of note into the second round were young American Madison Keys, young Italian Camila Giorgi, young British hope Heather Watson, and touted Swiss junior Belinda Bencic.

“I had a lot of support today — the whole crowd,” Watson said. “I had a lot of friends as well that had come to watch. And from the beginning when I walked onto the court and they said my name, the crowd was very positive and behind me the whole way. I really enjoyed playing here today and on that court. I do like that court a lot.”

Keys was feeling confident after winning her first career title on grass entering Wimbledon.

“Obviously I’m feeling pretty confident right now, especially on grass,” said the American. “I feel like I can play entire tournaments and I’m actually about to go out and win, so that’s definitely a good feeling.”

Two matches were suspended due to darkness, including Brit wildcard Tara Moore challenging veteran wildcard Vera Zvonareva, tied at one set all.

Three former All England Club champions on the men’s side, two of which were seeded, moved into the second round in decidedly different ways on Tuesday.

No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal struggled against rankings riser Martin Klizan, needing to come from a set down to beat the Slovakian 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, while No. 4 seed Roger Federer eased into the second round with a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win against Italian Paolo Lorenzi.

“For me it was a solid match,” Federer said. “I served well, returned well and also tried to come forward a bit. I could do everything out there and am very pleased.”

Nadal will next meet Lukas Rosol, who upset him two years ago at Wimbledon.

“I lost because [Rosol] is a very good player and he plays very well on this surface,” Nadal said. “He’s aggressive. I need to play very well. If not, I won’t be in the third round…I’m not going to lie — when you go on the Center Court and you have lost last year in the first round and the year before in the second round, it stays on your mind.”

Four other Top 10 seeds were in action, with No. 5 Stan Wawrinka over Portugal’s Joao Sousa, No. 8 Milos Raonic topping Aussie Matthew Ebden, No. 9 John Isner subduing unheralded Brit Daniel Smethurst, and No. 10 Kei Nishikori beating Frenchman Kenny De Schepper, all in straight sets.

Three seeds exited stage right on Tuesday when Serbian Dusan Lajovic outlasted No. 28 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in five, complaining Canadian Frank Dancevic stunned No. 29 Ivo Karlovic in straights, and Uzbek Denis Istomin tamed No. 32 Dmitry Tursunov in four sets.

No. 13 seed Richard Gasquet survived a five-setter against Aussie James Duckworth to lead the remaining seeds into the second round, including No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who won a rain-resumed five-setter over Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer, No. 15 “I’m From” Jerzy Janowicz who beat Somdev Devvarman in five, No. 19 Feliciano Lopez, No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 23 Tommy Robredo, No. 24 Gael “Force” Monfils, and No. 30 Marcel Granollers who defeated Nicolas Mahut in four.

Unseeded advancements of note among the men were historic Slam upset makers Rosol and Gilles Muller, former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, Americans Jack Sock, Sam Querrey and Denis Kudla, and young Aussie hopeful Nick Kyrgios.

“It doesn’t get any better than playing out here in this tournament,” Hewitt said. “I’ve been through some tough times, some tough surgeries in the past four or five years but when you get out here, it makes it all worth it.”

Matches to look for on Wednesday at the All England Club include (1) Novak Djokovic vs. Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, (3) Andy Murray vs. U.S. collegiate star Blaz Rola, (6) Tomas Berdych vs. Aussie troublemaker Bernard Tomic, (14) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Sam Querrey, and (12) Ernests Gulbis vs. upset specialist Sergiy Stakhovsky.

WEDNESDAY WIMBLEDON SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT – 1:00PM
1. Casey Dellacqua (AUS) v Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) [4]
2. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) [11] v Luke Saville (AUS)
3. Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] v Radek Stepanek (CZE)

NO.1 COURT – 1:00PM
1. Andy Murray (GBR) [3] v Blaz Rola (SLO)
2. Petra Kvitova (CZE) [6] v Mona Barthel (GER)
3. Bernard Tomic (AUS) v Tomas Berdych (CZE) [6]


Also Check Out:
Serena Williams “Absolutely” Thinks She Can Win The Calendar Grand Slam This Year
Wozniacki on Serena Williams, Practicing, Giving Little
Stepanek Worm Dances His Way to the US Open Series Lead
Watch Serena Williams Fall Into The Stands And On Some Fan’s Lap At Wimbledon [Video]
Serena Returns Tonight In Stanford; Berdych, Raonic, Isner Begin In Washington

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66 Comments for Serena Returns; Djokovic vs. The Worm on Wed. at Wimbledon

metan Says:

Just checked the score Andy breadstick the giant.
Hahahaha. Yummy!!!!


Sirius Says:

Ernest “Addicted to Success” Gulbis has successfully lost in the 2nd round of Wimbledon


metan Says:

Richie boy is out. Poor thing.


metan Says:

Amelie is pleased as Andy presented two breadstick and one donut for B Rola.


vinod Says:

Dimitrov playing very good


calmdownplease Says:

I noticed the Duchess of C legged it out before Andy would be faced with the problem of whether to bow for her or not.
Although a curtsey might have done the trick hehe.
I suppose he would have to…bow that is. It’s Wimbledon, and she is a Duchess after all :)
More importantly, it was a frightening perfomance (albeit against a nobody). The recovery had a long term target, and it was called Wimbledon. And everything seems to be coming together very nicely indeed.


Okiegal Says:

Will the sting of Novak’s game put the “worm” in hot ashes?? I think so………Good match so far, however.


Ash Says:

Really have to give the LTA credit, they work hard year after year to give Mugray the easiest possible draws at every slam, especially Wimbledon.


Polo Says:

To mic is serving out of his mind and has taken the first set against Berdych.


Polo Says:

Tomic (crazy spell checker)


Margot Says:

Terrific from Andy!
Yay!


Margot Says:

Ferrer gone, wow. What a scrap! Kusnetsov was brilliant though. Great grass court game. Junior Wimbledon junior champ.
Looks even younger than Goffin :)


calmdownplease Says:

`Really have to give the LTA credit, they work hard year after year to give Mugray the easiest possible draws at every slam, especially Wimbledon..`

Ah, so the `Lawn Tennis Association` engineer all of these (according to you)endless easy draws for Murray eh?
And Worldwide too, in all of the slams?
Oh my GOODNESS!!!
Their tenticular reach is even greater than I imagined.
Well, if you say so dude :)
hehehe


calmdownplease Says:

`Ferrer gone, wow`

I’m glad he’s gone, we might get that Murray Dimitrov dust up now.
If both make it that is.


Margot Says:

@CDP
Castle already rubbing his hands together and relishing the prospect, almost looking forward to an Andy defeat.
Can’t stand the toad, one of Cameron’s cronies and plays tennis with him.


calmdownplease Says:

You’ve like WOW read my thoughts on this. What an absolute suck up, useless embarrassing. Its all rather unseemly if you ask me.
Like he fancies him or something.
Of course that’s nothing you could relate to, is it M?
What is the point of this obsequious mess Andrew Castle?
My theory on Dimitrov is that he is the next in line for the tards (fed brand) to salivate over.
If he were to beat Nadal in a slam!
Well they would desert Novak in droves.
In legions I tell ya.
He’s alright though Griggy.


calmdownplease Says:

Oh and I would be very surprised if Grigor beat Andy over 5 in a quarter final.
Particularly now he is starting to get his groove on like he was rebirthing on the green stuff or something.
Mauresmo, her jaw line and Andy shall not be overly concerned about the prospect I wager.


Ash Says:

calmdownplease Says:

haha Dimitrov will send into oblivion your fav pusher.


Giles Says:

Wow! 35 yr old Stepy giving joker a hard time. Takes the 3rd set.


Margot Says:

@CDP
You are very reassuring ta :) Yes, Andy does look very oiled and relaxed.
I really like Dimi but lol honestly Castle is giving me every reason to dislike him!
Meanwhile Step seems to think he can beat Nole…must be the only person in the universe who thinks this, bless.


senthilvel Says:

I dont know why so many of positive talks about Andy murray win today. Opponent was useless, he was not going for any winner. He looked like 80′s moonball clay courter. At one point murray was just spining a second server @ 78 miles hour, opponent hit back to andy as if it was practice match. LOL… Dimitrov would have killed Andy today…

Dimitrov / Djokovic Semis confirmed for me today.


vinod Says:

Let’s see what awaits


Okiegal Says:

yummy wummy……a tiebreaker…..My favorite thing in a tennis match!


Daniel Says:

Bizarre mistake Djoko did. Amazing he send that ball out


Daniel Says:

Damm, that was a tense match.


Okiegal Says:

Oh, what a sweet hug……very cool, in my books. Great match!!


vinod Says:

@Giles Lets see what Rosol has to offer tomorrow :)


Okiegal Says:

Steps really is the older guy……Did someone say 35?? Wow, he stepped it up today and gave Novak a run for his money…….Good for him……exciting tennis!


Ash Says:

The court is slow to give pusher like Djokovic and Murray a chance to avoid the upset.


jane Says:

well well, we nole fans have had another ride on the ever-popular nolecoaster. i knew this would be a difficult match. stepanek is not a former top 10 player and current top 40 player for nothing. his prowess in doubles serves him well on this surface. as for the match as a whole, the stats tell the story; it was highly contested:

nole with 54 winners to 24 errors
steps with 51 winners to 27 errors
nole with 18 aces; 68% firsts
radek with 9 aces; 64% firsts
nole with 26/35 net points 74%
steps with 46/74 net points 62%

no rest for nole or his fans either; he has persistent simon next, another former top 10 player.


courbon Says:

@ jane: You are right, no rest, always on the edge…


Margot Says:

@jane
Is your house nice and clean…;)
Never doubted best of 5, Nole wins :)


calmdownplease Says:

`The court is slow to give pusher like Djokovic and Murray a chance to avoid the upset..

@ash
Oh boo hoo
getting all your sour grapes ready & in order
Well you can cry me a river
IN ADVANCE.


jane Says:

lol margot, all i could do was sit up straight and chew my nails today. i didn’t even have coffee until the end in case my blood pressure topped the charts.

hello courbon, it’s not going to be easy for nole: simon, then perhaps tsonga, then likely cilic or berdych, and that would get him only to the semis if he wins through. anyhow, all we can do is cheer match by match, “on the edge” as you say. enjoy your day :)


courbon Says:

@ CDP; Ah, yes-great conspiracy theories on this blog. Not only Wimbledon but all masters and GS arrange draws apparently for last 8 years ( Fed and Novak always on the same side and all that ).Off course everybody ignoring the fact that every tournament would have at least 3 people arranging draw ( which would amount to probably 50 over 8 years ) and not one whistle blower…not one person that could make millions selling story like that…very strange.Not to mention moral side-are all tournament directors un honest people? Apparently yes….
ah, yes, lets talk about conspiracy theory of rigged draws in murky world of tennis….


courbon Says:

@ jane:It will be tought for sure.
You too, have a nice lunch ( Vancouver, right?Its noon?)


Humble Rafa Says:

This loss gives the Worm more time to focus on his true passion – finding more women to sleep with.

Next Stop: Shriekapova


jane Says:

not sure if others notices but i thought it was very sporting of nole to give stepanek that point at a very intense moment of the 4th set. the umpire was going to make them replay the point, which would’ve been the correct call. but nole said to give the point to stepanek which took the advantage away and gave stepanek deuce on nole’s serve. nole won the next couple points and the game but that’s was tense.


jane Says:

*notcied


jane Says:

erm… noticed!

guess i should’ve chewed the nails a little more. :/


Ash Says:

Looks like Murray’s trying to sign off his final year as a Briton with a good showing and hoping that his adoring fan club south of the border will stay loyal when his country cuts the apron strings. Its going to be very interesting how the tennis cognoscenti in the home counties react in future years when he gets his first match-up against an English wild card entry.


the DA Says:

@jane – I was thinking of you and a few other Nole fans during this match. Always great fun to see two contrasting styles in a competitive match. I can imagine how uncomfortable you felt by the 4th set – welcome to Andy fans’ world. :)

@ash – What on earth are you babbling on about? Apron strings, home counties? Thank god those who think in such parochial terms are in the minority.


jane Says:

the DA, well it was enjoyable to watch overall, but like you say, but 4 all in the 4th, it was not so fun anymore. phew! hey don’t kid yourself; other than 2011, during which most of us were in a shocked state of the most pleasant sort, nole’s fans’ world has been a thrill ride and a half! ;)


jane Says:

*at 4 all… gah! can’t type today.


calmdownplease Says:

^^Ash did you copy and paste that?
I’m Sorry, but the english is far beyond your normal capabilities.
That’s intellectual property theft you see.
tut tut.

Match of the Day to Novak and Step
Also has anyone noticed that CC is already claying over?


Humble Rafa Says:

Also has anyone noticed that CC is already claying over?

I guess that cows are eating more than their share of grass.


calmdownplease Says:

Spanish Cows, not the Swiss ones :)


Margot Says:

@CDP
All the courts look “baked” round the baseline. But heave rain predicted on Friday/Saturday.
OMG Foggy being interviewed how good looking and charming is he?
Lol poor Ash person, we should have a collection.


Margot Says:

Tsonga and Querry very, very close.


jane Says:

yes! i can’t believe that the baselines are already practically dirt in round 2. i noticed that earlier.


Margot Says:

“Heave” rain no, “heavy” duh.
Mac and Tracy being very nice about Andy, saying after all the immense pressure he’s been under at Wimbledon, deserves this draw…wub.


jane Says:

sam and tsonga, tsonga and sam; these guys are slamming the ball.


Colin Says:

@ASH

Ash, you are the last person who should be complaining about pushers. It is surely the stuff you get from your own pusher that is responsible for the nonsense fermenting in your troubled little mind.

Oh, and if you are going to comment on the Scottish referendum, it would be a good idea to learn something about it first.

Firstly, Andy himself has no vote, as he is not resident in Scotland. Sensibly, he isn’t saying what he hopes for the result, but there are indications he’d prefer the Union to stand (as it most probably will, by the way).

Thirdly, as he has, or had an English grandmother, he would, I think, qualify to play for Britain, if Scotland did leave. He might well choose to do so, because it would be a long time before an independent Scotland had a proper sports infrastructure in place, not to mention weather-proof training facilities.


senthilvel Says:

Rumble Rafa will be screamed tomorrow.

Prediction straight sets for Rosol.

Rafa press conference:

“Back is not 100 % still, may be Grass nullifies my Spanish Special (Lance Armstrong) drugs No!!”


Colin Says:

For “thirdly”, read “secondly”. Arithmetic never was my strong point.


calmdownplease Says:

Watching the end of the `Novnak` match…
Stopped it for a mo to get something, and came back with Jelena’s anguished face clutching her burgeoning tummy.
Frozen in time.
Poor thing,
Let’s hope the unfolding drama of this tournament doesn’t result in a somewhat earlier arrival than expected!
But what a place for a the little Prince Djokovic (or princess)to spring forth!
Already tennis royalty, and born in the Centre Court of Wimbledon no less!


Lou_tennisfan Says:

Even though Djokovic won today, I really think he must be really concerned right now…so must be his fans..Two times today, he blew the tiebreak lead ( 5-2 same score in both the tiebreaks) ( he said after the match he complicated his life more than he should have)

This has become quite a regular pattern for him…for me what is worrisome is that until now this pattern of leading the set or tiebreak and then losing it was something which came up only in important matches during Grand Slam…but now for the first time, it has surfaced in early rounds…

These mental lapses are becoming more common and common for him and something needs to be done sooner than later…otherwise I think Nadal is going to steam roll him once again this time…

Good read: The Journey from Mental Toughness to Mental Lapses – What is wrong with Novak Djokovic? ( Part I) http://bit.ly/1yOPRaF


courbon Says:

@ Lou: Thanx for the link. Well, this is something I have been worrying for some time. I really hope he turns tables around otherwise I will continue shouting at my TV when Novak plays….


jane Says:

interesting article lou, and i agree with your main points about the mental lapses and surrendering leads; however there are a couple of factual errors to note: it was 2013 roland garros semis wherein nole touched the net, not 2012, and nole has beaten murray in a 5 set match since 2012. he won the australian 2013 final in 4 sets. thanks.


Humble Rafa Says:

I offered to bring fertilizer to get some grass around the baseline. LTA disagreed saying an “honorable man of your greatness need to do no such thing. We have a Scotsman for that type of work”.


Polo Says:

Djokovic peaked in 2011. He does not seem to have a long shelf life.


jane Says:

i don’t get what you mean polo. nole is ranked 2 behind rafa and has been a top player for years and years, well before 2011. he seems to have a long shelf life to me anyhow. he hasn’t even missed any time for injuries or anything like that. maybe i am misunderstanding what you mean by “long shelf life.” he definitely had a crazy good year in 2011 but those kinds of years aren’t repeated by many.


jane Says:

if you look at weeks ranked at number 1, nole is tied for 8th in the history of the open era with agassi, and has only 8 less weeks at number 1 than borg.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ATP_number_1_ranked_singles_players


Kimberly Says:

Watching the replay of the djokovoc stepanek match. May have been a little more competitive than the fans of Nole would like but I find it very high quality and entertaining.


Daniel Says:

Don’t agree with Polo as well.

Djoko can be number this very tournament if he wins and Nadal loses in Quarters or earlier. As long as he goes deep, semis at least and Nadal not winning here he should get back to number 1 in US hard courts. I doubt Nadal will be defendimg 4000 points. Last year was a total aberration.

And his chances on grass increase against Nadal I think. His and Murray returns works way better here and his serve is clicking fine. Is just mentak with him right now. His game is still excelent. He just need a good win, fast.


jane Says:

daniel, I agree about nole needing a big win soon and that it might help with his mental glitches, like dropping concentration or failing to close out leads at times over the past year. but i also agree that his game is fine; indeed i think his serve has even improved, which may or may not (?) be becker’s influence.

kimberly, it was enjoyable for me until about 4 all in the 4th set. at that point it wasn’t fun anymore!

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Rankings
ATP - Dec 15 WTA - Dec 15
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori5 Ana Ivanovic
6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Milos Raonic8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Angelique Kerber
10 David Ferrer10 Dominika Cibulkova
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