Russian 21-year-old Daniil Medvedev had his breakout moment on the opening day at Wimbledon on Monday, ousting a knee-addled No. 5 seed Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to kick off the championships. Sorry, “The Championships.”
Medvedev was making his first Wimbledon main draw appearance, and was 0-2 at Slams entering the match.
“I have no words to describe this,” said the Russian who overpowered the multi-Slam winner. “I guess this memory will be with me forever…It’s a very strange feeling to go out there. It’s like you have a fear, you’re tight, but you want to show your best. You want to [beat] Stan Wawrinka on Centre Court so that people can know more about you. It was just something special. I don’t know how to explain it.”
Medvedev will next face qualifier Ruben Bemelmans.
Also on the upset tip were France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert who advanced when No. 20 seed Nick Kyrgios retired trailing 6-3, 6-4; Brit Aljaz Bedene who out-served No. 21 Ivo Karlovic 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 6-7(7), 7-6(7), 8-6; and South African Kevin Anderson who doused No. 31 Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco 2-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(8), 6-3.
“I kind of knew I was in trouble,” Kyrgios said of his retirement. “I have been feeling my hip ever since I fell over at Queen’s. I never got it right. I was doing everything I could to help it, but just not enough time. I thought I could win. Obviously, probably not against him, but some opponents if I played them today, I probably still could have won. I could feel it a lot. It was hindering my performance a lot.”
Other Top 10 players in action all cruised in straight sets as No. 1 Andy Murray beat Alexander Bublik 6-1, 6-4, 6-2, No. 4 Rafael Nadal rolled Aussie John Millman 6-1, 6-3, 6-2, No. 7 Marin Cilic who topped German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, and No. 9 Kei Nishikori who routed Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-2, 6-2, 6-0.
“I was a bit nervous this morning,” said the defending champion Murray, who will next meet the net-rushing Dustin Brown. “I hadn’t been able to do as much as I would have liked in the build up. I didn’t know the guy I was playing. Obviously, first match at a slam, there’s always a few extra nerves. Once I got out there and got the early break, saved a couple of break points in my first service game, I felt good. I moved well. So, for a first match, considering how I was feeling five, six days ago, it was really positive.”
Nadal recorded his first grasscourt win in two years.
“I [am] happy because I didn’t win a lot of matches the last couple of years here in Wimbledon,” the Spaniard said. “Today I win one, and I am looking forward to play the second one.”
He will next meet American Donald Young.
Lower-seeded winners Monday were No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 14 Lucas Pouille who needed a fourth-set tiebreak to beat Malek Jaziri, No. 16 Gilles Muller, No. 18 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 24 Sam Querrey, No. 26 Steve Johnson, No. 28 Fabio Fognini, and No. 30 Karen Khachanov who beat Andrey Kuznetsov 6-2 in the fifth.
Bemelmans ruined former world No. 2 Tommy Haas’ last Wimbledon, beating the German 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Matches to look out for on Tuesday are (2) Novak Djokovic vs. Martin Klizan, (3) Roger Federer vs. Alexandr “The Dog” Dolgopolov, (8) Dominic Thiem vs. Vasek Pospisil, (29) Juan Martin del Potro vs. Thanasi Kokkinakis, (22) Richard Gasquet vs. David Ferrer, and (23) John Isner vs. (Q) Taylor Fritz in an all-American burger.
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