Nadal, Djokovic, Zverev, Del Potro Open Strong At Wimbledon; Goffin, Thiem Tumble
by Staff | July 3rd, 2018, 7:00 pm
  • 74 Comments

Former champions Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic cruised in their Wimbledon openers on Tuesday. In his first match since capturing his 11th French Open, Nadal brushed aside Dudi Sela 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.

“I had a long clay-court season, a lot of matches. As you know, I had lot of problems in terms of physical injuries during my career. Of course, I will love to play on Queen’s. That was my schedule, agenda. But after playing the final of Roland Garros and playing so many matches on clay, for my knees, the drastic changes are not good. So we decided to stop couple of days, then to start step by step on grass,” Nadal said.

“I did the same last year. Worked well. I lost here in the fourth round. But I felt I was in a position to fight for important things. I repeat: for me the most important thing is being healthy. That’s the priority always.”

Nadal will next meet Mikhail Kukushkin who won in four over Vasek Pospisil. Nadal has struggled of late at Wimbledon to lesser-known players, and the Spaniard hasn’t made the quarterfinals since finishing runner-up in 2011.

The man who beat Rafa in that final was Novak Djokovic. And after a bumpy first half of the year, the Serb could be rounding into form. Today, the 3-time champion blew out Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 6-1, 6-2.

“I made him play a lot on his service games. I thought I served accurately. Quite swirly conditions. Difficult to play. First match at Wimbledon. You always want to start off well,” Djokovic said. “I’ve never played him before, so it took a little bit of time to kind of get used to his pace and rhythm. But just overall was quite solid performance.”

Djokovic could face British No. 1 Kyle Edmund on Saturday. The 23-year-old Edmund also enjoyed an easy afternoon beating Australian Alex Bolt 6-2, 6-3, 7-5.

Juan Martin del Potro also had little trouble in a straight set victory over Peter Gojowczyk.

Youngsters Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov, Karen Khachanov, Alex De Minaur and Frances Tiafoe were also winners. Kyrgios fired a career-best 42 aces in a win over Denis Istomin. And Alexander Zverev was sharp in a 7-5, 6-2, 6-0 demolition over James Duckworth.

Two more Top 10 seeds tumbled, however. No. 7 Dominic Thiem had to retire down two sets to Marcos Baghdatis due to a back issue.

And No. 10 David Goffin was bounced by Australian Matt Ebden 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. Jack Sock also fell suffering his fourth straight Grand Slam first round exit blowing a two set lead to Matteo Berrettini. Sock has just five match wins on the year.

On Wednesday, the second round opens with the return of 8-time champion Roger Federer who faces recent Eastbourne finalist Lukas Lacko. Marin Cilic is on to Guido Pella, Stan Wawrinka takes on Thomas Fabbiano and big men Kevin Anderson, Milos Raonic, Ivo Karlovic, Sam Querrey and John Isner are all on court.

WEDNESDAY WIMBLEDON SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT – 1:00PM
1. Karolina Pliskova v Victoria Azarenka
2. Roger Federer v Lukas Lacko
3. Viktoriya Tomova v Serena Williams

NO.1 COURT – 1:00PM
1. Alexandra Dulgheru v Venus Williams
2. Ekaterina Makarova v Caroline Wozniacki
3. Marin Cilic v Guido Pella

NO.2 COURT – 11:30AM
1. John Millman v Milos Raonic
2. Agnieszka Radwanska v Lucie Safarova
3. Andreas Seppi v Kevin Anderson
4. Lesia Tsurenko v Barbora Strycova


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74 Comments for Nadal, Djokovic, Zverev, Del Potro Open Strong At Wimbledon; Goffin, Thiem Tumble

chofer Says:

“No. 7 Dominic Thiem had to retire down two sets to Marcos Baghdatis due to a back issue.”

Remember when I said having only a kick serve would trouble Domi’s back?There… This kid has some unorthodox swings, too. Elbows and wrists will follow… I wish he was trained by Edberg or Becker. Someone who could correct some extreme grips and teach him a slice serve or a slice, period.

There’s only one Nadal and only on Toni Nadal. Neither of who are Austrians.

Borna lost his first round. Another super athlete like Thiem who’s body is tailor-made for attacking tennis but their tennis blueprint is one of a grinder.

I firmly believe both of them play the wrong kind of games.

Zvrevev and El Shapo is truly the future’s rivalry thus far… An all-surface rivalry. Well, until Felix Auger shows up. And you wouldn’t believe how good Sebastian Korda already is. The son of Woody Woodpecker will be there, too. All of them play according to their bodies. Sasha should come in more with his serve and long limbs or will go the way of the injured or spent, and El Shapo should return better and work a little harder in the gym with his upper body. That Bh is a beauty but accelerations depends too much on wrist, not on arm’s strenght like Wawrinka.


el_matador Says:

hope delpo gets through deliciano,will be a difficult match..after delpo,I’m gonna root for novak this wimbledon..an all time great like him should not fade away..& I’m tired of the fedal domination again..ok guys,u proved in the last 2 years again that u’re maybe the 2 best players of all time..now give it a rest😂


Okiegal Says:

No rest for greatness!!!
#fedal4ever


el_matador Says:

its amazing how rafa fans hate roger badly & roger fans hate rafa badly yet when some other player is mentioned against them or tries to deathrone them,the 2 fanbases engage in a “fedal” lovefest together..beside when novak was beating rafa in consecutive final after final,all roger fans were in love with novak..then when novak was spanking roger again & again,suddenly rafa fans were in love with novak..its as if all other players are competing in proxy wars for rafa & novak..sickening..
#ScrewFedal


el_matador Says:

*proxy wars for rafa & roger


Giles Says:

^^^ That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Live with it, at least for a while longer. 🙄🙄


Van Persie Says:

Haha El_matador,

Good point. Personally, I take it as a compliment when the “Fedal” is mentioned as a contrast to Djokovic.
Yes, Djokovic was soo powerfull, that he managed to unite those 2 fan bases.

We have Fedal vs Djoker (according to some) ;)


Humble Rafa Says:

Am I the only one who was impressed with my play yesterday? I looked like I “belong” on grass.

Bringing my own lawn mower helped.


lylenubbins Says:

@ chofer – - great post


Okiegal Says:

@Giles 5:25…….The old left hook! What a shot……🥊🥊


Daniel Says:

Fed to serve for first set. He had a FH to win the set with a double break but netted. Playing better than 1st round, returning great, only his passing shots need some adjustment, which playing Karlovic or Scruff next will allow him that.


skeezer Says:

Federer looking good so far. Using some tools in his tool bag Lacko has not seen. First set in the bag.


gonzalowski Says:

skeezer, do you usually have homoerotic dreams with Federer and the cats?
Fed wins 1st set 6-4, almost 40′, humm


Daniel Says:

65 points played and only 5 UE by Fed, and most on passing shot. That’s the way he should play to win.


Daniel Says:

Fed average service game is 1 min and 48 sec.


Daniel Says:

Wow, in the middle of gun shooting he unleashes a drop shot that had Lack stood.


skeezer Says:

@chofer
“Someone who could correct some extreme grips and teach him a slice serve or a slice, period.”
That would take away form his game though. That kick serve he has elevated him above others, and got him either free points or started the point with an advantage. Going to a slice serve will only out him in the category of average. All that said, I do agree with you on the potential damage a kick serve( or worse an american twist ) will do on the back. It can knock you out of the game eventually. Theim either has to accommodate by ratcheting up his serve speed on his second or get better location, or hide his body better in a way where his opponent cannot tell ahead of time where it is going. imo.
Interesting enough Fed has a second serve kick but does not bring it out all the time, Oh btw he has had back troubles in the past…..


skeezer Says:

Drop shot in the middle of a back court rally:
Priceless.


Okiegal Says:

Don’t you know when players look at the draws and you see you’re gonna have to face Fed 1st or 2nd round…….. same with the FO regarding Rafa?? Two great players on their favorite surfaces. Even if you hated tennis you’d have to love their rivalry. Like someone pointed out up above…..then along comes the Joker and it turns into Fedal vs Djokovic! Amazing athletes!!


Daniel Says:

Classic slice return and FH DTL combo. A break up 3-2


Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer…..You say first set in the bag…… I say whole dang tournament in the bag! Lol!


Giles Says:

Oki. Funnily enough Mr Uniqlo’s fans are never very confident iIMO. See them all come out like flies when he is playing, especially FE. You can almost hear their heartbeats. Lol


skeezer Says:

“See them all come out like flies when he is playing,”
You’re here. LMAO.


Giles Says:

^^^ Am not here for fed, just here to catch news about anybody. 🙄🙄
BTW those patches look like blood stained plasters! Lol


Okiegal Says:

@Giles 10:46…. I think I’m more confident Fed is gonna win Wimby than his own fans….what up wid dat????


skeezer Says:

“Am not here for fed…”
Yeah, right.
#youlovehim

Fed is through. Now let’s see if he plays Dr. Ivo.


j-kath Says:

Well…see what happens in my absence – sweet Caroline is pursued by flying ants….I couldn’t watch – made me feel itchy! Roger flummoxed Lacko (I think that’s his name) -
to be expected, but I rather like Lacko’s looks….pity he’s too old for me…..ahem, ahem. So on to Stan …poised at 1st tiebreak.

Keep smiling everyone.


Margot Says:

And out goes Woz and out goes Aga. Me oh my, what an exciting WTA Wimbledon!


j-kath Says:

Ah dear, poor Caroline out – Skeezer @ 10.51 am – if you’d said “flying” ants you’d have got it so darned right – Caroline actually had a flying ant in her ear – they went for her Russian opponent too but not to the same degree…can only think they thought Caroline was more attractive OR they liked her perfume better…such is life…


Daniel Says:

Ivo x Scruff match can go a long way. No tiebreak in fifth set, Dr Ivo has the disavantgae of serving second, but he was able to break Scruff serve and not get his broken. Already 6-7 in 5th


skeezer Says:

YEah Daniel watching that also…


skeezer Says:

OH off an OH. Don’t see that everyday lol.


Daniel Says:

Wawa in trouble down 0-2


Madmax Says:

Wawa could pull off a comeback, he must be pumped from his first match. Come on Stan!


Madmax Says:

el_matador Says:
its amazing how rafa fans hate roger badly & roger fans hate rafa badly yet when some other player is mentioned against them or tries to deathrone them,the 2 fanbases engage in a “fedal” lovefest together..beside when novak was beating rafa in consecutive final after final,all roger fans were in love with novak..then when novak was spanking roger again & again,suddenly rafa fans were in love with novak..its as if all other players are competing in proxy wars for rafa & novak..sickening..
#ScrewFedal

Not all all EM. Hate is not a word in my vocabulary at all. Fine to discuss your opinions, of course, but don’t paint everyone with the same brush. Unfair otherwise.

I love the FEDAL rivalry, as do some of my peers here, others not. I just so damn happy that Fed is playing, playing well, it’s early days and Rafa looks fit to go. I have not seen him play such a fierce first round for quite some time. He definitely means business.

Great feelings so far, only disappointed for Murray fans, but they are tough enough here and don’t need any reminders.


Madmax Says:

Stan’s on the board, third set! Way to go Stan!


Daniel Says:

Wawa down a break in third already.

Cilic with a storng start 3-0.

Isner about to lose 4th set tiebreak, a lot of matches going the distance today.


Madmax Says:

Goodness what a final set for Dr. Ivo. How does he do it?

I have a dual screen on right now, so can watch both.


Margot Says:

Goodness, Isner had a shocking melt down! No-one criticise Naughty Nick EVER again!


Daniel Says:

Ivo out, Fed to play Struff.

Wawa levelling third set.


Willow Says:

I Enjoy the Fedal rivalry, dont mind the Fedkovic rivaly, dislike the Rafole rivalry, got sick of hearing how amazing it was by Novak fans, simply because he held the monopoly in the rivalry at the time ,i mean why wouldnt a fan find a rivalry amazing when their favorite holds the monopoly ?


Okiegal Says:

@Madmax 1:08…….. Great remarks! 👍👍


el_matador Says:

jan-lennard struff has come back from 2 sets down in both of his matches👏👏..that’s some fighting spirit brother..but unfortnately roger will eat u alive in the nxt round😂


el_matador Says:

well I love the fedal rivalry(consider 2008 wimbledon final to be the best match I’ve ever seen) but they’ve not even faced this year..I would be over the moon with a fedal final but if it is like the other 2 slam finals this year(fed/rafa vs anybody),the outcome would be too inevitable..so I want both of them to make the final or be out b4 the final together😂


Willow Says:

With Fed in the final against anyone all barring (possibly) Rafa or Novak at Wimbledon i would say the outcome is inevitable ….


Willow Says:

Such a cute picture of Rafa with the two little ones in the car aww ….


el_matador Says:

if rafa reaches final and its not vs fed(may be cilic has a slight chance),the result is inevitable too..because rafa always plays far,far better in the latter stages of wimbledon than the initial rounds(when the grass remains very green & the condition favours the big hitters)


Willow Says:

True , but thats if he gets that far ….


Daniel Says:

Wimbledon always takes too long to release next day schedule. With the rain delay for more than 3-4 hours, they should already have a contingency scheudle in place.

At least apart from tomorrow which also have some rain forecasted for afternoon, the remaining tournament days all have good weatehr. Bar final on Sunday 15th with 80% chance of rain afternoon, during match time. But its too far ahead and can change. Big chance of finals played with roof closed if this forecats reamins.


Giles Says:

3.53 pm. Your negativity is really irritating!


Willow Says:

Sorry Giles , but his record at W last few years aint that great, having said that hope for the best and 1 match at a time, not only that you could say the same for any of the other players ….


chofer Says:

@skeezer

The key is mix it up: one slice, one kick, one top-spin. Dom’s kick is indeed amazing, but is the only one he has. Every time I see him overarching is back it hurts ME.

He’s an unorthodox player in basically every shot available (the opposite of “textbook player”) meaning he’ll have very orthodox injuries. Nadal, with a similar extreme top spin style is disguised with explosive footwork: At his peak you hardly see him hitting sideways; he stays vertical to the hitting point; plus, he’s way more robust than Thiem and had plenty of knee injuries anyway.

I don’t see Domi surviving the whole calendar year day in day out. To me, he’s all about clay where he will do plenty of damage. Unlike Rafa, his footwork is not that explosive thus I don’t see him hurting many top players on hardcourts or grass, ever. It’s a pity. Even my compatriot Gabriela Sabatini learnt to moderate her extreme grips with age (and Kirmayr as coach) using slices way more and hitting a flatter, more poenetrating FH and making forays to the net every so often.
The Brazilian coach added three or four years more to her career. “Stamina” was her issue with her effortful top spin and back position early on. She learnt to shorten the matches by accepting these changes. She won her only Slam and played the best tennis of her career that way (beating Graf five times in a row; a feat nobody would replicate)

I think he needs another coach. There’s always room for changes or improvement in tennis.


j-kath Says:

Willow@3.41

That picture – yes – I also thought about mentioning it – absolutely charming.


AndyMira Says:

Yeah..I agree with Madmax at 1:08pm…El Matador was unfair in his judgement me thinks….He clearly paint everyone with the same brush!…How can i have the same opinion with Skeeze?..Urgh!!…God forbid!!

About fedal rivalries…Well…For me,at first[after the incredible/unforgettable 2008]i love that rivalry wholeheartedly too…But after Novak arised…That like is divided to 2…I mean,i HATE when Rafa lose to Novak..But in terms of tennis…I love the amazing tennis that was borne from their racquet everytime they met..God!…They brought tennis to the greatest height every time they met!!…Exactly like Fed/Rafa did!….And,i think it’s not Novak’s fault that he’s the bad match up for Rafa…He studied Rafa’s game & came with something that no players be able to do that to neutralize it…So,credit to him…Tho,i admit too that he’s be able to widened the H2H when Rafa was in crisis in 2015/16…But…yeah,it is what it is…

Oh!…I HATE RAFANDY!…Now,then&forever…I hate if anyone of them lose…Simple as that…


Willow Says:

AndiMira but its not as if Rafa lost to Novak all the time, you make it sound like the Williams / Sharapova rivalry, anyway dont like that rivalry, not so much their matches, but all the over bearing cliches that come with it ….


Willow Says:

Would personally love to see a GS final between Rafa and Andy as we have never had one of those ….


AndyMira Says:

Willow….Yeah!…Rafa not lost to Novak all the time…He won the last 2 matches on clay in Madrid[2017] and Rome[2018]..when Novak still in his slump form…While Novak beat Rafa 7 straight matches in 2015/16 when Rafa in his slump of his own…

I make it sound like Serena/Maria rivalry?Really?When i’m already aware of their H2H?Serena/Maria H2H is 19-3 Al…And please be noted Al…Rafa himself said that Novak is the toughest opponent he ever encounter in his life…

If u don’t like Rafole rivalry..that’s okay Al!…I have no problem with that…And i respect your opinion very much…But,like i said up there,it’s their tennis that i appreciates more…Of coz if Rafa win,my happiness is out of this world Al..But if he lose,it’s not the end of the world either…


AndyMira Says:

Oh!Forgot to add…Rafa/Novak H2H is 26/25 with Novak leading…How can that stats can be compared to Serena/Maria Al?


Willow Says:

True hun no offence meant hun AndiMira i also respect your opinion, i think i just got irritated (not with you) with Novak fans claiming it was an amazing rivalry because their favorite held the monopoly, like i said so why wouldnt they ?, and we heard repeatedly how Rafa only beats Novak when Novak aint at his best, also it doesnt matter as its only on clay, and those 7 defeats in 2011, i mean give it a rest Novak fans it was years ago lol ….


AndyMira Says:

I know Al!…That’s okay…Just relax k?They both r amazing in their own way…Hopefully Rafa will neutralize that sliiiimyyyyy H2H when they both meet next time…Hahahaha…Vamos Rafa!!Wooooohoooooo!!


Willow Says:

AndiMira lol true all true, im pretty happy life is good for me right now hun ;-)


AndyMira Says:

Yeah??Hehehe…Good for u Al!!


Madmax Says:

el_matador Says:
well I love the fedal rivalry(consider 2008 wimbledon final to be the best match I’ve ever seen) but they’ve not even faced this year..I would be over the moon with a fedal final but if it is like the other 2 slam finals this year(fed/rafa vs anybody),the outcome would be too inevitable..so I want both of them to make the final or be out b4 the final together😂

July 4th, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Remember, 6th July, 2008 – this was THE final between Federer and Rafa. I cannot believe it was 10 years ago. I remember the room I was in, and the intensity of that day. I am surprised that Sean has not opened a thread on this historical event in world sport. Best ever tennis match – and now 10 years on, they are still playing and both looking really good right now.


Willow Says:

Brilliant final , just got sick to bloody death of hearing Toni.N / Dave continually reminding us all that Federer only lost because he had mono, rather takes some of the gloss off it now well for me anyway, have it on DVD ….


Madmax Says:

Willow,

No one can take away the magical quality of that match and for so many reasons.

Longevity requires no words. It is just there. Always will be. In the hearts and minds.


skeezer Says:

Willow,
He didn’t lose cause of mono, he lost cause it got dark ;)


Willow Says:

Skeezer it was dark for both ;-)


Giles Says:

5.48 pm. “ he lost cause it got dark”. ROFL
Excuses. Excuses and more excuses.


Margot Says:

chofer @5.34. Interesting comments as always. I suspect when a player has a familial relationship with his/her coach, it’s a lot more difficult to get someone else on board.
So many breaks of serves in JMDP match. Is it clay already?
Oooh tie!


Okiegal Says:

Lost because it got dark?? I echo Willow…… dark for both!! Skeezer…. that was a good one!! 🤣🤣🤣


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