Nadal, Murray, Roddick, Venus Highlight Day One at Wimbledon
by Sean Randall | June 19th, 2011, 7:51 pm

It’s a great tradition that the defending champion open Center Court play at Wimbledon. And for the first time in his career that honor goes to Rafael Nadal tomorrow. Nadal, who was unable to fulfill his role in 2009, now returns Monday where he’ll get his proper due and it will likely overshadow his match against American journeyman Michael Russel.

Nadal is joined on the most historic court in tennis by former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone and in the last match Andy Murray.

Schiavone plays Jelena Dokic while Murray meets Daniel Gimeno-Traver on a good first day Wimbledon schedule.

There may not be a lot of great or even interesting matches, but there are some big names in action. Former finalists Tomas Berdych and Andy Roddick are both on Court 1. US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro plays on Court 18.

Five-time winner Venus Williams was sent out to Court 2 against Amanmuradova.

Among the better matches, there is Marin Cilic vs. Ivan Ljubicic, Ivo Karlovic vs. Janko Tipsarevic, Fabio Fognini v. Milos Raonic, Fernando Verdasco v. Radek Stepanek and Gilles Muller vs. Tommy Haas.

I’ll also be interested to see how Roddick looks. Will he stay defensive or try to open things up. It is grass afterall. Roddick begins against German qualifier Andreas Beck. Beck, a 6-foot-3 lefty, and Roddick have never played.

Overall, I don’t think we’ll see any surprises. Zvonareva, who plays Alison Riske, could get a little scare. Otherwise, the big two courts should flow in straight sets.

That said, let’s hope the weather is clear and we see some good tennis.


Centre Court 13:00 Start Time
Rafael Nadal (ESP)[1] v. Michael Russell (USA)
Francesca Schiavone (ITA)[6] v. Jelena Dokic (AUS)
Andy Murray (GBR)[4] v. Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP)

No. 1 Court 13:00 Start Time
Alison Riske (USA) v. Vera Zvonareva (RUS)[2]
Filippo Volandri (ITA) v. Tomas Berdych (CZE)[6]
Andreas Beck (GER) v. Andy Roddick (USA)[8]

No. 2 Court 12:00 Start Time
Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) v. Venus Williams (USA)[23]
Gael Monfils (FRA)[9] v. Matthias Bachinger (GER)
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) v. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)[4]
Radek Stepanek (CZE) v. Fernando Verdasco (ESP)[21]

No. 3 Court 12:00 Start Time
Katie O’Brien (GBR) v. Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN)
Potito Starace (ITA) v. Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)[14]
Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) v. Marin Cilic (CRO)[27]
Jelena Jankovic (SRB)[15] v. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP)

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63 Comments for Nadal, Murray, Roddick, Venus Highlight Day One at Wimbledon

Kimmi Says:

dokic might give schiavoni (who cant play on grass) a problem.

“Zvonareva, who plays Alison Riske, could get a little scare”

who is “Alison Riske”? never heard of her. why would shw give vera a a little scare?

verdasco vs stepanek could be a close match. verdasco of last year would probably win this match easily but this year verdasco, lets wait and see.

Kimmi Says:

ljubicic vs cilic! who is your money on?

Kimberly Says:

I went with ljubicic, cilic has just been dismal and ljbucic has been ok.

Kimberly Says:

Kimmi, I sort of thought of that with Dokic but then didn’t have the nerve to actually take schiavonne out.

Kimmi Says:

i have cilic kimberly. this is a tough one to call and dokic.

Kimberly Says:

I think I took steps over hot sauce.may go for a last change right before bed. I thnk went too wild.

Daniel Says:

Fed played 7 finals in a row won 6.
Nadal played 4 finals in a row in the last 5 years, not playing in 2009.

When iit comes to RG and Wimby. It is all Fedal, no wonder they have made the RG-Wimby 3 years in a row and one of them is in the finals since 2003.

One of the 2 are going to win it, hands down.

I picked another Fedal final, this time Fed winning.

Even knowing Nadal’s confidance grows as the event goes by, and the durty starts to show up in later rounds, somehow I feel that he just played too much this season, I think this is the most match played he has ever did.

Winning RG under the Djoker treat was his main target, like stop the bleeding after 4 losses. Fed is more hungrier than ever, and no way he would lose a 5-2 lead in a set on grass. No body does it, because the returner deep down knows you it. On clay, Nadal always can return, even 1-5 0-40, as he showed agaisnt that spaniard guy.

Nadal will have 2 tricky matches, in raonic and DelPo. We are forgteeting that when he faces them, it will be round 3 and 4, when the grass is still grass, and these two have killer serves.

Cherry Says:

Thank you for sharing the schedule! I hope I can get to watch Nadal’s match.

Nims Says:

Daniel… I believe as long as Nadal comes to Wimbledon after winning French, he would be the likely winner irrespective of the opponent. I believe Roger lost the second set in 2008 after leading 4-1. I do not see any change in the result if these two guys meet, except that the match could be decided in 3 or max 4 sets in Rafa’s favour.

Nims Says:

Most probably Del P would be out of the tournament before he faces Nadal. Not sure if he would be a bigger threat. It would be the case with Berdych too. I can’t see him in Quarters after looking at his form.

Kimmi Says:

venus outfit – thumbs down!

Queen Mirka Says:

Come on Russell. Beat the hell out of Rafael Nadal, and show the world who the REAL world no. 1 is: Mirka’s hubby!

dari Says:

So, bad news, Venus wore an ugly outfit, or at least according to kimmi. Good news- she played so well she won before I could see it!
Nothing like the sight of the fresh center court on opening day with the players in crisp white!

Rafalicious Says:

Dream on Queen Mirka

Daniel Says:

Russel was playing great until He git the lead at 4-2. Bizarre gam after 0-30 he had game point and than 2 DF in a row.
Nadal’s movement is excelent and he is not conceeding the baseline.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Nadal playing like a bull now. Its the aggressive rafa last seen in Australia.

Vaaamos Says:

pathetic queen mirka…she would be so frustrated seeing rafa spank his husband all the time..

dari Says:

Kohlschreiber! I put him to the quarters he better not go out now!

Vaaamos Says:

such a great volleyer,this nadal.

dari Says:

Awww, Russell rewarded for his efforts, get one break back. He’s not gonna win of course, and will very well get broken straights back buy nice for him

Vaaamos Says:

great performance from the champion…crowd loved it…vaaamos

Vaaamos Says:

It’s hysterical how excited the crowd gets. Even the prince was getting
enthused. :D Rafa tried hard not to laugh.
He broke into huge smiles

Kimberly Says:

Kimmi how bad was the dress of Venus?

stu Says:

Delpo, at #21 in the world, as 1,445 points.

Soda, at #5, has 4595.

But Delpo has no points to defend this year. Back to top 5 for Delpo?

dari Says:

just saw a clip of he venus match. first of all, she looked fast in the two points i saw her in. and almost took out amanmuradova on a great passing shot.
second, i appreciate the idea of the outfit, actually alot. i like the cutout in the back, i like shorts at wimbledon, i like draping in general, but it doesn’t fit well and doesn’t look… finished.
ah well, i am excited for how she will do here. i know i only saw a few points, but just seeing venus back at wimbledon made me happy for her tennis, she’s really special here.

jane Says:

Murray in da house! :) (darn rain, but at least there is the one roof which means one match is always underway.)

dari Says:

muzz is up! let’s go!

dari Says:

hola, jane, hope you’re doing well and ready for wimbledon!
kinda missed seeing your boy novak, it will be fun to see him play again.
but he’s on the same side as fed (but of course) so i get my nole love out now and then THAT’S IT ;)

Eric Says:

So what does Wimbledon do if they can only play 50% of the matches each day for the first week? :/

Queen Mirka Says:

Oh well, Russell choked in the first set. He was clearly the better player today. Hopefully Sweeting will destroy Nadal.

Mirka’s Hubby FTW!

jane Says:

hey dari – yeah, missed seeing Nole at Queens, but there were some great matches anyhow. Wish I could’ve seen Muzza versus Tsonga in the final. I am surprised at how close Gimeno-Traver is keeping it with Murray but the commentators have said the roof closure makes the surface slower. But Murray should prevail in straights.

Eric, I don’t know, but I remember how horrid it was in 2007. Players like Rafa, Djoko, and Hewitt – the guys on the bottom half of the draw – had to play several days in a row. I hope that doesn’t happen again. “rain rain go away…”

dari Says:

great point, what the hell was the girl in the middle of the point yelling like that. nice hands, murray

Eric Says:

“the commentators have said the roof closure makes the surface slower”

Sounds like another entry in the long list of tennis surface voodoo. I can see how closing the roof might impact air temperature and composition and eventually lead to changes in the way the ball moves through the air and in the amount of moisture on the grass, but we’re talking like minor atmospheric fluctuations well within what could happen naturally in the course of a match anyway… I doubt there’s even a shred of evidence that the surface plays more slowly with the roof extended.

dari Says:

it’s humid in there, i buy that.
gimeno-traver still just ripping it. he won’t be able to keep it up and murray will figure him out even if he does.

Eric Says:

Woooooow Andy M lost the first set? Lots of very close calls in that game he was broken, but I figured he would break right back. Got to 30 all; not good enough.

Kimberly Says:

I always thought indoors was faster, no conditions like wind/humidity slowing it down. Miami played so slow because it was so humid that week.

dari Says:

well, as much as i wanna see this match, i don’t wanna stay at work on the comp, so hope murray gets it together DGT loses some steam!
the OOP is screwed already :/

jane Says:

Hey you guys, don’t shoot the messanger ;) I am reporting only what the commentators said (Brad Gilbert). They also said when the roof is closed, due to the wetness in the grass, the air is more humid. I have no idea.

But I think Andy M needs to rip his forehands like this DGT is doing.

On a side note – woot for Milos!

jane Says:

messenger – spelling mistake : /

El Flaco Says:

These conditions are heavy and slow. G-T has time to take a good whack at the ball like he does on clay.

Indoor stadiums will have a climate control system, but I doubt Wimbledon has one since the roof is retractable.

dari Says:

They attempt to adjust the climate I think that’s why it takes so long after they put the roof, but I imagine its a little like a green house in there right now.
Anyway, good luck to Andy in turning it around!

jane Says:

I think Andy is hitting his stride now; come on Murray! Get this done.

jane Says:

Fab play by Murray in these last two sets. I know DGT was a little injured, but still, a great finish.

sar Says:

What tennis players do when it rains. Nole, Vika, Petko, Ivo

Kimmi Says:

kimberly,dari. re-venus outfit, looks like pajama to me.

something was just not right. I agree with dari, it looked unfinished. very sad that she is putting all that effort but things just don’t come right.

the good thing is, she probably has 7 dresses. so we might not see this one again. I hope anyways.

madmax Says:

Why does Murray do this to his fans? He had better sharpen up. Losing a set in the first round is not advisory. O-Oh, what happened there?

Margot. Were you watching it? Firstly, never seen Daniel play that way – incredible forehand, what power, what confidence! Why doesn’t he play like that normally?


off task, but here, click on the link and see Roger’s face being ‘shaven’.

It’s original, that’s for certain!,19528,12124_6997995,00.html

jane Says:

^ Oh, that outfit is just bad. Venus should stop designing. : / She’d look so nice in a simple white sheath.

Kimberly Says:

Oh boy! Awful. How do you mess up white? Well, she managed. I will say it is better than the one full of holes at the australian open!

Kimmi Says:

kimberly – lol. yeah I agree that is the worst.

The moment she started her own the company, the outfits were actually not bad, i liked 2009 outfit the best. 2010 was not too bad too.

but for some strange reason, she is trying too much right now.

2009 outfit

2010 outfit

Kimmi Says:

LOL kimberly, that is the worst indeed. i just posted her 2009 and 2010 wimbledon, which were not bad at post is under moderation though.

Kimberly Says:

kimmi—those are nice. When she started Eleven, I think the company was called she had some cute stuff.

But once she started the “illusion” line I think she went too far. And the pink sequined dress at the US Open. And the dress full of holes.

But I love Venus. She’s the bomb. She says she’s in it to win it! I hope she can make a deep run. Just amazed at how bad her designs are! They seem to be getting worse and worse each tourney!

Kimmi Says:

just going thru my recorded matches. some great wins for some bad loses.

berdych has a win. great to see him in winners circle. he needed this win today. la monf, muzza, rafa, wawrinka, F-lo, Milos, Fish wins their matches too.

Kolshriber and Bellucci OUT. what happened to bellucci? since his Rome assault he is been going downhill.

Tommy Haas finds it really hard to win matches. 2 loses since his comeback. no wins.

Kimmi Says:

should be “some great wins AND some bad loses”

Eric Says:

Oh Sam Stosur, you lost already? Way to ruin my bracket.

jamie Says:

They did an interview with Courier on CNN today and he thinks Djokovic will beat Nadal in the final if he makes it there.

Kimberly Says:

stosur is a sucker bet on grass. Her and Davydenko.

Eric Says:

At least Hewitt is rolling. 6-1, 7-6(4), 2-0 so far. Nishikori was up a break all through the second set and got to 5-3, 40-0 (Hewitt flubbed the last two points in a fit of anger after missing a nearly-amazing crosscourt passing shot on the first point at 5-3) before completely falling apart. Hewitt went on to win 7 points in a row, and 10 of the following 11. That’s my man.

Eric Says:

Nishikori looking way more solid now. Hewitt is hitting all kinds of weak shots and Nishikori is playing dangerously now and it’s paying off. Hewitt almost broke him to go up serving at 3-0, but Nishikori fought him off, broke, and has looked much more solid overall. Hewitt serving at 4-5 now and I wouldn’t be too surprised if he gets broken.

trufan Says:

Daniel said:

“Nadal will have 2 tricky matches, in raonic and DelPo. We are forgteeting that when he faces them, it will be round 3 and 4, when the grass is still grass, and these two have killer serves.”

I agree.

But Raonic got injured today, so he is out!

Talk about luck for Nadal…. Murray got injured at the French.

I would love to see Nadal play Roddick at wimbledon. If he (Nadal) is so good, let him beat Roddick.

trufan Says:

Read in an article just now – wow, Nadal’s luck!!!!
You won’t hear Rafael Nadal publicly expressing relief with Milos Raonic’s sudden demise on Day 3 at Wimbledon, but my best guess is he was privately just this side of overjoyed.

Nadal’s anticipated rough opening week just got a lot easier with Gilles Muller waiting in the third round instead of the massive-serving Canadian Raonic. When the draw came out, it left Rafa probably facing Raonic’s booming serves in the third round and Juan Martin Del Potro in the fourth.

Now, who knows. Not only is Raonic out of the way with what looks like a groin pull that forced his retirement at 3-2 in the first set, but Del Potro lost his opening set tiebreak to little Olivier Rochus (their match in suspension until Thursday). If Delpo is to advance, he’s looking at three more sets minimum and back to back playing days.

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