Venus Wears Cotton Bag, Wins; Minor Upsets Day 1 at Wimbledon
by Staff | June 21st, 2011, 1:25 am

Only 14 matches were completed on the women’s side Monday due to the rains at Wimbledon, where a handful of lower seeds caught flights back home.
American teen Christina McHale, the youngest player in the WTA Top 100 at the age of 19, ousted No. 28 seed Ekaterina Makarova 8-6 in the third set.

Other upset winners were Italian Sara Errani over No. 17 Kaia Kanepi in straights, and Russian Ksenia Pervak toppling No. 22 Shahar Peer in three.

Last year’s Wimbledon runner-up and No. 2 seed Vera Zvonareva recovered to defeat American Alison Riske 6-0, 3-6, 6-3; No. 6 Francesca Schiavone labored past Jelena Dokic 6-4, 1-6, 6-3; and No. 12 Svetlana Kuznetsova outlasted China’s Zhang Shuai 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

“I was not surprised how tough it was today,” Schiavone said. “[Dokic} can come back to the top. But tennis is a very special sport. You have to play every tournament at a high level for years and years. She might need more time.”

Fan favorite and multi-Wimbledon winner No. 23 seed Venus Williams was a straight-set winner over Uzbekistan’s Akgul Amanmuradova.

“It was a jumper,” Venus said in response to inquiries about her latest Wimbledon outfit design. “Jumpers are very now, as is lace. The shoulders have a lot of draping, which is also in the moment. It’s just a trendy dress. It’s fun. I’m really into zippers, so it has a focal point of a zipper in the front. And the back is a cut-out, or a peek-a-boo. It’s just fun. Right now I’m really trending towards simplicity. I’m not sure why. It’s just how I feel right now. Everything is getting more simple.”


Matches to look for on Tuesday at the All England Club include (7) Serena Williams vs. Aravane Rezai, (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs. Arantxa Parra Santonja, (3) Na Li vs. Russian Alla Kudryavtseva, (15) Jelena Jankovic vs. crafty Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, (18) Ana Ivanovic vs. Melanie “C’mon!” Oudin, (8) Petra Kvitova vs. American qualifier Alexa Glatch, (10) Sam Stosur vs. Melinda “The Fifth Element” Czink, Anabel “Funky Cold” Medina Garrigues vs. (16) Julia “Gorgeous” Goerges, and (24) Dominika Cibulkova vs. Mirjana Lucic.

One Andy Denied, One Andy Advances Monday at Wimbledon

American Andy Roddick was denied his match due to the rains, but otherwise matches and seeds advancing went generally as scheduled on Monday, the first day of The Championships at Wimbledon. And we are referred to it as such because it is so amusing for a tournament to refer to itself as “The Championships.” Have another Pimms Wimbledon and get over yourself.

Top 10 seeds Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych and Gael Monfils advanced, with only Murray dropping a set to Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Travers.

“I think he started playing very well, I think aggressive, having good returns,” Nadal said of beating American “Iron” Mike Russell in straight sets. “I started, in my opinion, trying to play too fast in the beginning probably. I had few mistakes with the backhand, with the forehand. So he had the break. But after that I started to change a little bit more the rhythm with the slice, trying to play a little bit longer points, try to hit the forehand when I had the chance. I think I did well after that first moment of the first set. My level in general I think was very positive, no?”

Murray likewise had to recover from an early hole.

“I changed the way I was playing,” said Murray, who lost the first set. “I changed the way I was returning, especially. You know, the court was, you know, I think normally at the start of the tournament it’s quite slow, you know, and I was playing, just playing a lot of long rallies with him. I was playing very aggressive on his first serve, off his first serve; and on his second serve I was really tentative. So I was missing returns off the first serve, and, you know, really just giving him a chance to dictate a lot of the points. Once I started, I blocked a lot of first serve returns, made the balls sort of shoot through the court a little bit more, and he made some more mistakes. But the first set, yeah, he was hitting his forehand really well, and when I had chances he was hitting the spots with his serve, too. He was serving well.”

You know? There you have it.

No. 30 Thomasz Bellucci was the lone upset victim on the day, losing to German Rainer Schuettler in straight sets.

Other seeded winners Monday were No. 10 Mardy Fish, No. 14 Stan Wawrinka, No. 17 Richard Gasquet, and No. 31 Milos Raonic.

“I’m ranked the No. 1 American,” said Fish about the pressure entering the event. “So, yeah, with it comes, you know, a little bit more pressure. And I feel it for sure. But, you know, it’s where you want to be. So it’s a good thing.”

Matches to watch for Tuesday are John Isner vs. Nicolas Mahut, (3) Roger Federer vs. Mikhail Kukushkin, (2) Novak Djokovic vs. Jeremy Chardy, (8) Andy Roddick vs. Andreas Beck, Radek “The Worm” Stepanek vs. Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, Ivan Ljubicic vs. (27) Marin Cilic (to finish), (22) Alexandr Dolgopolov vs. Fernando “Gonzo” Gonzalez, Brazilian Ricardo Mello “Yello” vs. Frank “You Can” Dancevic, Florent Serra vs. Andreas “Don’t be a” Haider-Maurer, “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic vs. (23) Janko Tipsarevic, Kei “Special K” Nishikori vs. former champ Lleyton Hewitt, another Aussie Bernard Tomic vs. (29) Nikolay Davydenko, Japan’s Go “Get me a” Soeda vs. (12) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and (32) Marcos Baghdatis vs. James Blake.
Andy Murray
is undefeated under the $100 million dollar center court roof. He’s 2-0…A whopping 95 singles matches are scheduled to be contested on Tuesday…Gilles Muller, Mardy Fish and Milos Raonic leads the ace count at 37, 26 and 25 respectively…Rafael Nadal still has never lost a first round at a Grand Slam. Nadal also has won 15 straight matches at Wimbledon. Pretty good for a clay specialist, no?…Why do Russians (Zvonareva, Makarova) always seem to lose/choke/struggle against young American girls?…Did you know John Isner is playing Nicolas Mahut again? How could you not fucking know? Is it really that “awesome” that they are playing again? We get that it was a special match, but I think privately most people are sick of the talk and the build. Let’s face it, it’s horrible tennis…A Williams sister has won 9 of the last 11 Wimbledon titles. Federer and Nadal have only won 8 (the girls are older obviously)…How loaded is the schedule tomorrow? Maria Sharapova doesn’t even have a court assignment yet… After seeing Venus Williams’ predominantly bad dress, what will Serena be wearing?…Reminder, Caroline Wozniacki is No. 1 and she’ll stay that way at least until August…Ivo Karlovic’s mother is an agronomist…World No. 1 Rafael Nadal on the time between his loss at Queen’s and the start of Wimbledon: “I’ve played fantastic rounds of golf. Best two weeks of my life in Majorca. I spent the weekend with friends, family, relaxing a little bit. I didn’t spend a weekend at home since the Davis Cup against Belgium in February, so I needed it.”…Note to ESPN’s Hannah StormChristine McHale is a teen but still understands English, you don’t have to talk to her like she is a five-year-old…Jelena Dokic has filled out at 28 years old…ESPN commentator Chris Evert went through a painful public break-up with pro golfer Greg Norman, and in 2012 will again have her private life in the media when former love Jimmy Connors’ memoir is released, promising inside info on their relationship, among other topics…Flirty neighbors Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki had some fun together before Wimbledon started. The Woz snuck into a Djokovic pre-tournament press conference and asked, “You had this losing streak of one, so what are you going to do to change that?” Djokovic replied, “I will try to look up to some women players who have been so consistent with their wins. For example, like, Caroline Wozniacki. I don’t know if you’ve heard about her. She’s been winning so much. She’s become a role model for all of us ATP players.” The Woz playing reporter identified herself from the “Monaco newspaper on Avenue Princess Grace” where the two live near each other. Woz asked, “So who is your favorite women’s tennis player?” Djokovic replied, “We’ll have to keep that a secret, but…I’ve said her name. She’s actually my neighbor as well. She lives on the street where you come from. From time to time, we have coffee there on the beach, just relax, have lunch and have a jog.” Woz said, “I’m sure she must be a really, really nice girl,” and Djokovic replied, “She is a really, really nice girl. She’s a great entertainer. No. 1. You never heard about her?”…Tennis-X female staffer wandering by the television yesterday: “Oh my god, what is Venus wearing? That is truly ugly! It’s unflattering in so many different ways. God that’s hideous. It’s like she’s wearing an artfully-shredded men’s button down shirt, backwards.”…American Ryan Harrison loses in the final round of the Wimbledon qualifying as he did at the French, smashing his racquet in a fit and taking a chunk out of the grasscourt. But like at Roland Garros, he gets into the main draw as a lucky loser.

Centre Court 13:00 Start Time
Aravane Rezai (FRA) v. Serena Williams (USA)[7]
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) v. Roger Federer (SUI)[3]
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) v. Novak Djokovic (SRB)[2]

No. 1 Court 13:00 Start Time
Andreas Beck (GER) v. Andy Roddick (USA)[8]
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)[1] v. Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP)
Robin Soderling (SWE)[5] v. Philipp Petzschner (GER)

No. 2 Court 12:00 Start Time
Radek Stepanek (CZE) v. Fernando Verdasco (ESP)[21]
Victoria Azarenka (SVK) v. Magdalena Rybarikova (BLR)[4] To Finish 6-4 3-2
James Ward (GBR) v. Michael Llodra (FRA)[19]
Na Li (CHN)[3] v. Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS)

No. 3 Court 12:00 Start Time
Jelena Jankovic (SRB)[15] v. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP)
Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) v. Marin Cilic (CRO)[27] To Finish 7-6(2) 3-6 2-1
David Ferrer (ESP)[7] v. Benoit Paire (FRA)
John Isner (USA) v. Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
Mathilde Johansson (FRA) v. Heather Watson (GBR)

You Might Like:
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Venus Williams Wins 700th Career Match [Chart]
Serena, Venus One Win From Another Wimbledon Final; Angelique Kerber, Elena Vesnina Try To Spoil It
Venus Williams, Clijsters Advance in Opening Yawners at Wimbledon

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58 Comments for Venus Wears Cotton Bag, Wins; Minor Upsets Day 1 at Wimbledon

al Says:

Is f-bomb allowed to be used by writers in this blog?

Not terrible offended, just a little surprise.

Darolo Says:

Wimbledon IS The Championships! Get over yr jealousy! True tradition in the tennis world is something you only get at Wimbledon! Go experience it for yourself along with all the other thousands of Americans who visit every year. It’s the most progressive, traditional tournament in tennis!
However I do agree with you on one point, Venus’ outfit was not ‘cool’ ! Fashion for fashion’s sake can backfire on you and though she thinks it was fun I’m afraid the laugh was on her.

Lissy Says:

Whoever wrote this should be applauded !!!!! Brilliant piece of writing – tell it how it is. Love the “Wimbledon championships – get over yerselves” and comments re that hideous dress. Cant wait for the report on day 2 !!!!!!!!!

Kimmi Says:

verdasco! pfffffff!!

Kimmi Says:

Tennis-X female staffer wandering by the television yesterday: “Oh my god, what is Venus wearing? That is truly ugly! It’s unflattering in so many different ways. God that’s hideous. It’s like she’s wearing an artfully-shredded men’s button down shirt, backwards.”


Cherry Says:

I’m glad that Venus did great on Day 1. I hope she continues to have good games at Wimbledon.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

What an interview with Serena. That will be one of the iconic moments of tennis in 2011. What an incredible moment in sports. Absolutely beautiful to see such an all time giant of the sport so emotional over winning a first round match at Wimbledon.

PrettyPaula Says:

Wow. Can’t recall ever seeing Serena that emotional. So touching. Elated to have her back.

dari Says:

Awww, I missed the serena match and this apparently touching moment. Maybe I will get both on replay? TV, was it an on court interview, or in the little hallway where ESPN usually catches them? Trying to figure out if I will get a chance to see it on tennis channel replay or if it was an ESPN only thing…

dari Says:

Well I guess there is always YouTube!

PrettyPaula Says:

she was crying as soon as the match was over…cried into her towel in the chair…then more bawling in the interview

truthsquad Says:

Great to see the Williams sisters back on court. Womens’ tennis sorely needs them right now….but I have to say thank God that Venus is a much better athlete than designer. “Venus wears cotton bag”…my favorite headline of the day! LMAO!

Humble Rafa Says:

What is up with all the crying. I hope Roger and Serena play mixed doubles together. That way, they can cry all the way!

andrea Says:

cilic? what has happened to thee? once in the mix for a break thru a la murray and djokovic a few years ago, now floundering.

i saw a bit of the murray match yesterday. he looks on fire. just getting back into the fast grass as an observer, after the rally-heavy clay courts. it’s amazing the players can adjust so well.

i applaud venus for coming out in some of those outfits. to me it looks like if she stood too close to an open flame the entire thing would combust on the spot..polyester anyone?

and after severe griping from the posters after the french, roger has been put in the funk section. yay!

stu Says:

I picked Ljuba!

stu Says:

the serena video, in case you missed it

jane Says:

^Awww, that’s sweet. She did have a tough year. The embolism was very scary. It must feel good for her to be back playing and healthy.

jane Says:

OMG Chris Evert just said she cries when Fed loses and told him she is “borderline stalkerish” – ha ha. Luckily Fed laughed.

I feel sad for Blake, but Baggy got the W. Blake almost did a Hotsauce, coming back from 2 sets down.

Kimberly Says:

devastating for blake. I fear this is the end.

dari Says:

That chrissy/ fed moment made me feel embarrassed
How do you make a smiley for blushing? :*)
Novak not having any hiccups like the other top guys so far

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.

dari Says:

Even though I didn’t put Blake on my bracket, I was cheering for him by the 4th/5th set :/
ESPN is really going hard media-wise. I feel like I’ve seen more interviews and recaps in the studio than live matches, grrr
Chrissy E. is a little more blunt than the other guys, its making for some awkward moments, hehe.
What’s up with Maria? She gonna play in centre after novak? Which I would like to be seeing right now…

jane Says:

“feel like I’ve seen more interviews and recaps in the studio than live matches, grrr” EXACTLY. I finally switched to streaming so I could see some of Nole’s match.

Yay Nole. Nice start. Chardy was serving well (9 aces, winning 68% first serves), but he couldn’t make any inroads into Nole’s service games (9 aces, winning 84% first serves, and 75% second serves). Chardy had one break point all match which he did not convert.

Nole played so cleanly – 6 UEs the entire match to 25 winner. :) Nice.

Kimberly Says:

I hope Sharapova looks good. I’d love her to win this.

I have a strange gut feeling about the women’s though and its not Sharapova.

jane Says:

Nalby and Delpo both through in straights.

dari Says:

I’m hearing some weird things about rankings scenarios, if someone other than Rafa wins this, eg. If fed wins its 1. Novak 2 fed 3. Rafa with 1200 points b/t fed and novak? That seems in/un- credible, I will wait for follow up details and surely someone here will do a numbers breakdown

jane Says:

This Soda match is taking FOREVER. He started when Nole did and they still aren’t even half done the third set. All the sets are taking nearly an hour. I haven’t seen any of it, because it’s all Isner/Mahut now on ESPN, and “all talk” most of the time but one doesn’t think of Soda as a grinder??

Eric Says:

Dari, I don’t think Fed can be no. 2 after Wimbledon. Even if Novak had lost in the first round and Federer is the champion, Nole will have 11,295 points, and Roger only 10,870. Maybe I am missing something, but…

Their current point totals are: Nole, 12005
Roger, 9230.
Taking out Wimbledon points, they are 2,400-some points apart. So there’s no way for Roger to pass him.

jane Says:

Soda and Sharapova through. Great final point from Soda/Petz.

Soda and Hewitt in round two! Should be a good second round match.

margot Says:

Oh Peshne, shouldna, couldna, wouldna :( Hope nobody on tennisx has got any money on Soderling winning Wimbledon….;)

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Young guns winning: Tomic, Raonic, Devvarman, Harrison
Young guns losing: Dolgopolov, Nishikori, Young, Bellucci

I think this may be an accurate testimony on which of this cohort has a big time future.

Also, Dancevic out after having match points in the 4th!

Kimberly Says:

well sharapova score looks encouraging. Only saw the first few games.

dari Says:

Eric- I’m not in a position to do math at the moment , but nobody is saying fed passes novak, its just fed passes Rafa, which seems close to equally impossible because novak and rafa were what, 70 points apart last time I checked?
Anyway, I don’t know! I just heard it twice on tennis tweets

dari Says:

Oh, gonzo won? I almost picked him, Shucks! I just didn’t know what condition he was in. Good for him, though?
Donde esta contador? I bet she was cheering for hard for dolgo!

jane Says:

In whose section is Tsonga? I wonder if he could get to the QFs this year. Plays pretty well on grass…

dari Says:

jane- FED’s!

RFFan Says:

Soderling had a tough first round opponant; Petzch plays well on grass; halle finalist this year; took Nadal to 5 sets at wimby last year . . .

stu Says:

dari and Eric

Subtracting Wimby 2010 points, the rankings before R1 were:
1. Nole 11,285
2. Rafa 10,070
3. Roger 8,870

If Roger wins, beating Djokovic in the semis, and Rafa makes the final, it will be:
1. Nole 12,005
2. Rafa 11,270
3. Roger 10,870

If Rafa _loses_ in the semis, and Roger beats Nole in the other semi and then goes on to win:
1. Nole 12,005
2. Roger 10,870
3. Rafa 10790

So it’s possible if Rafa loses before the final.

As for Nole, if Rafa does not defend his title, he is #1 regardless of how he does.

Nole’s points now: 11,285 + R1 points
Rafa’s points if he makes the final: 11,270 + R1 points

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Dari- Rafa won last yr, Nole only semis. HUGE point difference (over 1000 points diff. I think). So Rafa has far more to lose if he doesn’t win.

stu Says:

On an unrelated note, I don’t like what Sergio Tacchini usually does with Novak’s clothes, but I love love love his Wimby outfit!

Nina Says:

So glad with Nole’s current game, he’s still dominating nicely and adapting really well to grass. :)
Cpuld he start another streak? lol
Happy for Nole, Muzz, Melzer, Mardy, Hewitt and Delpo. Sad for Davydenko. :(

dari Says:

Thx stu for the #s!
I also thought novak looked great- tennis-wise and the outfit. As clean and classy as I’ve seen him in tachini, which is as it should be for wimbledon.

Eric Says:

dari, stu – ok, I misread dari’s original post and thought we were talking about Roger passing Nole.

Eric Says:

Isner through in straights… I feel vindicated now. ;0

Kimmi Says:

just catching up on today’s matches. great to read all comments today :)

Kimmi Says:

verdasco comeback..yay hotsauce.

Kimmi Says:

OMG, ESPN only show 3 games of federer match.

OK, they are back to it again. 2-2 in the second set.

Hypnos Says:

I really thought Isner-Mahut would go five … lame.

Kimmi Says:

yeah, nole outfit id good today. i thought it looked like federer’s a little.

Kimmi Says:

ha-ha so wozniacki walked in on djoko press conference. I think i saw some spark between them, watch out jelena.

Kimmi Says:

sharapova outfits kind of look the same. didn’t she wear something like this at the french?

dari Says:

Did you watxh that video kimmi? I think novak could make spark with a tree, the kinda guy he is.
And don’t get me started with him in the hula hoop with petkovic.
I think you said a few days ago that Wimbledon was skimping on the fun, but they’ve picked up slack quickly and they are fast with the tscripts, too
And as much as I like the personality that is injected into tennis these days, I hope that ESPN makes more match air time in the coming days!

Humble Rafa Says:

Regarding Carline & Djoker becoming a pair, let me just say this.

Nicole Vaidisova.

Kimmi Says:

i had the whole ESPN feed recorded today while i was at work dari. going through it now. They show bit of woz and djoko press!

yeah, i saw the hula hoop clip from youtube. djoko is a ladies man i tell you :) they all like him i think.

Good luck on ESPN showing more tennis. i guess we have to wait until second week.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Wozniaki has absolutely no personality and I’m embarrassed for her when she tries so hard to be a comic. Just be yourself, lass. That interview with Nole was a good idea, I give her credit for balls, but sadly, she can’t pull it off.
Still not as bad as when she interviewed herself.

Kimmi Says:

i agree with vagabond that woz is trying too hard. she wasn’t even funny on the djokovic interview. she seem shy. lost for words…

djoko was trying to make it funny but woz just didn’t get it.

the spark was there though.

dari Says:

Haha, tv yes, its a little embarrassing, but the good news is that Caroline doesn’t seem to care. So I can’t hate. Feel embarrassment through the tv, sure, but you know what would help? WINNING A SLAM.
anyway its day two guys, center court already looks pretty roughed up at the baseline for only two days’ play :/

margot Says:

TV in interests of accuracy Devvarman is 26. Middle aged…. in tennis terms of course ;)

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