Wimbledon Upset Redux: Isner, Jankovic Toppled on Day 1; Tuesday Preview
by Staff | June 25th, 2012, 9:46 pm

A slew of seeds fell on the men’s and women’s sides on Monday at Wimbledon.

No. 16 Flavia Pennetta was the highest casualty on the women’s side, surprised by Italian qualifier Carmila Giorgi 6-4, 6-3.
Not so surprising was unseeded floater and former No. 1 Kim Clijsters, easily handling the mentally fragile fellow former No. 1 and No. 18 seed Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 6-4.

“It felt OK,” said Clijsters of the abdominal injury that forced her to pull from the semifinals of an event leading into Wimbledon. “I had a pretty bad stomach muscle tear in Toronto a couple of years ago and didn’t want that to happen again. Pulling out of the tournament last week was a very smart choice because it gave a chance to let the muscle heal.”

Wimbledon is only the third tournament for Clijsters since the Australian Open in January, and she is unseeded for the first time at Wimbledon in 12 years.

In other upsets on the women’s side, American Jamie Hampton powered past No. 27 Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 7-6(1), and France’s Stephanie Foretz Gacon outlasted No. 29 Monica Niculescu 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

In all-unseeded action of note, American Sloane Stephens easily handled Czech qualifier Karolina Pliskova dropping four games, Hungary’s Timea Babos outlasted Eastbourne winner and American wildcard Melanie Oudin in three, and Brit hope Heather Watson rolled over Czech Iveta Benesova, dropping three games. Venus Williams also went down in straight sets to Russian Elena Vesnina, having a meltdown in her post-match conference when a reporter suggested there might be something off with her results.

Highlights of Tuesday play at the All England Club includes defending champ (4) Petra Kvitova vs. Uzbek Akgul Amanmuradova, (2) Victoria Azarenka vs. American grinder Irina Falconi, (6) Serena Williams vs. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, (7) Caroline Wozniacki vs. last week’s grasscourt title winner Tamira Paszek, (24) Francesca Schiavone vs. Laura Robson, (22) Julia Goerges vs. Shahar Peer, (32) Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Yanina Wickmayer, (28) Christina McHale vs. Brit Johanna Konta (to finish, tied 7-7 in third), (10) Sara Errani vs. American cannon Coco Vandeweghe, and (14) Ana Ivanovic vs. the crafty Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

The top upset on the men’s side Monday was the unpredictable Ernests Gulbis of Latvia out-hammering No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych in three tiebreaks.

“I saw the draw and I was really happy,” said Gulbis on facing Berdych. “I wanted to play first round against a tough opponent. It motivates me much more, especially first round. I really was really happy when I saw the draw. If it had been somebody even higher ranked I wouldn’t have a problem with that also. I felt really, really good.”

An equally-big upset was No. 11 seed John Isner, who some have tapped as a future Wimbledon champ with his giant serve and touch at the net, going out in five sets to Colombia’s Alejandro Falla. Isner, who has had a standout first six months of the year in tour and Davis Cup play, looked like he needed an early vacation Monday, hanging his head with poor body language and failing to dictate play on the grass.
“I didn’t put my opponent away,” said Isner in his post-match conference, looking like he needed to be put on suicide watch, on leading two sets to one and holding a match point. “I had my chances, and I didn’t do it. It’s all on me…It’s just now I get out there sometimes, and lately it’s happening quite a lot, and I get out there in the match and I’m just so clouded. I just can’t seem to figure things out. I’m my own worst enemy out there. It’s all mental for me, and it’s pretty poor on my part.”

Other upsets on the men’s side were Uzbek Denis Istomin topping No. 23 Andreas Seppi 8-6 in the fifth, and Serb Viktor Troicki outlasting No. 24 Marcel Granollers 8-6 in the fifth.

Qualifiers had their day as six moved into the second round Monday: American Mike Russell, France’s Guillaume Rufin, American Ryan Sweeting, Spain’s Inigo Cervantes, Belgian Rumen Bemelmans, and Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz.

Among all-unseeded highlights, American Ryan Harrison won to set up a meeting with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, and German Benjamin Becker beat American James Blake in four.

Tuesdays highlights are light but include (2) Rafael Nadal vs. Thomaz Bellucci, (4) Andy Murray vs. Nikolay Davydenko, (5) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Lleyton Hewitt, (10) Mardy Fish coming off his heart ailment vs. Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, (25) Stan Wawrinka vs. Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer, American Sam Querrey vs. Canadian Vasek “Popsicle” Pospisil, (14) Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez vs. veteran Jarkko Nieminen, and a Germanfest in (27) Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. Halle winner Tommy Haas.

You Might Like:
Roddick, Harrison Make Statements, Clijsters Retires at Indian Wells
Henin, Clijsters Favorites: Indian Wells Draw Redux
French Preview: It’s Serena’s World, You’re Just Along for the Ride
Jankovic Sore in Loss to American Oudin at Wimbledon
Karlovic Towers Over Isner, Fish Upset in Houston; Wozniacki v. Jankovic in Charleston

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

41 Comments for Wimbledon Upset Redux: Isner, Jankovic Toppled on Day 1; Tuesday Preview

The Great Davy Says:

I have already been looking backward on my glorious victory on Murray, I am telling you straight sets I will make it light work!

Humble Rafa Says:

His GOAT-ness The Arrogant One didn’t deserve a 6-1 6-1 6-1 win. He played too poorly for that type of score. Beating up on a green pasture midget. Nothing to see here. Move on.

Michael Says:

I think Roger and Novak had a easy day in Office. While the upset of the day to me was Tomas Berdych. I thought he had the edge in this match against Gulbis although I knew that it would be tough given the capacity and calibre of Gulbis who has so far not realized his potential as a player. But today was not Berdych day and he fell in a triple tie breaker sets. The Isner upset too surprised me. All in all, today’s round of match are going to be extremely interesting especially the one Nadal has against Bellucci. Nadal will surely come through but I expect Bellucci to lift a set. Also Murray Vs Davydenko too invite attention but since the latter is past his best, I expect Murray to stroll through in straights.

Wog boy Says:

Goulbis is not going to go make it to deep. His mindset is short term mindset. He is going to praise himself with this win and will fall on first next serious obstacle, not even a big one.
Mum’s and dad’s son who never had to fight for anything in his life and never lifted anything heavier than the tennis racquet. Typical eastern European upbringing in eastern European upperclass families.

jane Says:

Wog boy, indeed. Gulbis like the big stage and tough competition, as the quote confirms, so definitely the worry then becomes, will he lose his focus and/or motivation when he doesn’t have a top ranked opponent across the net? I does seem a possibility. Hopefully he can at least make something of this upset. He may not go super deep, but maybe R16? His draw isn’t too bad and definitely today he showed what he can do.

” “I wanted to play first round against a tough opponent. It motivates me much more, especially first round. I really was really happy when I saw the draw. If it had been somebody even higher ranked I wouldn’t have a problem with that also. I felt really, really good.””

jane Says:

likes* / It does not i does /

Wog boy Says:


It is not that I dislike Gulbis, it is just that I am using my personal expirience of growing up in the environment when one pnone call was enough to sort out all the problems you had, school, police, money etc. Of course, that phone call had to be made by right person, so even if your school results were not good enough to inrol you in top high school or uni, one phone call will do it for you, but at the same time the very bright student with exellent results will miss out because his working class family, or peasant family didn’t have anybody to make that phone call, biggest irony is that the communist system was made for working class people, apparently.
Actually this is off topic, sorry.

Eric Says:

Of course you could say the same for Berdych. I have literally never once seen him playing his best tennis without a top guy across the net. (Which usually means Federer.) He doesn’t think he should have to play smart to beat someone like Gulbis. Well, this time the tables were turned.

Anyway, I really wanted to comment on Isner — future Wimbledon champion? Really? Maybe if we’re going to imagine everyone else on tour strapping giant lead blocks to their shoes so they all move as poorly as him.

Michael Says:

Wog Boy,

All that you say is that Gulbis is born with a golden spoon. I have a suspicion that this has impeded his progress so far to the bigger stages and not realize his potential as an excellent player. He has everything literally in his hands and he is not playing Tennis for money which he has enough to survive four generations, but just for fun. This may be has culled the killer instincts in him to come out on top. All said and done, I still consider Gulbis as a good player who has the game to upset the top on his day. But at the same time he lacs consistency which is the hall mark of greatness. Not long ago, he was heralded as a potential World No.1, but today that seems so distant. Yet I feel that Gulbis can do wonders if he can bring purpose and fighting instincts into his game.

Wog boy Says:

That is about right, I couldn’t put it down on the paper the way you did it.
Nikola Pilic said for Gulbis that he was and is most talented player after Novak that went through his tennis academy. He expected him to do much better tha he did, and he is right because Gulbis has all but one thing to be right upthere at the top of the game, you said what is what is missing in his game better than I did.

Wog boy Says:


I watched few days ago TV storry about JMC, it is old one you probably saw it before, and it was his father talking about his family how he raised them (his kids) and by watching and listening his father and then watching JMC in those famous matches at Wimbledon against Borg you can see where his competitivenest and killer instict came from. I know lot of people didn’t like him because of his on court antics,( I did like him), but just try to imagine tennis history without him.

Just watching Frencman Paire, didn’t have a chance to see him before, he is a character, funny bugger:)

conty Says:

Wog boy, Benoit Paire, is one of my new favorites. He’s expressive and entertaining. I like his tennis.

I agree with you about Gulbis, by the way.

Used to be a fan and couldn’t understand why many didn’t like him. On TV he comes across sort of charming and has a nice smile. But when I sat at a small early round match and watched him play, watched his dad and their entourage. I got the real idea about him. My BF was with me and I pointed out Gulbis’ dad and entourage sitting not far from us and my BF’s comment was, :”looks like KGB” hhahhahaha

Gulbis was having a pout just to be playing on that court in some tournament he wasn’t interested in. That was the attitude I observed. The most excitement was his breaking a racquet. He won the match with Lu, barely. But the contrast was clear: Lu was out there seriously trying to play to win, while Gulbis walked out on the court like a little spoiled brat who didn’t want to lower himself to be there. His next match was on Center Court against Nole. Even then, it was clear to me Gulbis walked out on court the same way, as if he’d been forced to play in a tournament and be in a place he had no interest in being. Thank goodness, Nole put him out of his misery 6-0, 6-1; a very fast match!

there were some guys sitting near me mainly cheering for gulbis because they wanted a match. Gulbis even looked up and scowled at them. He had no interest in fans at Indian Wells wanting a match, that was clear. And he made it clear, he could care less. Just tanked the match and didn’t even try.

I suppose at Wimbledon, it will be worth Ernie’s effort to try against Jerzy janowiwcz and play to win. Clearly as everyone says, he’s blessed with the physical talent. But I’ll be cheering for Jerzy to beat him. Actually Jerzy beat Gulbis in a challenger a while ago in Rome at a challenger. ha!

Wog boy Says:

Hi conty,

It looks like another one of your favorites is giving hard time to Tomic, Goffin:)
I think Paire is going crazy, deffinitely entertaining to watch him:)

conty Says:

a fine hello to you WB!

yes, I’m watching Goffin v Tomic. Goffin is starting to trouble Tomic! :D

Dont have a stream for Paire. I hope wins, but Ebden is probably more mentally stable. May the better man win.

conty Says:

Oh, next up for Paire is Dplgo. What a fun match!

conty Says:

dolgo i meant. Dolgo v Paire = possibly very entertaining!

Wog boy Says:


I bet it will be entertaining.

conty Says:

yes. WB, and Goffin wins! gotta love Goffin, he walks out and gives a kiss to the crowd. I’m completely charmed.

Wog boy Says:

Goffin did it!

courbon Says:

What a diference between atitudes!Goofin charming, Tomic arogant and not charming…(shame, big talent)

Wog boy Says:

I am not commenting on Tomic, I don’t wan to ruin hardearned friendship:)
Pitty I didn’t see the match.

Wog boy Says:

“want” not “wan”

conty Says:

Well, my bracket that is currently on the bottom has Goffin to the 4th round, lol.

yes, i like tomic too, but goffin stole that show!

so happy i got to watch that match. off to work.

Brando Says:

well done goffin also!

thought tomic would win, BUT could we be seeing the emergence of the next big tennis star? maybe. just maybe……..

Re gulbis: i agree with most here. not hungry enough to want it ever was he?

Nirmal Kumar Says:

I don’t see any match on CC.

Wog boy Says:


Nadal v Belluci is on CC, it was rain delay, First blood Belluci!

Aravind Says:

Anyone following Nadal Belluci match. Belluci seems to be up 4-0. He is exactly the kind of player that can give jitters to Nadal early at wimby.. Big lefty serve…

jane Says:

Wow, Goffin won? Good for him. Missed it. Also now am very curious about Paire. Wasn’t he in the Serbia semis or finals? Still, I haven’t watched him but I do recall seeing his name around during the clay season. Will definitely watch for him. Tomic has had a rather lame season considering that it seemed he had broken through a bit last year.

jane Says:

Bad mistake by Bellucci to get broken.

andrea Says:

shame that jankovic got ousted in first round. she’s become a shell of her former self.

Michael Says:

Wog Boy,

I agree on that. For me, the most talented of the lot was John Mcenroe who used the Tennis racquet as a magic wand. His game was just touch and elegance. The most difficult shot in the game to be mastered is the volley because you tend to not practice much and now-a-days volleying is become a rarity. But Mcenroe was a great volleyer who can retrieve the ball from any angle. If you see, Mcenroe rarely used power in his shots and what he did was hit the ball in good depth. He was an all court player who proved his mettle in 1984 when he stretched Lendl to five sets and he squandered this match when he was leading two sets to love and was a break up in the third too. But his antics on court let him down. Even today, Mcenroe regrets whenever he recounts that match. That was the match which gave life to Lendl who was till then a choker in majors and Mcenroe just blasted him off the court in his peak. But all said and done, for such a great player, the records relatively do not speak for much. He just won three Wimbledons and four US Open, an underachievement I would say for his calibre.

Michael Says:

Wog Boy,

To add, it was the French Open in 1984.

Wog boy Says:


It looks like FO was bad luck for both, Mcenroe 1984 and Djokovic 2011, when their winning streak stoped;( After that year Mcenroe never won GS again, that why I was worried for Nole in 2012, but luckily he managed to win AO and Miami so I am at peace…though one more GS this year will do nicely:)

Wog boy Says:

And Mcenroe was only 25 years old, much the same as Nole.

Wog boy Says:


One more thing, Federer was volleying fair bit in first round, Nadal was slicing fair bit ( like he hired John Tomic as a part time coach) and Nole was playing his usual game, we will see if they are going to continue like that in the next matches.

I was listening Boris Becker as commentator yesterday and they asked him if he woud still play same way, S&V, he said “…..absolutely, grass is stiil grass, and ball is still slicing on the grass, I just would’t do alot of S&V on my second serve…” he didn’t sound bad as commentator though I still prefer Courier:)

Margot Says:

Michael, completely agree re Mac, the most talented player ever to pick up a raquet, an old wooden one at that.
Who cares how many slams he didn’t win, not me!

Wog boy Says:


I didn’t see Andy this morning, fell asleep, but for what I read here he played pretty good game:)

Seventeen Says:

after the first round it is advantage Murray, Federer
By far the most impressive of top 4.

Lets see how second round goes.
Nadal needing a breaker and being down 0-4 against a player who hasnt performed well at all this year is tellong. Also Belucci choked away his leaf. Those easy volleys did him in. Not the fact that Nadal raised his level. Very poor showing of Rafa.

Steve 27 Says:

after the first round it is advantage Murray, Federer
By far the most impressive of top 4.

The important thing is to win in the first matches. It is in the second week of the Major, when you see the true nature of each player, their determination, concentration, the sacred fire which does not currently pose Andy Murray but he has enormous talent. True champions are in the final stages, not in the first matches.

nadalista Says:

Seventeen…………how apt.

Margot Says:

Steve 27: ah, but, but confidence builds does it not? The last time I saw Andy play like that it was against Rafa last year. Never seem him start a slam like this. Last year also, got to the semis so I can dream.
Agree when people raise consistency issue though. He’s got to play like this for two weeks, or at least come through his tricky matches and play like this at the end.
Still dreaming…

Top story: Murray Overcomes Hurkacz In Vienna; Berrettini Gets Into Turin