Federer, Nadal Shake Off Early Trouble At Wimbledon, Thiem Tumbles; Djokovic, Auger-Aliassime Return

by Staff | July 2nd, 2019, 5:46 pm

Tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal opened play Tuesday at Wimbledon. Federer was up first on Centre Court against the unheralded Lloyd Harris who had never won a grass court match before. But early on, it sure didn’t look like it.

Harrison grabbed an early break and held on to stun Federer taking the first set. Federer quickly right the ship and dominated from there scoring a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in under two hours.

“I just felt like [the court] was slow,” Federer said. “I couldn’t really have any impact. He was doing a good job of returning me… I wasn’t hitting my spots, and he was reading my serve, or he was just doing a good job,” Federer said. “I just struggled. As my legs weren’t moving, it’s hard to see the short ball. In defence, you’re weak. The next thing you know you’re struggling. That’s what I had going.

“But I think with my experience I stayed calm. I know I have other things in the bag that I can come up with, other tricks. I just took a bit of time.”

Federer nice week one draw puts him into a match with British wildcard Jay Clarke who beat Noah Rubin.

“I wasn’t thinking about it at all, to be honest,” Clarke said of facing Federer. “I know how tough Noah is to play. I’ve seen him play a lot of the same ATP Challengers as me. Like I said, to beat him would have been a good win. I’d have been happy with that. He was a bit of extra motivation to get through.”

Rafael Nadal was last on Court 1 and he too went down an early break. But from 2-0 against qualifier Yuichi Sugita, the 2-time Wimbledon winner rolled to a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 victory for his 8th straight win.

“A good start for me, winning in straight sets against a player that knows how to play on grass. He won a tournament. He won against good players on this surface. So it’s a positive start for me,” Nadal said. “I have another day tomorrow to keep working on the things that I need to work. I hope that’s going to help me.”

The win sets up a huge Thursday second round show with Nick Kyrgios. The combustible Australian won a tough 5-setter over countryman Jordan Thompson 7-6-(4), 3-6, 7-6(10), 0-6, 6-1. Thompson had chances in that third set and led by a break. Kyrgios all but tanked the fifth then kicked it back into gear for a dominant fifth set.

“I’ll play against a top talent player, a very dangerous player,” Nadal said. “He’s a very dangerous opponent. Of course, second round it’s a super tough one. I know that. I need to be at my 100 per cent. I’m going to fight for it.”

Kyrgios beat Nadal the only time they player at Wimbledon back in 2014, and he also beat the former No. 1 in their last meeting at Acapulco earlier this year.

“As soon as the draw came out, I was super happy that I saw him in my section. It’s more exciting,” said Kyrgios. “When you’re a kid, you want to play the best players in the world on I think is the best court in the world. This is something that I can’t take for granted. There’s no guarantee I’m going to be here again in this position. I’m going to grasp it with both hands, go out there and give it my best shot.”

It was a good day for the American men. Sam Querrey pulled the biggest upset in the men’s draw bouncing No. 5 seed Dominic Thiem 6-7(4), 7-6(1), 6-3, 6-0. Thiem had a look at a 2-set lead in the second, but when that failed his game failed and Querrey dominated. The French finalist managed just five total points in a miserable showing in the fourth set.

“I have played matches before where I have had six break points didn’t get them,” said Thiem. “The guy has one, gets it, and then, like, ‘Why does that happen?’ That’s kind of what it felt like. I feel like from his end maybe he felt like he had those opportunities, those chances, didn’t get them.

“Then, especially against a big server like myself, it’s a little draining once you lose serve and kind of took the wind out of his sails a little bit.”

Querrey now has big wins over Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and now the Austrian.

“I made the semi-finals of Houston, and then I had an abdomen injury,” said Querrey. “So I didn’t play for about three months, which was a tough little injury that was just lingering. It’s all better now, and last week went really well. My first tournament back in a while. That momentum is kind of still there, and luckily I like playing on grass. So I’m glad after an injury I got to come back and play Eastbourne.”

A semifinalist from a year ago, John Isner made a successful return from a stress fracture in his foot to beat Casper Ruud in three sets. Tayor Fritz also advanced in three sets over the ailing former finalist Tomas Berdych. Steve Johnson and Tennys Sandgren were also winners. But Fognini Fognini went five sets to deny Frances Tiafoe.

“I feel pretty good. I’m happy. I was just happy to be back out there. Of course happy to win,” said Isner, who made his first Grand Slam semi-final here last year. “It was touch and go for a little bit whether I was going to play this tournament. So I was just happy to be back out there. If I didn’t win, as long as I walked off the court healthy, I would have been happy with that.”

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori advanced while Denis Shapovalov’s struggles continued as the Canadian went down to Recardis Berankis.

The new Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime returns to take on young Frenchman Corentin Moutet. Former finalist Milos Raonic is also back on court Wednesday along with 2018 finalists Novak Djokovic and Kevin Anderson.

Queen’s champ Feliciano Lopez takes on big Russian Karen Khachanov and Kyle Edmund meets Fernando Verdasco.

Monica Puig (PUR) vs Karolina Pliskova (CZE) [3]
Kyle Edmund (GBR) [30] vs Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] vs Denis Kudla (USA)

Heather Watson (GBR) vs Anett Kontaveit (EST) [20]
Karen Khachanov (RUS) [10] vs Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) [14] vs Veronika Kudermetova (RUS)

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21 Comments for Federer, Nadal Shake Off Early Trouble At Wimbledon, Thiem Tumbles; Djokovic, Auger-Aliassime Return

FedExpress Says:

“Harrison grabbed an early break and held on to stun Federer taking the first set.”

When did Federer play Harrison?

Daniel Says:

Wawa out to Opelka, there goes my semis.

Seems like each day a top player / seed will fall.

RZ Says:

Fabbiano backs up his win over Tsitsipas with an upset over Karlovic. (Thank you for that!)

Daniel Says:

Wawa out. There goes my semis pick.

Looks like each day there will be a top player/seed getting out.

j-kath Says:

RZ: Yep – I missed that match – but hoped it would be David vs Goliath. Go Fabbiano – you may even win the next one too.

FedExpress: Fed played Harrison yesterday.

Madmax Says:

Pretty cheesed off with all the hype over Nick Kyrgios. The guy is a jerk. And though I am a Federer fan, I think Rafa will school him on court tomorrow – and I mean that. Never has this guy been able to control that temper of his, which is why he will never progress. He is a baby and he has a tantrum and tomorrow’s match is no hype. Fairytale.

Rafa will school him in three sets, because Kyrgios is too temperamental and the days of smashing him down, are gone.

Rafa fans, no fear. The press always do this. Hype up matches.

The player I am more worried about is Roger. He seems slow on his feet, even though this is his best surface, and Jatin, Skeezer, if you are out there, send me some good vibes. Roger needs to be well and truly on his guard. All the players who were supposed to be in the running, are out and with Stan out today – it is anyone’s to win.

My money ultimately is on Novak. He seems really in control and his game yesterday was stunning.

Madmax Says:

FedExpress Says:
“Harrison grabbed an early break and held on to stun Federer taking the first set.”

When did Federer play Harrison?

July 3rd, 2019 at 5:44 am

Well, he said that he has seen Harrison play ‘a little bit’, and did not know too much about the guy FedEx, to my mind yesterday, Federer was unprepared to me, undercooked. He may have even been a bit blase, (hope not), because he has invested a lot in this tournament. He is such a master of grass, but these big, big hitters…see what happened today with Stan, could be anybody – and Roger has to sharpen up. I hope he does, because these big hitters are gonna wipe players off the court otherwise.

Ivo – look at him, big hitter, serve, yes, a 5 setter, but these new names, nothing to lose and I feel, are the most dangerous.

Roger, come on and stay focused on your game – you know how to play it – but these other players are playing amazing well and the adrenalin is pumping.

Daniel Says:

Novak will have an easy path till semis (maybe Medveded QF) where he can play a big serve giant. He normally handle them well, but may be a shift and a potential dangerous match: Opelka, Anderson, Raonic or Kachanov.


Fed was in fine form last 3 sets yesterday using all his arsenal. You see he was very clam even losing that 1st set with a bad game. He started serving better and more accurately.
He has a really good draw till semis where the riks to me is either Struff/Fritz (who will play each other next round) or Isner. Nihikori can’t trouble Fed on grass and Isner still recovering from injury.

If you look the majority of matches he lost in Wimbledon after he became “Federer”, other than those Djoko finals in 14/15 and Nadal 08, were all to Big serves who can play on grass: Anderson (2018), Raonic (2016), Stakhovsky (2013), Tsonga (2011), Berdych (2010).

So, out of his path to Nadal semis only Struff/Fritz/Isner fill the part, and he will potentially only play one of them in QF

RZ Says:

@Daniel – and Wawrinka had put in the hard work, especially bringing in Vallverdu for the grasscourt prep.

skeezer Says:

Djoker has nobody on his side of the draw that will bother him. His only potential tough match will be in the finals. He’ll be in form by the QF’s, and being the best returner in the game, I’ll take him over any server unless the server happens to have a zone day. Fed’s draw looks pretty good as Daniel has said until QF. Nadal has a great draw also if he gets by Krygios. Hope we have some surprises as it looks pretty boring early on.

fred stone Says:

Fed ‘fans’ don’t know who he played?


Anyone can win this. Big three of course are the obvious choices but “things” happen; injuries, food poisoning, marital spats…

I just hope it doesn’t rain two or three days in a row.

fred stone Says:

“Staff writer” made the error, as usual, and not fed fans here.
Please excuse my misunderstanding?

Daniel Says:

The only forecasted rainy day (small cnahces) are from Wednesday to Friday July 10-12th. So, if Fedal happens, there is a 20% chance it could be under the roof.

FedExpress Says:

Yep fred stone

Madmax and j-kath didnt get it.

Daniel Says:

Djoko cruising almost in exo mode and Anderson about to close as well.

One of Anderson / Raonic / Opelka / Kachanov / Paire / Agut will be in semis, almost sure to play Djoko. Great oportunity for them. Anderson and Raonic only ones to reach that far before (finalist).

j-kath Says:

FedExpress: I rarely read the Staff write-ups as they are usually 24 hours late (and depends on the part of the world one lives in compared to when/where they report from). Apologies if I expressed my ignorance – still not sure what it was) – not too worri.

skeezer Says:

“Djoko cruising almost in exo mode..”
Yep his draw is exo.

Wog Boy Says:

He played vs Harris not Harrison, two different players, no biggie;)
Just Staff lapsus calami, he has such a tough draw that neither his fans nor Staff knows who did he played against or who is the next one.

j-kath Says:

Taa, Wog Boy….got it.
Must have been thinking of Meghan’s son: “Archie Harrison” etc…(meaning son of Harry)…..a brain blister on my part.

John Says:

Madmax-I couldn’t agree with you more! Kyrgios is an A**h**!He has no respect for the other players,he has no respect for the fans.The first time he beat Rafa,he was running his mouth saying that Rafa wasn’t as good as he was made out to be.I hope Rafa humiliates him!

Madmax Says:

FedExpress Says:
Yep fred stone

Madmax and j-kath didnt get it.

July 3rd, 2019 at 2:55 pm

You are ridiculous FedEx. Ridiculous, you think I spend my time reading ‘staff writers, write up? I spend my time on reading articles which are more worthy.

Just get real and go and do something more positive – . And don’t bring J-Kath into this. She is probably watching Murray like a hawk, and let’s all be glad for that.

These guys are monsters. They are heroes and you Fedex, are a disappointment. Actually, you continue to be.

Rock on Federer!

Daniel, I appreciate your comments. Thank you, calmer now. I thought he was a bit slow, I listened to his interview, and he said so himself. But let’s see. This is Federer’s big love and he will get into his groover as the tournament unfolds.


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