Wimbledon 2012 First Round: Winners and Losers from All-England Tennis Club
Wimbledon began just a few days ago at the All-England Club in London and it is a good time to look back and see some of the winners and losers that have come from the matches played.
As it is still the first round, upsets are not the expected outcome. Nonetheless, we were still graced by a couple.
As expected, however, we also witnessed the destruction of some of the weaker opponents by the hands (and rackets) of the top seeds.
For tennis fans though–no matter the outcome–the first round of Wimbledon means that the most fabled of all the Majors is finally being played. It does not matter who wins as long as there is great, competitive tennis to be seen.
So without further wait, here are some of the men's and women's biggest winners and losers so far at Wimbledon.
Men's Winner: Andy Murray
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Andy Murray did exactly what he wanted to do in his opening match at Wimbledon this year, and that was to dominate.
He had the misfortune to be matched up against Nikolay Davydenko–a former highly ranked player. He knew it might not be an easy task, but was able to show to everyone that when it comes to talking about who should be a serious contender at this year's tournament, his name should be a part of the conversation.
He defeated Davydenko in straight sets 6-1, 6-1, 6-4.
Murray understands that there is pressure on him, being the hometown favorite and all. He told Simon Briggs of The Telegraph how anxious he has been to get the tournament going, and how his match against Davydenko went for him.
"Since Queen's I've been itching to get going and I'm glad to get out of the blocks quickly. I was hitting the ball very cleanly from the beginning and I hit my slice very well, which is important against Davydenko. I settle into matches a bit quicker than I used to. The last couple of weeks have been hard. I've been desperate to get going because there's so much talk. It's never easy playing in the first round at Wimbledon, but it was a good start."
This match was a great opportunity for Murray to build his confidence going into the next rounds. A quick and easy win in the first round showed that Murray is playing some good tennis. When you only commit six unforced errors the whole match, that means something.
Murray is off to a good start, and got through his first match nerves. If he can keep his plays strong and keep hitting the ball well–like he says he is doing–he may have a chance to win his first Major this year at Wimbledon.
Men's Loser: John Isner
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One thing is for certain: this was not the expected outcome for John Isner when he was planning for Wimbledon.
His last five losses all came from players ranked higher than him and the American continued that trend in his first round match at the All-England Club.
Isner let a decisive fourth set tiebreaker get out of reach and then was not able to win the final, and fifth, set against Alejandro Falla of Columbia.
The match finished 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-3, 6-7 (7), 7-5.
Isner realized his past performances have not been up to par with his level of talent, as reported by The Associated Press (via Fox News Latino)
"Sometimes, and lately it has been happening quite a lot, 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. I didn't put my opponent away. I had my chances, and I didn't do it. It's all on me."
There were two stats, however, that stood out in the match. One being that Isner was able to fire 31 aces past Falla, which suggests that his serve was working for him that day. What seemed to let him down was the rest of his shots as he ended up making 49 unforced errors, as compared to Falla's 22.
In the end, Isner will have to forget about this match and take the time to rest his head. It seems to be more mental–the slump that he is in–and he needs to boost his confidence somehow.
Other Key Scores
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Novak Djokovic (1) defeated Juan Carlos Ferrero–6-3, 6-3, 6-1
Rafael Nadal (2) defeated Thomaz Bellucci–7-6 (0), 6-2, 6-3
Roger Federer (3) defeated Albert Ramos–6-1, 6-1, 6-1
Ernests Gulbis defeated Tomas Berdych (6)–7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4)
The "Big Three" were easily able to win their opening round matches –especially Federer who cleaned up against Albert Ramos.
Nadal seemed to have a rough start in his first set but put it all together in the tiebreaker by not allowing his opponent–Thomaz Bellucci–a single point.
These three–Djokovic, Nadal and Federer–were expected to win and they did so in a convincing fashion.
Although it was a very close game in terms of the final score, Tomas Berdych was not able to get it done against Ernests Gulbis. That means a very early exit for the sixth seed, which was not expected by many at all.
Women's Winner: Petra Kvitova
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With all the talk this year being directed towards Maria Sharapova, there was very little left to praise the play of fourth seed Petra Kvitova.
Maybe now people will consider her to be in the running to defend her title. Let's not forget, she did happen to defeat Sharapova at last year's final and will not be looking to just give her trophy away to someone new. She has that extra motivation that no other player in the field has.
It looked like that motivation was on full display in her opening round match against Akgul Amanmuradova.
Kvitova was able to win the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
Kvitova told the Sports Network (via Canoe Slam Sports) what it was like to come back to Wimbledon as a defending champion, and how she handled it in her first game.
"It was unbelievable to come back here as the defending champion. In the beginning I think I was nervous–first match on the grass it's always difficult to know what you can expect. I had a lot of mistakes and then I tried to play my game and go forward."
The stats showed her to be a lot more nervous than her opponent, as well. She committed 5 double faults during the match–compared to zero from Amanmuradova–and committed 20 unforced errors–as compared to Amanmuradova's six.
Nonetheless, she used her talent and her serve–which she controlled by winning 81 percent of the points off of her first serve–to beat her first round opponent.
Women's Loser: Jelena Jankovic
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You have to feel bad for Jelena Jankovic and the tough draw that she was given at Wimbledon this year. Having to play a former world No. 1 in the first round is one encounter that no one wants to have, even though she used to be a former No. 1 player herself.
Nonetheless, she was the lucky one who drew Kim Clijsters.
Although Clijsters does not play as much tennis as she used to, she can still be a force on the tennis court–as she showed in her first round match against Jankovic.
Clijsters was able to pull off the upset, winning 6-2, 6-4.
If we remember back to the Australian Open this year, Clijsters made it all the way to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka in three sets.
What makes this even more exciting is that this year's Wimbledon will be the last for Clijsters. She has stated that her last event before retiring for good will be the US Open.
Clijsters is not here for just a final farewell, however, but rather is expecting to upset a few more players along the way, she told Oliver Brown of the Telegraph.
"I'm a little bit older and I understand the emotions better. I take everything in. It's more emotional, definitely. I believe that if I'm healthy and playing my best, then I can beat a lot of the top players here."
Last match, Clijsters was able to keep her unforced errors down–she only committed 12 on the day– and was able to give herself nine chances to break the 18th seed Jankovic–converting on five of those.
She looks primed for another upset in the second round.
Other Key Women's Scores
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Maria Sharapova (1) defeated Anastasia Rodionova–6-2, 6-3
Victoria Azarenka (2) defeated Irina Falconi–6-1, 6-4
Agnieszka Radwanska (3) defeated Magdalena Rybarikova–6-3, 6-3
Serena Williams (6) defeated Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova–6-2, 6-4
The women's top seeds were able to do fairly well in their first set of matches at this year's Wimbledon. They handled themselves just as it is expected they would.
Sharapova cleaned up her match quite easily as the No. 1 seed prepared herself for a run at the title.
The second seed Azarenka and the third seed Radwanska were both able to also take their games in straight sets and advanced into the second round.
Even Serena Williams took care of business for herself in the opening round match and finished off her opponent in straight sets.