Wimbledon 2010: Roger Federer, Top Players Taken to Brink on Wild First Day

Sam BlumCorrespondent IJune 22, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21:  Roger Federer of Switzerland (R) shakes hands after winning his first round match against Alejandro Falla of Columbia on Day One of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 21, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images


Wimbledon is always one of the best tournaments. It is often associated with class and high society, but the action on the court is rough and gritty. That contradiction is what gives Wimbledon its charm. 

In just one day, the sport of tennis was almost completely turned over as an unknown player out of Colombia, Alejandro Falla, almost took down the world's best, Roger Federer. Despite serving for the match, Falla was unable to complete the upset as potential history turned out to be just an entertaining couple of hours.

In addition, Novak Djokovic was in a free fall during the first three sets of his 

match with Olivier Rochus. However, after the match was delayed for forty 

minutes so they could cover the roof, Djokovic came out firing and won the 

last two sets en route to his 18th straight first-round win at major 

tournaments. The match ended at 10:59 p.m. local time, the latest match in 

Wimbledon history. It was also the longest day in Wimbledon history, and 

had the match extended one more game, it would have been suspended due 

to an 11:00 p.m. curfew.

The day started off quickly on the women's side, as the Belgian Kim Clijsters rolled over Maria Elena Camerin, 6-0, 6-3.

Her Belgian nemesis, Justine Henin, also won her match. 

British teenager Laura Robson didn't have what it took to win, but American youngster Melanie Oudin found a way to take her match in straight sets.

Francesca Schiavone, who made a Cinderella run to win the French Open, quickly came back to reality when she lost to Vera Dushevina in three sets. 

Ana Ivonavic continued her struggles as she lost to No. 13 seed Shahar Peer.

Patty Schnyder, who has always been a consistent player, lost 6-0, 6-2 to Yung-Jan Chan. 

Shenay Perry won a wild match, 9-7 in the third set, while fellow American Venus Williams had an easier time of it with her straight sets victory over Rosana De Los Rios. American Bethanie Mattek Sands lost in straights.

Two up-and-coming Aussie women, Jarmilia Groth and Alicia Molik, both won, as did 11th-ranked Marion Bartoli. Vera Zvonerava also won. 

On the men's side, there were a lot of exciting stories. 

The first, and most important, was Roger Federer.

Well, for the first two sets, the story wasn't Federer. It was Alejandro Falla, an unseeded Colombian youngster who found a way to take Federer out of his game for the first four sets before mentally and physically folding in the fifth.

It would probably have been the most shocking result in the history of the sport, and would have been detrimental to the reputation of Federer here at his second home: the All-England Club.

However, Federer found a way to grind out a win, and it was overall a very fun match to watch.

Another great match was the Kevin Anderson vs. Nikolay Davydenko dual. Anderson surprisingly took the first two sets off the seventh-ranked player before losing all three sets in heartbreak fashion, including a 9-7 fifth set. 

Other five-setters included Victor Hanescu's victory over Andrey Kuznetsov and Denis Istomin's shocker over 20th-ranked Stanislas Wawrinka. Marsel Ilhan defeated Marcos Daniel, as Daniel couldn't hold a two sets to none lead. Then, of course was the Djokovic five-set win.  

The Americans had a good day, especially Andy Roddick, who took out fellow Yank Rajeev Ram in three easy sets. Mardy Fish beat young Aussie Bernard Tomic in straight sets and Taylor Dent's hard serve was crucial in his win over Juan Ignacio Chela. 

Things were not as good for Jesse Witten and Ryan Sweeting, who both lost in four hard fought sets. 

However, Brendan Evans took home his first ever Wimbledon win as he advanced to the second round. 

Overall there was some great tennis played; some new faces emerged, and 

some old ones went down. The Americans were able to play well on the 

grass and can be grateful as a fun day of tennis winds down. For anyone 

planning on watching at all during this fortnight, I leave you with one piece of 

advice: Expect the unexpected.




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