Wimbledon 2010: Intriguing Storylines From Day Two

Rajat JainSenior Analyst IJune 22, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 22:  Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates match point during his first round match against Kei Nishikori of Japan on Day Two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 22, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The knockout of the eighth seed, Fernando Verdasco, by the hands of the Italian Fabio Fogini was the only major upset in an otherwise routine day two at Wimbledon. None of the top seeds had to break any sweat during the course of their respective first-round matches.

While their professional performances would give the writers very little to pen down, here are some of the story lines that can intrigue our readers:

—The contest between the defending ladies champion Serena Williams and Michelle Larcher de Brito must have been the most attended game of the day. Not because of the spectacle of tennis offered (Serena won the contest in straight sets), but because of the amount of decibels exploded in the AELTC.

So what if the attendance in the game was sparse? People still were part of the game, if only through the ears.

—Robby Ginepri and Kei Nishikori have recently come on to play the tour again after injuries. In fact, this was the first tournament for the Japanese after his comeback. And guess who they were greeted with? Sixth-seeded Robin Soderling and the No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal, both of whom had just contested in the final at the French Open.

Talk about great comebacks. Or about bad luck.

—Soderling was two sets and a break up against Ginepri during a certain changeover. In normal circumstances, such a player would seemingly look relaxed on the chair, calmly sipping down water or helping himself with a banana. Instead, the magnanimous Swede performed his usual routine of immersing his head into his famous towel. Perhaps thinking ahead of his possible showdown against Rafael Nadal?

Maria Sharapova blasted 15 winners, against only 12 errors, committed only two double faults, lost only one game in the match, and seven points on the serve. Is this the same Russian who committed 20-plus double faults in her first-round exit at the Australian Open?

—Continuing the talk on serve, Nadal hit eight aces in his 14 service games. Contrast this to the 2008 Final at the same place. He had hit only six aces in his 30 service games, when he was supposedly at the peak of his powers.

Andy Murray, the local boy and the fourth seed, was scheduled to play his first match on Court No. 1. Victoria Azarenka (the fourteenth seed), on the other hand, was offered the luxury of the Center Court. Take your pick as to the reason for this discrepancy:

a)  Murray has requested the AELTC to let him stay away from all the attention, which in turn leads to increased pressure.

b) Wimbledon, and the British, have given up their hopes on Murray as their ultimate hope for a Grand Slam champion—something they never did with Tim Henman.

c) It was just coincidence. You journalists analyze (or try to analyze) things way too much...duh!

—The grand old woman of the WTA, Kimiko Date Krumm, fought valiantly in the second set (she won 7-6) before bowing out 1-6 in the third.

—In the third set, Soderling faced two break points at 15-40 on his serve. Forty seconds, three aces, and a service winner later, he had won the game. Ginepri’s reaction did not change much after those 40 seconds. Talk about the term "clinical."

—Nadal slipped two times on grass today in the space of five minutes! Roger Federer slipped once yesterday. The road towards another “FeDal” showdown is indeed slippery.

—The serving giants, John Isner and Nicholas Mahut, have hit a combined 54 aces in their first-round match. They are still tied at two sets apiece.


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