The Wimbledon fortnight commenced this week with a flurry of matches, and some surprising results. In the women’s singles Venus Williams failed to progress past this first round for only the 2nd time in her career, the first being in 1997 when she was again unseeded, and her début. Venus has won this grand slam five times in her playing career and insisted she is not retiring yet. Her opponent Elena Vesina (world number 79) outplayed and outclassed Venus, winning the first set 6-1. Recovering in the second set Venus was playing better, however when broken in the 6th game she failed to make a come back and lost the match in straight sets, 6-1 6-3. Despite suffering from Sjogrens syndrome (which causes fatigue and joint pain) she insists she will continue playing, her aim being the London Olympic games.
Vesina will now play the number 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the next round, after the Polish player achieved a straight sets win in her first round match against Magdalena Rybarikova. William’s sister Serena plays her first round match on Tuesday against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
The men singles however, did go according to plan with no major shocks in the first round. Defending champion Novak Djokovic recovered from a slow start as he beat Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3 6-3 6-1, he will play the American Ryan Harrison in the next round. Roger Federer had no problems defeating Albert Ramos 6-1 6-1 6-1 to set up a match against Italian Fabio Fogini. There was a small upset when number 6 seed and the 2010 runner up Tomas Berdych lost to Latvian Ernests Gulbis (ranked 87 in the world) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4), each set going to a tie breaker. Djokovic very nearly became only the third man EVER to hold all four grand slam titles at the same time, losing the French Open to Raphael Nadal earlier this month. As a result of this he chose not to attend Roland Garros as a pre-cursor to Wimbledon, but to have a break from matches to ready himself for Wimbledon.
It was a good first day for the British Woman players, with the British number three Heather Watson claiming her first Wimbledon singles match win, with a straight sets (6-2 6-1) victory over Iveta Benesova. This made her the first woman since Jo Durie in 1985 to win a match on Centre Court. Her team mate Johanna Konta resumes her match today against American Christina McHale, the matched is poised at a tense 7-7 in the final set. However, it wasn’t as good a start for the men. Oliver Golding (18) playing on a wild card lost 1-6 ,7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (9-7), 7-5 to Igor Andreev. Josh Goodall failed for the fifth time to win a game at Wimbledon on a wild card entry as he succumbed 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.