Play started today in the tennis event of the London Olympics in four of the five disciplines to be decided on the hallowed grass of Wimbledon. Matches were played in the men’s and women’s singles and doubles competitions, with the mixed doubles draw to be announced on July 31.
In cool and cloudy conditions the diminutive five foot four inch Spaniard, Carla Suarez-Navarro, who has a Federer-like one handed backhand when it is working well, took out the Australian, Samantha Stosur, 3-6 7-5 10-8, in a hard fought and very tight match. The Spaniard managed to figure out how to deal with the booming Stosur serve, the Aussie’s biggest weapon, from the middle of the second set and held her nerve to stay ahead in the final set.
Another of the shortest players on the women’s WTA circuit, the five foot three inch pocket rocket, Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, who this week rose to a career high number 13 in the WTA rankings, took to the court against Tsvetana Pironkova, the Bulgarian ranked 57. In this match it was the Bulgarian, who was victorious in a tough two setter, 7-6 6-2. It will be interesting to see how far Pironkova will go in these Olympics, as she seems to shine on the grass at Wimbledon and is well able to take on the world’s best on this surface, having beaten Venus Williams in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2011, but who lost in the second round this year to Maria Sharapova.