TOUCHLINEUI:WIMBLEDON DAY 2 REVIEW: EXPRESS TRAINS AT THE ALL ENGLAND CLUB; HALEP CRASHES…

The second day at Wimbledon featured the 1st round match-ups for players in the bottom half of the draw.

The bounce of the ball has been quite high at SW19 but perhaps that might not be the only scenery worthy of note as there seems to have been an installation of the installed high-speed rail as Seppi, Federer, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Kvitova, Kerber and a host of others raced through their openers.

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Defending champion, Petra Kvitova continued from where she left off on Centre Court, breezing past the challenge of Kiki Bertens in 35 minutes. Angelique Kerber played a perfect match against Carina Witthoeft without losing a game. Another fast one was the victory of Agnieszka Radwanska over Lucie Hradecka.

Following the high profile loss of Carla Suarez Navarro on Monday, it was to be seen whether the upsets were ready to roll in at the All England Club. The big upsets came to town in the women’s draw Tuesday as one-time Slam finalists Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard blew their hopes of making their major breakthrough at SW19.

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Simona Halep lost in three sets to “lowly” Jana Cepelova while last year finalist fell after a dismal performance to a largely unknown Ying-Ying Daun.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Caroline Wozniacki, Ekaterina Makarova, Alize Cornet, Sabine Lisicki, Heather Watson, Timea Bacsinszky, Garbine Muguruza, Casey Dellacqua, Monica Niculescu, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Silvia Soler, Denisa Allertova and Camila Giorgi among a few others.

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In the men’s draw, Roger Federer needed 68 minutes as he made a perfect start to his quest for an unprecedented 8th Wimbledon title. The second seeded Swiss recorded a 6-1 6-3 6-3 win over Damir Dzumhur.

Home favourite, Andy Murray had no troubles as he won in straight sets to see off the threat of Mikhail Kukushkin while two-time winner, Rafael Nadal was in great form as he dispatched Thomaz Bellucci in straight sets. Alexandr Dolgopolov had little time to spare, racing into the second round with a 7-6 6-1 6-2 win over Kyle Edmund. The likes of Roberto Baustista, Andreas Seppi, Benoit Paire, Fabio Fognini, Gilles Simon and Jiri Vesely also recorded comfortable straight sets wins.

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Tomas Berdych booked a second round pass seeing off Jeremy Chardy in fourth sets, coping with the darkness whie Jo-Wilfred Tsonga also needed four sets to overcome Gilles Muller.

Borna Coric registered his first win at Wimbledon after seeing off Sergiy Stakovsky in five sets.

There were wins as well for Ivo Karlovic, Samuel Groth, James Duckworth, Albert Ramos, Gael Monfils, James Ward, Feliciano Lopez, Viktor Triocki, Vasek Pospisil, Dustin Brown and a few others.

American Jack Sock was the biggest casualty in the men’s draw; losing out to Samuel Groth.

2nd round action in the top half of each draw is slated for Wednesday, 1st July, 2015. Enjoy!

TOUCHLINEUI:WIMBLEDON DAY 1 REVIEW: “TEN” SPINS FORTUNE FOR DJOKOVIC

Samuel Soladoye

The first day of action at the All England Club offered tennis at its entertaining best. Here is a succinct review of how the duels panned out.

World No. 1 and defending champion, Novak Djokovic, albeit several sloppy moments for his standards, saw off the hitherto potentially dangerous first round clash against Philip Kohlschreiber. It was like Novak was playing Tarot as the number “10”regarded as card of the wheel of fortune was key to his victory. The German had the challenge of serving to stay in each of the three sets, all three coming in the 10th game of each set and on each occasion, the German failed to hold serve. Djokovic, who was broken once in the fifth game of the third set when he was a break ahead, triumphed 6-4 6-4 6-4.

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Maybe sloppiness was the theme for players ranked No. 1 today as Serena Williams overcame a sloppy start, which saw her broken in the first game of the match against Gasparyan, to run 6-4 6-1 winner over the qualifier.

The match-up between Liam Broady and Marinko Matosevic lasted over three hours and was drama-packed. The former went down two sets to love but showed incredible courage to fight back and win in five sets in what represents his first 5-set duel in a Grand slam tourney much to the delight of the home crowd. It ended 5-7 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-3.

Another five-set encounter was served to the audience at SW19 by the veteran duo of Lleyton Hewitt and Jarkko Nieminen. These two had a lot in common. Both, 34years of age, were making their last appearances at Wimbledon; pretty much explains the source of the hunger to hang in on till the end. It was Nieminen that took the decider.

As Bastian Schweinsteiger watched on, Ana Ivanovic raced through her match against Yi-Fan Xu dropping only two games; 6-1 6-1.

Elsewhere in the men’s draw, there were wins for Stanislas Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov, John Isner, Marin Cilic, Kevin Anderson, David Goffin, Dominc Thiem, Bernard Tomic, Tommy Haas and Richard Gasquet amongst others. Fernando Verdasco survived the threat of Martin Klizan in five sets.

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In the women’s draw,  Maria Sharapova, Kirsten Flipkens, Victoria Azarenka, Sara Errani, Venus Williams, Samantha Stosur, Urszula Radwanksa, Sloane Stephens, Lucie Safarova, Andrea Petkovic and Belinda Bencic amidst others coped well with the differing challenge posed by their first round opponents.

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The match between Heather Watson and Caroline Garcia was tied at one-set all when it was suspended for play to resume Tuesday due to bad light.

There was no big casualty on the first day at SW19. First round action continues Tuesday with the likes of Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep kick-starting their Wimbledon, 2015 campaign. It promises more drama. Enjoy!