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.


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.


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.


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!


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