The opening day at the All England Club was full of surprises. Here’s a look at anything you may have missed on Wimbledon Day 1.
Wimbledon Day 1 Women’s Recap
Coco Gauff Makes History
Not just by being the youngest main draw qualifier at Wimbledon in the Open Era, Cori “Coco” Gauff made history–and headlines–claiming her first scalp in England. Venus Williams, the oldest woman in the field, lost 4-6 4-6 to the girl 14 years her junior. Many expected Gauff to succumb to nerves, playing her idol on one of the biggest stages. Yet, the 15-year-old held steady. she showed a couple of hiccups trying to serve out the match. But, the American rising star came through, tears showing just how much this win meant. Never overplaying rally balls, Gauff made surgical strikes to the corners. Clean hitting, a strong serve punctuated by fluid movement, and precise placement gave the teenager her first Wimbledon win. Next up will be Magdalena Rybarikova, who upset Aryna Sabalenka in two easy sets.
Naomi Osaka – Second Seed
Naomi Osaka was the name on everyone’s lips after her 2018 US Open win over Serena Williams. The Japanese superstar remains a topic of conversation, though it’s changed to a focus on her poor form and startling early exits. Not what Osaka had hoped for, for sure, but not unexpected. In a field of talented women, it remains wide open for any player to take out a Top 10 star, or claim a title. Yulia Putintseva walked away the victor, increasing her win total over Top 10 players to eight. Perhaps Osaka can focus on her strongest surface when the North American hard court swing begins.
Putintseva will meet Swiss Viktorija Golubic in the Round of 64.
Daria Kasatkina – 29th Seed
Russia’s Daria Kasatkina will need to give effort to her serve if she wants to go deep in any tournament. While her second serve has always been weak, Kasatkina’s 10 double faults paved the way for Ajla Tomljanovic’s six service breaks. The Russian has always been a good problem solver, and it’s the serve which is the problem to fix. The Aussie claimed the 6-3 6-1 win, leading to a second round match against the resurgent Victoria Azarenka.
Caroline Garcia – 23rd Seed
Caroline Garcia couldn’t make any headway into the Zhang Shuai game, losing in straight sets. Kudos to Zhang who served 74% and punished the Garcia serve by claiming four breaks. It wasn’t a good outing for the Frenchwoman, who won only 54% of her first serves. Zhang will square off against Yanina Wickmayer on Wednesday.
Marketa Vondrousova – 16th Seed
In a match comprised of more service breaks than holds, Marketa Vondrousova has been eliminated at the All England Club. Certainly not the birthday present she’d hoped for. The 20-year-old Czech exited Wimbledon in the first round for the third consecutive year. American Madison Brengle capitalized on Vondrousova’s thirty unforced errors. Brengle will face Karolina Muchova in the Round of 64.
Aryna Sabalenka – 10th Seed
Magdalena Rybarikova commanded this match from the start. An exceptional grass court player, Rybarikova reached the semifinals in 2017, and is positioning herself for a deep run after taking out the #10 seed. It’s been a tough six months for World #11, winning less than 50% of her matches. Sure, she has moments of the flash and dazzle which captured our attention at the end of 2018. But gone is the form that can claim titles or make deep runs. Rybarikova will face off on Wednesday against the tournament’s youngest contender, Cori Gauff, who took out veteran Venus Williams in straight sets.
Through to the Second Round
Victoria Azarenka has lifted her serve to a solid level. Only three double faults means the Belorursian isn’t giving away games. And, winning 84% of first serve points allowed her to dominate against France’s Alize Cornet. The former World #1 is returning to her best form post-maternity. I think we’ll see Azarenka on Manic Monday.
The mercurial Jelena Ostapenko fell to the crafty Hsieh Su-wei in straight sets. Hsieh was able to defeat the 2018 Wimbledon semifinalist, giving up only four games en route to the win. The erratic Ostapenko serve continues, with nine double faults and 58% first serves in. Definitely not the serve which can dictate play and win matches. Hsieh will next take the court against Kirsten Flipkens.
Caroline Wozniacki looked to be on her way to an opening round loss. Down 0-4 in the first set, the Dane was finally able to get on the scoreboard. Wozniacki was able to up her game to level the set at 4-4 before Sorribes Tormo left the court for a medical timeout. Only one more game was played before the Spaniard retired with a lumbar injury. Wozniacki hasn’t yet reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. Veronika Kudermetova awaits Wozniacki in the second round. Kudermetova beat Wozniacki just a month ago at the French Open.
Kirsten Flipkens dropped only four games in her victory Dalila Jakupovic. American Danielle Collins won over Zaria Diyas in straight sets. Collins is also competing in doubles alongside multiple titleholder Bethanie Mattek-Sands. That doubles pairing should be able to make a deep run in London. Simona Halep, Anett Kontaveit, and Elina Svitolina enjoyed straight sets wins. Heather Watson defeated American teen Caty McNally. And Paula Hercog and Monica Puig battled through tough three-setters to reach the second round.
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