Another British lady, Laura Robson, got through to the second round - her 'reward' a match against Maria Sharapova. Sadly, Heather Watson injured her elbow quite badly during the match and lost in three sets from a winning position. And as expected Anne Keothavong fell, in her second round match, to the eight seed Petra Kvitova.
The match of the day, in fact the best ladies match I have seen for a long, long, long, long time took place yesterday on Centre Court between Venus Williams and Kimiko Date-Krumm. In the programme it had been dubbed, somewhat unfairly, but I'm sure tongue in cheek, as 'the battle of the zimmer frames' as Venus is thirty-one and Kimiko forty. In fact Kimiko retired from the tour in her mid-twenties and only came back a year or two ago.
It was a sensational match from beginning to end and at no time was who was going to win the match clear. Kimiko raced off to a 5:1 lead as Venus seemed to struggle with a playing style she hasn't come across, certainly not recently and maybe not ever, because Kimiko plays 'old school tennis'. Venus somehow, partly aided by a slight wander by Kimiko, managed to plug it back to 6:6 and Kimiko took the first set on the tie-breaker. The standard of play in the second set wasn't quite as high, but it was still excellent and Venus prevailed. The third set was back to the extremely high standards of the first and after a really hard fought set with breaks and break points galore, Venus finally won through.
I really doubt there will be a ladies match of this standard again this tournament and probably not for some time. If only this could have been the final . . . Excellent play by both ladies and it's such a shame that one of them had to lose. As well as being the best ladies match for a heck of a time I can't remember a ladies match I've enjoyed more for a long, long, long, long, long time.
On the men's front, Rafa came through quite safely - I didn't see all of the match as part of the way through, the Beeb in their wisdom assumed we'd rather watch the Brits *g* and as we only have Freeview, I only had the choice of one match on the red button - which was another Brit. I did watch a bit on my laptop, but it kept dropping out, so I toddled off to prepare the potatoes instead *g* However, from what I'd seen it was Rafa's match to win or lose. Sweeting did up his game in the third and in fact broke Rafa's serve from 0:40 down, but really it was a formality. Rafa was safely through. Not a great match, but Rafa got the job done.
Murray, Roddick and Berdych (last year's runner up) also went through safely. There was a surprise loss yesterday, the seeded Stanislas Wawrinka, who plays well on grass, went out in straight sets.
Today as well as Laura Robson vs. Maria Sharapova we also have Elena Baltacha vs the twentieth seed Shuai Peng - both are second round matches. You'll forgive me if I say that I expect by the end of today the British 'interest' in the singles, will again be just Andy Murray.
On the ladies side also playing today are Li Na and Caroline Wozniacki - both of whom I am hoping will come through.
Playing today on the men's side are Djokovic, Federer and Soderling. I can't see either Djokovic or Federer being troubled. Federer in particular has a doddle of a draw all the way through to the semis; he's due to meet David Ferrer in the quarters, who is an excellent player, but I can't see Ferrer giving Federer any real trouble on grass. Having said that, stranger things have happened, but I am confident both Federer and Djokovic will come through easily (gets ready to hide from plutos_revenge just in case I'm wrong re: Federer).
However, Soderling may have a match on his hands as he's playing a past Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt. Hewitt is way below his best these days, but he's a player who never gives up and grass is his best surface.