July 6th, 2017

Autumn: Leaves (Name)

Wimbledon 2017 - Day 04

Yesterday was a really good day of tennis. Three of my four favourites (Rafa, Andy & Jo) won plus two other Brits (Heather & Aljaž Bedene). This means we have four Brits (two men & two ladies) into the third round for the first time in twenty years. Technically, we could get a fifth today, but I fear that is unlikely.

The one favourite who didn't get through was Petra Kvitova, which is sad. However, given she was stabbed in her playing hand in December last year by and intruder who gained access to her home and then attacked her with a knife, the fact that she is back playing is nothing short of amazing. She got the injury whilst defending herself and naturally used her dominant hand first. At the time the doctors doubted she would ever be able to hold a racquet again, let alone play. She came back at the French Open where she won a couple of rounds and then a couple of weeks ago she won a grass court tournament here in the UK. I suspect had she not won that, thus used up so much energy, plus pulling a muscle she might have gone further at Wimbledon. Nonetheless, the fact she is back, playing, healed and smiling is wonderful.

I had expected Andy's match to be 'the match of the day' and be jolly tight, I even thought (as I said yesterday) there was a good chance of an upset, given who he was playing. However, it turned out not to be the case. Andy dominated pretty much from start to finish and whilst Dustin Brown did play in his flamboyant style and make some wonderful shots, Andy pretty much nullified him, winning easily and without that much apparent effort in three sets.

Rafa really is back on form and is playing as well on grass as I've seen him. His match was also a three setter and for one of the few matches I have seen him play, after a couple of games I wasn't worried. His was one of those matches where it really was his to win or lose. His opponent, Donald Young, played well, played to the full level (and at times above) his ability, but he was never going to win the match. If he had come out winner, it would have been because Rafa had lost it. Having said that it was still an enjoyable match with some great shots by both men. I got the feeling that Donald might have been swept up in the whole 'playing on Centre Court against one of the all time greats' thing, rather than just playing a match. That isn't to say he simply rolled over, he didn't and I would hope he won't be disappointed by his play; he certainly played as well as he played at Queens', where he got to the quarters.

The match of the day, in fact the match (thus far) of the tournament (of the ones I have seen) was between our Jo Konta & Donna Veric. It went to three sets, lasted over three hours and was a battle from the first to the last ball. It was truly a match where either lady could have won and both deserved to have won. It is actually one of the best ladies matches I have seen at Wimbledon for quite some time, one of the best ladies matches I have seen anywhere for quite some time. It was superb and certainly edge-of-seat stuff on more than one occasion.

It really was a great day.

Today won't be quite as 'exciting' (which given we have chaps replacing our boiler who will be here for most of the day and more chaps outside resurfacing the road (they have been here all week) who are at the really noisy part, I have to say I don't mind that much). I have some of my second level favourites playing today, so that is good.

We have one Brit (Kyle Edmund) who I would love to surprise me by winning, but I think not. And today is Roger and Novak day. I don't think either of them will be overly troubled - except Novak is out on Court One, where he played last year (albeit it one round later) and was beaten. I really hope history does not repeat itself! It's rather annoying (make that very annoying *g*) that Kyle & Novak will be playing at the same time. Which to watch . . .