Kvitova, Sharapova, Thiem and Goffin Among Fallen Seeds, Nadal, Muguruza Net Wins to Advance at Wimbledon
(July 3, 2018) Day two at Wimbledon provided a second day full of upsets at the All-England Club on Tuesday including a pair of former champions – Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova. In the first two days Wimbledon has set a record for the most seeds lost at 21.
The 2004 champion Maria Sharapova seeded 24th was serving for match at 7-6, 5-3 when her Russia countrywoman qualifier Vitalia Diatchenko made a comeback to eventually win the match 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3), 6-4. This was the first match that Vitalia Diatchenko has ever won at Wimbledon.
“I definitely had several chances in the match.” admitted Sharapova. “Although not playing my best tennis, I opened up a few doors and was a couple points away from winning this match. Kept, you know, doing that in the third, as well. But just, you know, sometimes you put yourself in a better or winning position, and you don’t finish through. That was the case today.”
“She played all or nothing,” said the 2004 winner. “She’s already gotten three matches at this tournament. Not at Wimbledon, at another venue.
“She swung away. She played extremely aggressive. I was playing a little bit too defensively for what I should have been doing. Yeah, she was there to win it, and she did.”
Asked if she was nervous in the third set in which both players traded breaks of serve twice, she said: “I think it depends on the opportunity. There’s certainly moments where you feel what’s in front of you. You always want to deliver in those moments.
“But, I mean, I’ve never really shied away from that. I hope that I don’t continue to. I hope that I keep putting myself on the line for those moments.”
Two-time champion Petra Kvitova, the 8th seed, came in as one of the favorites to win the event but lost against 50th-ranked Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.
The Czech came into the tournament with a tour leading 38 wins and 5 tournament titles. She admitted to having nerves.
“I just didn’t feel well obviously. Was a first round. The nerves were there again. I don’t know. I just tried to kind of fight with myself. Probably was the biggest opponent which I have.
“Yeah, I tried. I changed it in the second set when I got an early break. In the third, I think it was just too quickly when she was on the board, and I just couldn’t handle it any more.”
“Of course, I’m sad. I wanted to win very badly, maybe too much. Yeah, that’s why. As I said probably in the Birmingham, somewhere, that I already have great season so far. Everything what I going to win now is just the bonus. That’s how I acting right now.”
The French Open finalist, 7th seed Dominic Thiem became the third Top Ten player on the men’s draw to lose, when he was forced to retire with a back injury, trailing former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis, 6-4, 7-5, 2-0.
Tenth seed David Goffin also was booted out of Wimbledon on Tuesday, losing to Australian Matthew Ebden, ranked No. 51 in the world 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.
American Jack sock the 18th seed lost a two-set lead losing to No. 81 Matteo Berrettini of Italy 6-7 (5), 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5, 6-2. Sock now has four straight first round losses in major championships. .He’s 5-13 on the year, losing his last six straight matches.
Other men’s seeds losing on Tuesday included No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta, No. 29 Marco Cecchinato and No. 30 Fernando Verdasco to young American Frances Tiafoe.
Other upsets in the Ladies’ draw included No. 30 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and No. 6 seed Caroline Garcia, who exited to former Top Ten player Belinda Bencic.
“The key to win the match was for sure I think to play like smart,” said the Swiss Bencic. “I didn’t think I played, like, my greatest-ever tennis, but I think on grass it’s not possible. You just need to be ready, you know, the serve, return, next shot and just start the rally really good.
“Obviously today there was no long rallies, which I normally like to do. My confidence cannot be, like, amazing but I think it was good. I was practicing good this week. I’m feeling my game coming better and better.”
“I have to say every time I come here, I’m, like, excited and amazed like the first time I was here, so I hope that feeling never goes away. I don’t think it ever gets old here.
“It’s magical every time you come here. It’s, for sure, my favorite tournament. I keep saying that every year.”
In the winners circle on Tuesday were former champions Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Garbine Muguruza.
Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion beat Dudi Sela in straight sets.
“I did things very well, and other things that I have room to improve. But you are not at all times happy, of course? It’s a good start for me,” Nadal said. “I like these conditions. Being honest, life is much better with the sunshine there. [It] is happier. For the spectators, for the tournament, for the players, is better this kind of weather.”
Coming off winning his 11th French Open title, Nadal did not play any warm up events. “I had a long clay court season, a lot of matches,” he said. “As you know, I had lot of problems in terms of physical injuries during my career. Of course, I will love to play on Queen’s. That was my schedule agenda. But after playing the final of Roland Garros and playing so many matches on clay, for my knees, the drastic changes are not good. So we decided to stop couple of days, then to start step by step on grass.
“I did the same last year. Worked well. I lost here in the fourth round. But I felt I was in a position to fight for important things. I repeat: for me the most important thing is being healthy. That’s the priority always.”
Twelfth seeded Djokovic made quick work of American Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 6-1, 6-2.
“I thought it was overall quite a solid match. I don’t think Tennys has played a great match. I think he made a lot of errors. Just the third set, a couple games he changed up the tactics pretty well. I don’t think he was at his best.
“At the same time, you know, I made him play a lot on his service games. I thought I served accurately. Quite swirly conditions. Difficult to play. First match at Wimbledon. You always want to start off well. I’ve never played him before, so it took a little bit of time to kind of get used to his pace and rhythm.
“But just overall was quite solid performance.”
No. 1 Simona Halep easily moved into the second round of Wimbledon with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Kurumi Nara of Japan.
“It was a big challenge to come and win the first round — it’s not easy after winning a Grand Slam, I knew it was going to be a tough match,” said the Romanian said. “I felt OK. I didn’t think too much that I didn’t have any matches on grass (before Wimbledon). I thought I had enough power to adjust myself. Grass is really tough and every match can go either way. I have no expectations.”
“I was actually a little bit worried because I didn’t have a match on grass court. But still I was thinking that I played many matches on clay court season. So I was kind of ready.
“But still the nerves were there. I hope always will be there.”
“But I think I played okay. I played a good match. It was the first round of the tournament, which is the toughest normally.
I knew how she’s playing because I watched a little bit. I remember that I played against her few years ago. So it was a good start, in my opinion. I had nothing to adjust. Everything was smooth.”
Defending champion Muguruza beat crowd favorite Naomi Broady of Great Britain 6-2, 7-5.
“I think the atmosphere was good,” said the Spaniard. “I know I was playing a British player. I think the crowd was very fair, very equal. It’s always good to go out there. I think it’s one of the most beautiful courts. I think it was a good match. I’m pleased with how the match went.
“I know she’s kind of a different player. Never easy to face those opponents that, you know, play a little bit different. I’m happy about that.”