Wimbledon is now at the second round stage and fortunately the tournament missed the awful weather the North of England experienced yesterday. However, there was still the traditional controversy surrounding players who entered the draw with pre-incurred injuries and who subsequently retired during their first round matches knowing they would collect the handsome first round prize money, which is still an issue unique to Grand Slams, as the ATP Tour changed their rules relating to this.
There weren’t too many major upsets in the first round, apart from fifth seed Wawrinka, who lost to the talented Medvedev, and Kyrgios seeded 20 who retired injured at two sets to love down against Herbert. Other seeds who were knocked out in the first round were Queens winner Lopez (seeded 19), who retired injured against Antalya finalist Mannarino, when two sets to one down. Gasquet (22) lost in straight sets against Ferrer, Karlovic (21) lost against Britain’s Bedene in five sets and Verdasco (31) lost in four sets against Anderson.
The biggest upset so far in the women’s tournament was 16th seed Pavlyuchenkova, who lost against 198th ranked Rodionova 9-7 in the third set. Other seeds to crash out on Monday and Tuesday were 20th seed Gavrilova who lost an agonisingly close encounter 10-8 in the third set against Martic, 23rd seed Bertens lost against Cirstea, 26th seed Lucic-Barroni lost against Witthoeft 8-6 in the third set, 28th seed Davis lost against compatriot Lepchenko, 30th seed Zhang lost in three set against Golubic and 31st seed Vinci lost against Karolina Pliskova’s sister Kristyna.
Today’s feature matches include top seed and defending champion Murray against the exciting and unpredictable Dustin Brown, fourth seed Nadal against American Young and seventh seed Cilic against German Mayer. Nishikori seeded 9 and Tsonga seeded 12 also feature against Bolleli and Stakhovsky respectively and, of this pair, it could prove profitable to oppose Nishikori (1.15) as he trails the head-to-head 2-0 against Stakhovsky. Nishikori has been struggling with injuries on and off all season, Stakhovsky is very experienced at this level and on grass, plus he’s a serve and volley player, which could be enough to tip the balance in his favour if Nishikori is not 100% today.
Lucas Pouille (1.40) seeded 14 is worth opposing today against former quarter finalist Janowicz from Poland, who definitely has the game to make life very difficult for the young Frenchman. Britain’s Bedene (1.25) looks too short against the talented Dzumhur, especially after his epic first round marathon five setter against Karlovic, from which he may suffer a hangover today.
Of today’s women’s matches eighth seed Cibulkova (1.25) looks too short against Brady as her form has not been that impressive of late and she really struggled to win her first round match. It’s possible that 11th seed Kvitova (1.10) may struggle against Brengle today as the young American leads the head-to-head 2-1 and I have a feeling that Kvitova may run out of steam soon after only returning 2 weeks ago from a serious 6 month injury lay off. Finally, I think sixth seed Konta (1.25) is worth opposing again today as she faces a much stiffer task against Nottingham winner Vekic, who beat Konta in that final, and she looks too short based on that recent encounter.