Wimbledon: Nadal Impresses In Debut
Top seed Rafa Nadal has started his title defence with a straight-set win over American Michael Russell whom the Spaniard ousted 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. Next up for the world champion is Ryan Sweeting who edged Pablo Andujar in five sets.
Nadal converted seven of ten break points, clinching the victory in nearly two hours. Sweeting had a better start though, managing to break the opponent in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead he wouldn’t be able to preserve until the end of the opener. But on the contrary, the American allowed Nadal to win four games in a row, including two breaks and close out the opener in 45 minutes. As for the second set, it found the same Rafa setting the pace and building a 4-1 lead after a midway break. Russell could only win one more break in the sixth, but it was too late as the favorite made it 2-0 after 37 minutes.
Finally, the decider brought Rafa another early break and thus a 2-0 lead he would convert into a victory later on. Russell first held his serve in the third game, while Rafa replied with another break obtained in the fifth. Both then held their services as the Spaniard claimed the third set in just over half an hour.
“I’m happy about the victory in the first round, especially happy how I played in the second and the third sets. I started, in my opinion, trying to play too fast in the beginning probably. But my level in general I think was very positive,” said Nadal at the end of the game. The 25-year-old hit four aces past Russell who had two. The American won instead 68 percent of first service compared to Rafa’s 67.
The same day Sweeting overcame Andujar in five sets, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-1 and will start the second round as second favorite in front of Nadal whom he’ll be playing for the first time this season. Gael Monfils has also made an easy progress after eliminating German Matthias Bachinger 6-4, 7-6, 6-3. The French first broke the opponent in the third game, only to be leveled immediately. The two then went head to head until the tenth game when Monfils grabbed another precious break which helped him to clinch the opener at four.
As for the second term, it saw the two hold each other until the breaker. The French favorite managed to propel through to a four-mini-break lead he would easily convert into a 2-0 overall advantage. Finally, the decider was the easiest to claim by Monfils who close out the set in over half an hour. His next stop is Grega Zemljsa of Slovenia who ousted Slovakian Lukas Lacko in four sets, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
On the same first half of the table, Tomas Berdych eased past Filippo VOlandri in three sets, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1, to set a meeting with Julien Benneteau. The Czech broke his opponent in the sixth and eighth games to go 1-0 ahead in just half an hour. The second set looked the same for Berdych who managed to leave his opponent four games behind for the second time in a row. Finally, he would have a much easier life in the decider. Volandri allowed the Czech to break him three more times and make an easy progress.
Berdych’s next opponent Benneteau had some hard times against Belgian Ruben Bemelmans whom the French ousted in five sets, 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1. Mardy Fish eliminated Marcel Granollers of Spain in three sets, 7-6, 6-4 and will next meet Denis Istonim who survived an early scare against the 2011 Halle champion Philipp Kohlschreiber whom he finally upset in four sets, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
Gilles Muller has provided one of the early surprises of the English slam as the Luxembourg’s player stunned Germany’s Tommy Haase 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3. Mulelr will next meet Milos Raonic who kept the sheet clean against Marc Gicquel of France whom the Canadian sent packing in three sets, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3. Richard Gasquet and Igor Kunitsyn will also fight for a place into the third term. The Frenchman defeated Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, while his next opponent eased past Dutch Igor Sijsling 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Stanislas Wawrinka, winner of this term’s Chennai event, crashed Potito Starace 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, to set a Simone Bolelli meeting in the second term. The Italian ousted Austrian Martin Fischer 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 and will start the next round as second favorite. Feliciano Lopez has also reached the second term after defeating Michael Berrer 6-4, 7-5, 6-3.
Second favorite Novak Djokovic is expected to make his debut against Jeremy Chnardy, while Roger Federer, who is chasing his sixth Wimbledon success, is to face Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round, the Swiss being drawn on the same half of the table as the Serb. Andy Murray meets Daniel Gimeno in the first round, while Robin Soderling plays Halle finalist Philipp Petzschner in the opening round.
Juan Martin Del Potro – Flavio Cipolla
Olivier Rochus – Kenny de Schepper
Frederico Gil – Dudi Sela
Edouard Roger-Vaseelin – Gilles Simon
Robin Haase – Pere Riba
Radek Stepanek – Fernando Verdasco
Juan Ignacio Chelsea – Marinko Matosevic
Donald Young – Alex Bogomolov Jr.
Sergiy Stakhovsky – Daniel Cox
Ivan Ljubicic – Marin Cilic
Arnaud Clement – Lukasz Kubot
Ivo Kalrovic – Janko Tipsarevic
Jaroslav Pospisil – Victor Hanescu
Andreas Beck – Andy Roddick
David Ferrer – Benoit Paire
Ivan Dodig – Ryan Harrison
Carlos Berlocq – Karol Beck
Andrey Golubev – Guillermo Garcia Lopez
Alexandr Dolgopolov – Fernando Gonzalez
Rik de Voest – Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo
Grigor Dimitrov – Cedrik Marce Stebe
Go Soeda – Jo Wilfried Tsonga
Nicolas Almagro – Jarkko Nieminen
John Isner – Nicolas Mahut
Somdev Devvarman – Denis Gremelmayr
Juan Monaco – Mikhail Youzhny
David Nalbandian – Julian Reister
Florent Serra – Andreas Haider Maurer
Adrian Mannarino – Conor Niland
Mikhail Kukushkin – Roger Federer
Robin Soderling – Philipp Petschner
Kei Nishikori – Lleyton Hewitt
Igor Andreev – Teymuraz Gabashvili
Bernard Tomic – Nikolay Davydenko
Florian Mayer – Daniel Evans
Xavier Malisse – Mischa Zverev
Ernests Gulbis – Dmitry Tursunov
Alejandro Falla – Jurgen Melzer
Viktor Troicki – Maximo Gonzalez
Yen-Hsun Lu – Tommy Robredo
Ricardo Mello – Frank Dancevic
James Ward – Michael Llodra
Marcos Baghdatis – James Blake
Andreas Seppi – Albert Montanes
Kevin Anderson – Illya Marchenko
Jeremy Chardy – Novak Djokovic
Wimbledon Prize Money and points:
Winner – 1,100,000 pounds and 2000 points ATP
Runner-up – 550,000 pounds and 1,200 points ATP
Semi finalist – 275,000 pounds and 720 points ATP
Quarter finalist – 137,500 pounds and 360 points ATP
R16 – 68,750 pounds and 180 points ATP
R32 – 34,375 pounds and 90 points ATP
R64 – 20,125 pounds and 45 points ATP
R128 – 11,500 pounds and 10 points ATP11