Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Stosur stumbles again, this time to lowest ranked player in draw.
On a blustery Tuesday afternoon, with Stosur facing Melinda Czink, who had won one Wimbledon match in six appearances at the All England Club and who had gone out in the first round of 14 previous Grand Slams. You could count on the fingers of one hand the number of quality backhands Sam hit off the Wimbledon grass.
Stosur was down love-3 in the opening set before she could put together a run of points in this 6-3 6-4 defeat, but, though she didn’t play well, my sense was that Czink had a hot day serving and deserved credit.
Some expected a turn-around in set 2, but what they got was a 4-0 Czink lead in just 15 minutes.
The first match on Center Court saw two time defending champion Serena Williams kick off her campaign. Serena Williams was in tears and she was not quite sure why. She had just beaten Aravane Rezai 6-3 3-6 6-1 to begin the defence of her title and she could not stop sobbing. But after what she described as a "disaster year", she was finally back at her favourite tournament, on her favourite court - and she was winning again.
"I usually don't cry so I don't understand it," she gasped between the sobs. "It's been so hard, I never imagined I could be here."
As Wimbledon began, there were those who suggested that Serena had to be the favourite to defend her title. Where was the logic in that? Serena had not played for almost 12 months, she had suffered a freak foot injury - she trod on some broken glass in a Munich restaurant; she had had two bouts of surgery on that injury; she survived a pulmonary embolism (probably brought on by having her foot in a cast for weeks) and then had emergency surgery to clear a haematoma on her stomach. How could she be a favourite for the title?
But both Williams sisters have spent a career defying logic and put Serena within a few rounds of a major championship and she is a terrifying foe. Even so, when she opened the defence of her title she was playing only her third match in a year so surely she was bound to be a bit rusty. Rezai clearly thought so and went on the attack from the very start. As it turned out, that was not a good move.
Other players advancing included Wozniacki, Razzano, Yakimova, Baltacha, Pemg, Safarova, Zakopalova, Sharapova, Li, Ivanovic, Daniilidou, Bartoli, Dominguez, Kirilenko, Tanasugarn, Halep, Zahlavova-Strycova, Paszek, Dubois, Petkovic, Pavlychenkova, Petrova, Kateryna Bondarenko, Errani, Hantuchova, Erakovic, Benesova, Azarenka, Kvitova, Keothavong, Marino, Vinci, Martinez Sanchez, Pironkova and Martic.