Day two at Wimbledon was less bizarre than day one, with “just” two retirements on the men’s side (Lapentti and Odesnik) and one “upset” (Davydenko let Benjamin Becker and the rest of us know that he could care less about grass.)
Murray, Nadal, Roddick and Gasquet all went through in straights.
Murray’s match against tennis-nerd fave Fabrice Santoro was super entertaining – find the last set on your TIVO and enjoy all the tricky slices, lobs, and volleys coming from both sides of the net. Both players came to net over 40 times, in what has become a rare occurrence on the new, Spaniard-friendly grass courts.
Gasquet looked razor sharp against Fish today, making a 4th round match up with Murray tantalizingly possible. Keep it up, you crazy kids!
Jesse Levine beat Donald Young in a 4 set, all-American match-up. Will Donald ever make a statement in a Slam?
Radek Stepanek might be over his rib injury, beating a fellow Czech in straight sets with a bagel in the 3rd.
James Blake needed 4 sets to get through Chistophe Rochus. It’s interesting to think that his English mother, Betty, qualifies James as “half British.” Could he be adopted by Wimby fans if he makes it further than the (Scottish) Murray in the tournament? I like James’s plain white polo, by the way. The man looks good in sleeves.
Jonas Bjorkman‘s last-ever go at Wimby singles came to an early end today with a 4 set loss to fellow doubles veteran Arnaud Clement.
Youzhny‘s looking good, dominating Argentine Sergio Roitman 6-1, 6-4, 6-0.
Thursday should be exciting: Gulbis is going to meet Rafa in an entertaining second round match (Ernests took down Isner in 4 sets today), and Janko Tipsarevic will meet Andy Roddick.
The women finally posted a retirement when Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden tapped out against Sybille Bammer, even though she had won the first set.
Most of the big babes made it through in straights: Venus played an entertaining match against British hopeful Naomi Cavaday (check out the first set on the TIVO), Maria knocked out a bespectacled French woman, Nadia Petrova continued her Eastbourne form, and Jelena withstood a slight test by promising player Olga Savchuk (also TIVO review-worthy.) Dani H., Dinara and Shahar also made it into the second round without losing any sets.
Sania Mirza and Lindsay Davenport battled through injuries to win in 3 sets. That mummy-job on Lindsay’s leg didn’t look too promising.
Lucie Safarova continues her bad form, losing to Emilie Loit in straights.
The Williams sisters won their first round doubles match comfortably – hopefully they’ll go far enough to force ESPN to broadcast more dubs.
FROM THE COMMENTARY BOOTH:
Dick Enberg has the lowest grade so far (yes, even lower than Chris Fowler), with his strange “nubian slaves” comment yesterday, annoying fashion obsession and continuous flubbing of the scoreline.
Brad Gilbert is so, so good! Yes, his vocabulary is bizarre (someone has to tell him that he should say “discombobulated” instead of “disheveled”) but his play-by-play is the best at ESPN. It was especially nice to hear him analyzing Santoro/Murray, since he has both a personal connection as Andy’s ex-coach and an ability to explain the on-court artistry of both players. I also loved it when Sue Mott asked him if he found Andy Murray nice or charming and he looked at her like she was crazy.
Mary Carillo continues to annoy with her one-woman comedy routine. The whole “Shwank!” thing is maybe funny ONCE, not five times per game. Her love of puns is shocking.
Luke Jensen has evolved as a commentator, keeping things serious and on-topic. I wish he and Chris Fowler would trade roles (assuming that Chris Fowler must stay on in some capacity.)
Bud Collins has a great gig – show up, get paid, and say maybe one or two sentences per 6 hours. That’s my idea of a perfect semi-retirement (now if only Dick Enberg would join him!)
Hope the weather holds tomorrow and that Roger can take out the dangerous Robin Soderling!