Andy Murray vs. Robert Kendrick was my match of the tournament so far. Robbie is so awesome. He looks like a tennis club pro in some resort town backwater, the guy drinking Coronas at the bar by 3:30 p.m. and hitting on the waitresses. He’s the former high school stud who was destined for greatness until things didn’t work out.
I’m making this up, of course, but that’s what I love about Kendrick – he’s intriguingly unassuming. I like this description from The Guardian:
If there were one word to sum up the career of Robert Kendrick, Andy Murray’s first-round opponent today on Centre Court, it would be ordinary. The less generous might use two words. Very ordinary. The 29-year-old Californian has won three matches at slam level and is best remembered for almost beating Rafael Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon three years ago. If he were British this would have guaranteed him a job for life as a BBC or Sky TV tennis analyst.
From the way Kendrick served, dived and emoted out on Centre Court, maybe he does have a future in TV.
Andy Murray may have been upstaged by the big-hitting American, but he remains Wimbledon’s Hero after moving on to the second round (only one other Brit, Elena Baltacha is joining him). I thought Murray looked nice, if a little pasty, in his new Fred Perry shorts and polo, but former Wimbledon champ, Pat Cash, is not so sure:
“I don’t think Andy Murray’s ever going to be that kind of eye candy. . .He’s not the greatest-looking guy, not the biggest personality, but shit, can he play. And, you know, give me that any day. It’s no good being as pretty as David Beckham and not being able to kick the ball…(Murray) does have is the most boring, monotone voice in the history of the planet.” (via London Evening Standard)
The Wimbledon crowd finds Murray pretty charismatic:
Murray will face Ernests Gulbis in the second round.
“The Other Andy” Roddick beat Jeremy Chardy in a quick four sets. ESPN was timing Andy’s service games and they often clocked in under 60 seconds. After the match, he got a Dumb Press Conference Question (really, WTF?):
Q. Did you enjoy The Hangover?
ANDY RODDICK: To clarify, he’s asking about a movie, not my choice of beverages. Yeah, it was all right. I think it got built up a little bit. Not on par with Wedding Crashers, but it was a good laugh.
Q. Did you ever have a night like that yourself?
ANDY RODDICK: Not even once, ever in my entire existence.
Roddick plays Igor Kunitsyn next, who beat last year’s Junior Wimby champ, Grigor Dimitrov.
The biggest “upset” of the day was Marat Safin’s four set loss to 133rd ranked qualifier, Jesse Levine. Poor Marat:
Unlike Marat, Fabrice Santoro is actually enjoying his farewell season, beating Nicolas Kiefer in straights today. He faces yet another veteran, Juan Carlos Ferrero, in the next round. Allez, Fabrice!
Other guys who got through to the second round today include, Juan Martin del Potro, Gilles Simon, Fernando Gonzalez, David Ferrer, Lleyton Hewitt, Stanislas Wawrinka and Nikolay Davydenko. Last weekend’s Eastbourne Champ, Dmitry Tursunov, retired, as did Jose Acasuso. Click here for more men’s results.
(Roger on his off day)
American doubles player Eric Butorac is also into the second round, with partner Scott Lipsky. He’s keeping a Wimbledon blog (here) and had this amusing Roger Federer anecdote:
My day yesterday (Saturday) was quite a busy one because it was filled with meetings. Last year I was elected to a 10 man player council which represents the players side of the ATP tour. It’s quite a fun time to be on it cause in the 10 man council includes Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. We spent the better part of the afternoon discussing rule changes, anti-doping issues and what we can improve for 2010. The comment of the day came from Roger when a newly elected board rep entered and said he was so happy, he wanted to cry. Roger said, “C’mon, don’t be like me.”
Thanks to GTT reader “Ribbons” for passing that story along!
Roger Federer plays Garcia-Lopez tomorrow in his second round match. Tomorrow is also the big debut of Roger Federer’s own Nike website, complete with Twitter capabilities. Visit niketennis.com/rf to check it out. (Thanks to the “anonymous” GTT reader for the heads up via Tennis Served Fresh.)
On the ladies’ side, Venus Williams beat Swiss Miss Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 6-2. Afterwards, Venus explained why she’s the favorite for the tittle: “(Wimbledon’s) really just been a place of success and of, you know, pure joy. . .”
Here’s what V looked like while answering that question:
Things weren’t so joyful for U.K. # 1 Anne Keothavong, who was bumped out of the first round by Patricia Mayr. She had to leave the press conference to collect herself after this exchange:
Q. This is not an accusation, but do you feel as though you’ve let a few people down today?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: I feel like I’ve let myself down more than anything. You know, Wimbledon is such a special tournament to me. And, you know, this year especially, I just felt, you know, I’ve overcome so much just to get where I am (tearing up.)
It wasn’t pure joy for Ana Ivanovic, either, who had to save two match points out on Court 4 before scraping out a win over Lucie Hradecka 5-7 6-2 8-6. I’m impressed Ana made it through – I thought she was a goner after losing the first set. Fellow Serb-slumper, Jelena Jankovic, also won today.
Dinara Safina had a bit of a struggle in her first round match, but still beat Dominguez Lino: 7‑5, 6‑3. Like Nadal, she’s suffering from knee tendinitis and is taking anti-inflammatories. This is not good news for Safina fans who were hoping for a big comeback this fortnight.
Other ladies’ winners today include: Caroline Wozniacki (taken to three by 38-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm), Amelie Mauresmo (yay!) Shuai Peng (in three over young American, Alexa Glatch), Li Na, Sam Stosur (over Bethanie Mattek-Sands, so I’m conflicted), Sabine Lisicki (over Chakvetadze), Vera Zvonareva, Agnieszka Radwanska and Carla Suarez Navarro (yay!!!). Click here for more WTA results.