Day Two at Wimbledon continued in a much less dramatic fashion than Monday’s opener, with most seeds earning swift passage to the second round. The biggest upset on the women’s side was another French Open finalist – this time the runner up, Sam Stosur. She lost to Kaia Kanepi in straights. Anna Chakvetadze, like Kaia, a long-struggling talent, scored a good win over Andrea Petkovic. Dominika Cibulkova beat Lucie Safarova. Top Wimbledon contenders Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki made it through to the second round only losing seven games total (Serena lost for of those.)
On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer both won in straight sets, but it was a rough day for many of the top Spanish men. No. 8 seed, Fernando Verdasco, lost to Fabio Fognini, 6-7 (9), 2-6, 7-6 (8), 4-6, No. 19 seed Nicolas Almagro lost to Fognini’s countryman, Andreas Seppi, and 14 seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero lost to Xavier Malisse. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed four sets to get past my favorite American qualifier, Robert Kendrick, and Robin Soderling took out Robby Ginepri. Andy Murray overcame an early break by Jan Hajek, to make it through in straights.
Let’s take a look at what the players had to say afterwards.
Rafa on some impressive records – both Roger’s and his own.
Q. Which one of his (Federer’s) records do you think is his most impressive?
RAFAEL NADAL: Every one. Every one is amazing. If I have to say something, 23 semifinals in a row of Grand Slam.
RAFAEL NADAL: Because is five years, almost six years, playing all four Grand Slams. You can have no one injury, no one bad day, so is amazing. That’s my feeling, no? So 23 semifinals in a row, in my opinion, impossible to do it another time.
Q. You spoke about what you felt was Roger’s most amazing record. Of your tremendous accomplishments, what do you think your best achievement is?
RAFAEL NADAL: 81 matches straight on clay. That’s a lot. . .I think that’s the most impressive of my record, this one. Because, you know, in a lot of matches you have difficult moments. And not all the tournaments, not all the matches you are playing well. That’s for sure. And you still winning. You still winning very difficult matches.
81 is a lot. A lot of days finish the match with the victory. And for me, that’s, well, very difficult to repeat, too.
Serena says she was “almost speechless.” Almost being relative. I love this whole exchange:
Q. Can you talk us through your outfit today.
SERENA WILLIAMS:Well, we dubbed it Strawberries and Cream. Strawberries, is that the correct enunciation of it? I don’t have a good British accent. The red is strawberries and the white is cream. It’s not like a pure white; it’s more of a cream. Also the red kind of symbolizes a lot of things I do in Africa, along with a lot of the work, like the red laces. Everybody that buys a pair can pretty much save a life in Africa.
I really kind of wanted to tie that all together with this championship. Since it means so much to me, I thought it could work well. The tournament means so much to me as well as the things I do in Africa. I thought it could also work well together.
Q. Your nails look good today.
SERENA WILLIAMS: They have strawberries on them, too. If I would have thought about it, I would have put a strawberry instead of a heart. They’re hearts. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. I could have had a strawberry.
Q. Are you watching the World Cup and watching America?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I live and die ‑‑ I also speak in terms of ‘we.’ I think we play on Wednesday, which is tomorrow. And I have tomorrow off, so I’m excited to watch us.
Q. Do you know who is going to win?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, we should already be qualified because we beat Slovenia. Oh, my God. You never know. You can’t underestimate anyone. Algeria still wants to do well. We’ll see.
Q. What are your thoughts about Thursday with the Queen’s visit and how are your curtsy practices going?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was going to curtsy today on the court afterwards, but I think I flubbed it. So I’m definitely going to work on it a little more. I’m trying to tone down my wrist action (laughter).
But my curtsy is really fun. It’s something that she’ll definitely never forget, if I ever even get a chance to meet her.
No, we really don’t do that so much in the United States, so I’m really working hard on it.
Here’s more of Serena’s “strawberries and cream” look:
Sam Querrey is through after his first round opponent, Sergiy Stakhovsky, retired from their match on Tuesday. But Querrey’s still working through some stuff:
Q. You said back in Paris after you lost to Robby that you hadn’t been playing professionally for a while. I think you were a bit dejected and so on. How do feel now? Have you turned it around?
SAM QUERREY: I feel great now, yeah. Took some days off. You know, at Queen’s, the only thing I was basically focusing on was being positive and really just giving 100% on every single point. It was a good week for me.
That’s all I was focusing on today. That’s my goal for this Wimbledon: just to be positive; shoulders back; after the point, win or lose, those first few seconds, don’t ‑‑ only show positive emotion if you’re gonna show emotion; just go out there and have fun.
Q. So when you’re feeling negative emotion inside you, what do you do? Just try to swallow it?
SAM QUERREY: I try to. That’s what I struggle with the most. When I get down on myself or I’m being negative, I have a really tough time bringing myself back up to a level state of mind or a positive attitude.
So I’m trying to never get myself to that point. Basically can’t bring myself back up to where I want to be.
Q. You’ve never been much of a racquet tosser, though. Have you ever thought about just letting the anger out rather than just…
SAM QUERREY: I have actually. I mean, my coach, David, said, If you’re gonna get angry, yell something out and smash the racquet and move on to the next point. Don’t carry it with you.
If it comes to that point, I’m probably just gonna do that.
James Blake may be beyond working things out, sounding absolutely dejected after losing in straights to Robin Haase.
“You know, to be honest, it’s almost embarrassing to go out and play a Grand Slam match like that. Maybe it says to me that I came back too soon, or maybe I’m just too far away where I think I need to be. . .The knee is not great. If it doesn’t get better soon, I’m not sure how much longer I want to play in pain. . .I can’t beat these guys at 80%. I can’t beat a lot them at 100% on a given day. So to think that I’m gonna compete with the top level of the game at 80% is just silly.”