Bouzkova boots Aus Open finalist in Wimbledon first round
THERE were a number of big upsets on the opening day of Wimbledon, but arguably the biggest – particularly in the ladies’ singles draw was that of Marie Bouzkova. The Czech 23-year-old came from behind to win in two hours and 23 minutes on No.3 Court, defeating Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins in three sets. Bouzkova won 5-7 6-4 6-4 to advance through to the Round of 64.
The world number 66 had lost to Collins in their only previous match, and it looked to be headed that way when Collins took out the first set 7-5. Despite the setback, Bouzkova fought her way into the contest to create plenty of breakpoint opportunities, and break an extra time in each of the last two sets to collect the win, 5-7 6-4 6-4.
Bouzkova served at an efficiency of 71 per cent and won 46 per cent of her second serve points, ahead of Collins’ 54 and 41 per cent. Though Collins’ power showed at times with five aces to three, she was also wayward serving a whopping 11 double faults to one. She hit 21 more winners (45-24), but produced a mind-boggling 47 more unforced errors, as Bouzkova hit an average of two unforced errors per set across the match. Though the Czech only won four more points, it was enough to collect the win.
Raducanu rises again
British teenager Emma Raducanu is forever in the headlines, be it good or bad, but the 19-year-old got her campaign at the All-England club off to the perfect start. Raducanu reached the fourth round at Wimbledon last year really putting her name into lights leading into her US Open triumph, and she has now reached the second round again in 2022 by defeating Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck. Raducanu was a break down in the first set before coming back to win 6-4 6-4 on her Centre Court debut.
The British 10th seed needed an hour and 41 minutes to defeat her more experienced opponent, only hitting 18 unforced errors to her 13 winners compared to Van Uytvanck’s 30 and 18 respectively. Raducanu won 65 and 55 per cent of her first and second serves off a 71 per cent clip to move through to the Round of 64, whilst her opponent produced a 61 and 41 per cent success rate off a 59 per cent clip.
“I felt good out there,” Raducanu said post-match. “There were some tough moments in the second set physically, but I told myself, ‘Push through, if you win in two sets, then you don’t have to play three.'”
Raducanu will now have a tough second round match, coming up against the in-form Caroline Garcia who defeated gallant British wildcard Yuriko Miyazaki, ranked 204th in the world. Garcia had some tense moments, but picked up the 4-6 6-1 7-6 victory in two hours and 17 minutes, backing up from her sensational title at Bad Homburg on Saturday.
Not so Hubi-erous as Pole seventh seed falls
It was not a good day for seventh seeds, as Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz joined Collins on the list of outs from the first round of Wimbledon. The highly touted rising star who has steadily improved the last couple of years, fell short of a remarkable comeback against Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. The world number 37 lead 7-6 6-4 5-4 with three match points to his name, seemingly home. But, the Spaniard found a way to bottle it, with reigning semi-finalist Hurkacz coming back to winning the third and fourth sets, 7-5 6-2, before it went to a deciding set tiebreaker.
There, Davidovich Fokina found a way to win, getting up 10-8 for a total score of 7-6 6-4 5-7 2-6 7-6 in a match that lasted three hours and 28 minutes. The world number 37 knew he was very lucky to escape and arrest the momentum that Hurkacz had built. When asked how he managed to do it, not even the 23-year-old could explain it.
“Really I don’t know how I won this match,” Davidovich said post-match. “He had in the fifth set [a] 5-4 [lead] and [he was] serving with the new balls. “I was [thinking], ‘Okay, let’s put the return in and let’s see what happens.. “But I’m so happy for the win today because I was struggling a little bit. “To beat Hurkacz on grass — he [made] the semi-final last year — it’s so much confidence to myself. “I’m so happy.”
Escape from Alcaraz
Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz also survived a five-setter, with one of the tournament favourites having to come from two sets to one down against German serving machine Jan-Lennard Struff to win in a tiring four hours and 11 minutes. Struff only knows one way to play, and Alcaraz was the same, with the pair treating the crowd to a display of 53 aces and 135 winners.
Just four points separated the opponents by the end of the match (192-188), with Alcaraz putting down 30 aces to 23 and winning 76 and 56 per cent of his first and second serve points. Both players only managed to break twice, but Alcaraz’s second came in the deciding fifth set which nudged the fifth seed ahead, which allowed him to win, 4-6 7-5 4-6 7-6 6-4 and advance through to the second round.
“I enjoyed [the match] a lot,” Alcaraz said post-match. “Great battle over four hours. For me [to] play on grass is so beautiful. I like to play on grass. I would say my level on grass has to improve a little bit. But I’m happy with my level today.”
OTHER SINGLES RESULTS
Though rain affected play, there were still plenty of matches completed. In the ladies’ singles, Slovenian rising star Kaja Juvan ending the 10-game grasscourt winning streak of Beatriz Haddad Maia, 6-4 4-6 6-2. Estonian seed Kaia Kanepi also fell, going down to Frenchwoman Diane Parry, whilst past Wimbledon winner Angelique Kerber took care of Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets, 6-0 7-5. In an all-Italian battle, Elisabetta Cocciaretto destroyed her 22nd seeded compatriot Martina Trevisan 6-2 6-0, while second seed Anett Kontaveit had a scare early before defeating Bernarda Pera 7-5 6-1.
In the gentlemen’s singles, Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta was not as fortunate as his compatriots, with the 16th seed falling to Serbian Dusan Lajovic after retiring at a set apiece. Elsewhere all the other seeds won, with German 32nd seed Oscar Otte having the most one-sided win of the day, destroying compatriot Peter Gojowczyk in 88 minutes, 6-1 6-2 6-1.
Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner got past the returning Stan Wawrinka in four sets, while John Isner and Nikoloz Basilashvili both needed five sets to get past qualifiers. It was a good day for the Americans with Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul also winning, whilst local hope Andy Murray ousted Australian James Duckworth.