After three men and three women seeded players fell on day 1, it was the turn of three other gentlemen and six more women seeded players exiting in the first round on Tuesday. Barring this breed of first round losers, most men and women top stars stayed on course. World no.1 and second-seed Rafael Nadal had an early scare, when he dropped a set before beating Slovak Martin Klizan and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fought to survive a five-set battle against Austrian Jurgen Melzer.
Six men and nine women seeded players have made their exit from Wimbledon 2014 over the first two days. The outgoing men are; 18th seed Fernando Verdasco; 25th seed Andreas Seppi; 28th seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez; 31st seed Vasek Pospisil; 29th seed Ivo Karlovic and 32nd seed Dmitry Tursnov. The women who won’t be seen in action anymore would be; 7th seed Jelena Jankovic; 14th seed Sara Errani; 17th seed Samantha Stosur; 18th seed Sloane Stephens; 21st seed Roberta Vinci; 26th seed Anastasia Pavlychenkova; 27th seed Garbine Muguruza; 28th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and 29th seed Sorana Cirstea.
The buzz on Center Court on Tuesday was about Rafael Nadal dropping the first set in his match against world no.51 Martin Klizan of Slovakia. While the match was still in progress, sad memories of Nadal’s first round loss, a year ago, came back to haunt his supporters in the stands. In 2013, fresh from his 8th Roland Garros triumph, Nadal was seen off by Steve Darcis of Belgium, ranked No.135 in the world. But Nadal was determined to prevent the recurrence yesterday. All he needed to do was to take the second set from Klizan. Once the fiercely competitive Nadal had the measure of Klizan, he was able to control the rest of the match. The Slovak tried his luck but it was too late as the Spaniard won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to set up a second round clash with the familiar figure of Lukas Rosol. Nadal’s fans know him well as he was the guy, who put brakes on Nadal’s path two years ago in the second round. Nadal will be keen to take his revenge on Rosol this time round.
In another absorbing duel completed at court no.1 on Tuesday, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had a tough first round opponent in Austria’s Jurgen Melzer. This match had started on Monday but rain interruption caused a suspension, when Tsonga was leading 5-4. He was about to serve for the match in the final set, when play was called off. But Tsonga was fully stretched on Monday after easily pocketing the first set 6-1 in 23 minutes. Melzer came back in the match strongly to take the second and third sets from Tsonga 6-3, 6-3 and created a scare. But Tsonga is not one to wilt under sudden pressure. He loves the grass courts of Wimbledon and in the last four years he has made to the quarterfinals on three occasions. Down 1-2 on sets, Tsonga rallied in the fourth set to take it at 6-2 and assumed command thereafter. He would have finished the match on Monday but rains prevented that. On Tuesday, in just two minutes of play, the Frenchman wrapped up the match 6-1, 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Top seed Novak Djokovic didn’t break much sweat on Monday in winning his first round match against Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev 6-0, 6-1, 6-4. In other first round matches, Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer defeated Paolo Lorenzi of Italy 6-1, 6-1, 6-3; Federer’s compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-3, 6-4, 6-3; Serena Williams beat compatriot Anna Tatishvili 6-1, 6-2; Romanian third seed Simona Halep beat Teliana Pereira of Brazil 6-2, 6-2 and Maria Sharapova beat Samantha Murray of UK 6-1, 6-0.