Before I continue with my post I just want to correct something from my previous post where I said that if Djokovic wins Wimbledon he will become the first man to win five consecutive slams. That is incorrect.
He will become the first man in the open era to do so if he does it because Don Budge won six consecutive slams in the amateur era from 1937-1938. It’s a minor detail but worth mentioning I thought.
Djokovic is currently on a historic run and every match he wins is more history. Today he defeated local player Ward 6-0, 7-6(3), 6-4 after leading 6-0, 3-0. It was a blistering start from the two-time defending champion but as soon as Ward got on the board he started playing with much more self-belief.
At 6-0, 3-0 the triple bagel looked possible but Ward won three consecutive games to level at 3-3. He even had a couple of break points at 5-5 on Djokovic’s serve but couldn’t convert. Djokovic all of a sudden looked vulnerable.
It just goes to show how quickly things can change in tennis. If Ward converts a breakpoint there and wins the second set all of a sudden we have a match. But one of the main reasons Djokovic is as good as he is is his mental fortitude.
He saves the breakpoints and played a safe tiebreak to win it 7-3. In the third set, he got the break in the third game and from there on it was just a question of holding on to serve for the straight-set win.
In the end, even though it turned out to be a much tougher match than was expected halfway through it was a satisfactory performance and good start to his title defense. With Djokovic, the early rounds in slam don’t reveal much anyway.
Djokovic next plays Mannarino who is a talented French player and interestingly they have never played each other before. You would think Mannarino lacks the weapons to hurt Djokovic though.
- Federer Shakes Off Some More Rust Against Pella
Federer had a tougher time of it against lefty Pella but eventually prevailed 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 6-3. He should have gotten breaks in the first and second sets but the important thing is that he got the job done in the tiebreaks and avoided dropping a set.
Pella was playing quite well and he didn’t want him to get into the match too much. There was still plenty of rust from Federer but the fact that he got the job done in straight sets will boost his confidence.
For him, it is all about getting matches under his belt and getting match sharp again. So in that sense, this was a successful outing for him. He now plays another Brit Marcus Willis who had a fairytale run so far at Wimbledon.
I read somewhere that the world #775 was not supposed to be in the pre-qualifying draw but someone withdrew and he got in. He then won three pre-qualifying rounds, played a British league match, and then won three qualifying rounds to qualify for the main draw.
Then today he beats Berankis 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round. Astonishing. And as if that isn’t enough he now plays the 7-time Wimbledon champion, Federer. It’s one of those stories that you feel it was meant to be as if he was destined.
I’m sure playing Federer is like the ultimate for him and he will be just happy to be on the court with the legend. But who knows. Federer still has plenty of rust and I’m sure Willis won’t lack any confidence after winning seven consecutive matches on the grass.
It will be a fun match to watch that’s for sure, just to see if Willis can make it competitive.
- Elsewhere in the Draw
There were three seeds who fell in the first round today namely Kohlschreiber(21), Anderson(20), and Monfils(17). Other than that there isn’t much to report on.
As for tomorrow, the most interesting match will be between Thiem and Mayer. Clearly, for me, the top half is the interesting half where you have Djokovic and Federer. Therefore, my posts will mostly be about the top half until the final.