Grunts in the Sun – Wimbledon First Week Review

After just about managing to give you a day 1 round-up on time, I consequently failed to keep up such a feat. A bit of overtime at work, getting down to the courts to play myself or indeed attending the championships themselves (On the first Wednesday – pics and report soon) – it’s all been a bit hectic.

Anywho, it has been a fine, fine tournament so far – plenty of shocks, five set epics and Murray aside – some remaining British interest in the doubles events.

Just as well after one of the most dismal performances by the home nation here in decades. All the more painful regarding the vast improvement – particularly from the ladies – from British tennis in the last year.

There were tears and tantrums as Anne Keothavong, young Laura Robson, Georgie Stoop, Alex Bogdanovic, Josh Goodall and co all bowed out over the first two days.

Only perennial fighter Elena Baltacha and the given Murray made it through to the second round – two Brits from Eleven starters.

Unpleasant stats but British tennis is not in the crisis of previous years: we do have two current top 100 women and elsewhere from the Slams the lads are performing much more consistently.

As ever it is the pressure of these two weeks – where the whole nation suddenly pretends to give a damn, sees our lot come unstuck to the crème de la crème and assume that is the case week in week out. You have to feel sorry for our players – true they are not good enough, but this is down to coaching and the still very backward attitude towards the game in this country.

Still, it is obvious now that these players would only benefit from a few rounds of tennis before the championship begins – a bit of qualifying will help settle their nerves and find some rhythm before the biggest tournament of their year. Wildcards should be left for the younger contingent that are making the headlines for all the right reasons.

At the business end of discussion – the men’s singles saw some excellent matches and a few shocks scattered throughout the week. Crucially though, the already depleted entry list has remained healthy – especially on the top half which saw the loss of Nadal and then Del Potro.

The latter’s conqueror Lleyton Hewitt is looking like his old self here once again, whether that is now good enough against the new breed of Murray and co is doubtful. The Aussie will have to fight off Roddick in the quarters before he can even contemplate a match with the Scot.

Roddick himself has not yet found his best form here, but even when he is playing poorly, that big serve, improved fitness and renewed desire will see him through.

Tommy Haas is playing well, a highlight surely his five set battle against the dangerous but still young Cillic – a modern day mix of Goran and Ancic if ever there was one.

The Women’s’ side has seen some welcome trends – the one dimensional ‘Ova’s’ (Sharapova not included) have been losing out to some new names from the established tennis nations. Indeed a lot of the younger players are losing out here to the old hands. The biggest upsets so far only confirm this fortnightly decline of eastern Europe – American Melanie Oudin’s (Oudini surely) victory over a lacklustre Jelena Jankovic and Kuznetsova’s loss to young German Sabine Lisicki remain the highlights.

I must keep this short as the above distractions are rearing their ugly heads and I must return to looking at Ford Fusion data – still here’s a list of all the Seeds that departed in the first week:

Men:

Juan Martin Del Potro
Jo Wilfred Tsonga
Fernando Gonzalez
Marian Cillic
Nikolay Davydenko
Tommy Robredo
Marat Safin
David Ferrer
James Blake
Rainer Schuettler
Dimitry Tursunov
Phillip Kohlschreiber
Feliciano Lopez
Jurgen Melzer
Mardy Fish
Victor Hanescu
Igor Andreev
Victor Troicki
Alberto Montanes

Women

Svetlana Kuznetsova
Vera Zvonareva
Jelena Jankovic
Nadia Petrova
Dominika Cibulkova
Marion Bartoli
Flavia Pennetta
Jie Zheng
Samantha Stosur
Na Li
Annabel Medina Garrigues
Alize Cornet
Alexandra Wosniak
Maria Sharapova
Patty Schnyder
Kaia Kanepi
Virginie Razzano
Alisa Kleybanova
Sorana Cirstea
Sybille Bammer
Agnes Szavay
Anastasia Pavlunchekova
Anna Chakvetadze

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