Sunday 24 May 2015 saw the first action of the second major of the season – although amidst the last day of the English Premier League, Monaco Grand Prix and the third day of the England New Zealand test, you’d be forgiven for missing the headlines.
Last year’s runner-up Simona Halep opened proceedings yesterday with a sturdy if, at times nervy straight sets win over Evgeniya Rodina, the Romanian still lacking the bulletproof consistency and confidence of last season.
From there, it was business as usual for much of the other headliners, with Federer, Wawrinka, Tsonga, Kohlschreiber, Nishikori and Muguruza all winning comfortably – Ana Ivanovic also progressed, but was taken to three.
Away from the title contenders, there were some tasty match ups that delivered, namely Marcos Baghdatis – now in the twilight of his career, with a straight sets victory of the likeable but tough Ivo Karlovic – one of a handful of seeded casualties so far.
The meat of the first round began today; with defending champ Maria Sharapova, Sabine Lisicki, Sam Stosur, Ekaterina Makarova, Victoria Azarenka, Sara Errani and Angie Kerber all sail through with little fuss. Flavia Pennetta and Alize Cornet prevailed as well – but both had to grind out hard earned victories.
The two biggest shocks in the women’s draw came in the shape of Agnieska Radwanska‘s ignominious exit to the little fancied Annika Beck in straight sets and Venus Williams ousted by her unofficial protégé of sorts Sloane Stephens who is still trying to regain the consistency which saw her become a household name.
The only real casualty on Day 2 for les garcons was Deliciano Lopez (l to Gabashvilli in 3).
Andy Murray, Gael Monfils, Fernando Verdasco , Fabio Fognini, Tomasz Berdych and Ernests Gulbis all triumphed with relative ease whilst elsewhere Gilles Simon, Roberto Bautista Agut and Tommy Robredo all overcame slight hiccups to prevail.
In another poor clay slam for the Yanks, a special shout out to Steve Johnson, who ousted clay specialist and 26th seed Guillermo Garcia Lopez in a marathon five setter on Day 1.
Opening day(s) seeds to fall
Feliciano Lopez (lost to Gabashvilli)
Venus Williams (lost to Stephens)
Agnieska Radwanska (lost to Beck)
Ivo Karlovic (lost to Baghdatis)
Guillermo Garcia Lopez (lost to Johnson)
Adrian Mannarino (lost to Melzer)
Barbora Strycova (lost to Pironkova)
Shuai Peng (lost to Hercog)
Caroline Garcia (lost to Vekic)