Two posts in one day, you lucky lot.
Wednesday saw many a battle with several gruelling encounters on the men’s side and some telling form indicators on the women’s.
On a day of some rather one sided contests in the women’s competition, Simona Halep started slowly in what was still her first round match.
When we watched her practice yesterday the number one seed was hitting the ball well, but against American Alison Riske today, the Romanian looked distant and out of sorts.
A 2-6 first sounded the alarm bells but suddenly Simona woke up and took control losing just three more games from then on.
No such drama for Kvitova who again looked commanding, whilst fellow title contenders Svitolina and Wozniacki especially, advanced with minimal fuss.
Convincing straight sets wins too for Osaka, Keyes, Venus’ conqueror Wang, Kasatkina, Giorgi and Sloane Stephens but Carla Suarez Navarro and Alize Cornet both fell. Dark horse Pauline Parmentier finishing strong against her compatriot.
Whilst the likes of Djokovic, Bautista-Agut (who face each other next in a crucial 3rd round), Monfils, Goffin and – something of a rarity – Verdasco all recorded straight sets wins, it was a longer shift for others.
Several classics played out from court to court as Nishikori bided his time against Paire, Dimitrov squeaked past the young Donaldson, Chardy brilliantly blew away Berdych and most significantly of all, Zverev outlasted Lavojic.
All of them five set thrillers, zut alors indeed!
Elsewhere, there were wins for the swangsonging Benneteau, Carreno-Busta and Gilles Simon (dumping out Sam Querrey) but the people’s champion of these early rounds Trungelitti is Barcelona-bound once more.
Dominic Thiem didn’t escape drama either, and still has work to do tomorrow, 2 sets to 1 up against Greece’s Next Big Thing Tsitsipas.
Things are warming up nicely now, and it’s another great schedule tomorrow.
Day 5 picks
Benneteau vs DelPo
Hughes-Herbert vs Chardy
Stakhovsky vs A.Zverev
Sharapova vs Vekic
Safarova vs Pliskova
Mattek-Sands vs Petkovic
Rybarikova vs Bencic