Chris Evert isn't usually effusive in her praise, unless she's talking about Roger Federer, Martina Navratilova or herself. I don't mean that as an insult. When you've won 18 Grand Slams, you have to be hard to impress.
But the three-time Wimbledon champion was so enthralled by Wednesday's three-set thriller between Caroline Wozniacki and Tamira Paszek that she dubbed it the "best quality first-round match at Wimbledon I've ever seen." The sentence may contain a lot of qualifiers but coming from a woman who won her first Wimbledon in 1974, it's good enough.
Wozniacki and Paszek took part in a three-hour, 12-minute slugfest -- yes, a slugfest involving Caroline Wozniacki -- that included a rain delay, a roof closure, multiple set and match points saved and, in the end, a 5-7, 7-6 (4), 7-5 victory from the unseeded Paszek. It'll go down as a upset, but a victory by the No. 37 Austrian over the struggling Wozniacki shouldn't qualify. Paszek was coming off a tournament win on the grass courts of Eastbourne, while Wozniacki has slipped from No. 1 to No. 7 in the past six months.
The loss does snap Wozniacki's 20-match winning streak in the first round of a major. It became the longest streak in women's tennis after Serena Williams lost in the French Open.
Wozniacki was asked about the quality of the match and took a fatalistic view. "Tomorrow no one will remember how great a match it was," she said. "They'll just remember who won."