Wimbledon – Day 1 wrapup

WIMBLEDON – Remember a year ago, when drama crashed into drama and Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were out early and the whole tennis world seemed upside down?

That didn't happen on the first Monday of Wimbledon.

There were a few minor upsets. The Italian Fabio Fognini acted like a fool but came back from a two-sets-to-none deficit to win in five. There was a little bit rain late in the day – right before Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was about to serve for the match in the fifth set against Jürgen Melzer of Austria.

Tsonga gets to hold that thought all night long, which will be fun for him.

Oh, and a home-country fellow named Andy Murray got to walk onto Centre Court, promptly at 1 p.m., as the reigning Wimbledon champion. That was most definitely a memorable moment.

Here's a quick wrap-up of the day's results- the expected, and the slightly unexpected. But very little of the earth-shattering drama.

The Gentlemen

Advancing fairly routinely were No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic, Murray, No. 6 Tomas Berdych, No. 7 David Ferrer and No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov.

No. 12 seed Ernests Gulbis was on the edge a little against Jurgen Zopp of Estonia, but prevailed 7-6, 7-5, 7-6. The scores in the book-ending tiebreakers were 9-7, and 12-10. It could have been otherwise.

And then he talked about vampires.

Actually, Gulbis was asked about UMPIRES, to react to something John McEnroe said about being in favour of getting rid of umpires altogether.

He understood "vampires" – and the Latvian took that to mean not the bats-with-wings mammals, but the leeches, the people who hang around the tennis players. In other words, the "teams".

"I thought vampires in the way the people who are surrounding and sucking the energy out of players. That's what I meant," he said.

And it went on from there.

Notable on the men's side was the success of many of the qualifiers. It makes sense, really; all of them had three matches on the grass last week, in far more difficult conditions over at the qualifying venue in Roehampton, while the main-draw players mostly practiced.

Winning Monday were Jimmy Wang of Taipei, Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic, Luke Saville of Australia (over highly regarded up-and-comer Dominic Thiem of Austria) and Tim Puetz of Germany.

In all fairness to Puetz's opponent, Teymuraz Gabashvili, this is what Gabashvili's leg looked like:

As for Fognini, he was playing a Ukraine-born American qualifier named Alex Kuznetsov who is ranked No. 148 in the world. And the Italian, seeded No. 16, managed to win just three games in the first two sets.

He blamed a lack of grass-court play. He blamed a few other things, too, including chair umpire James Keothavong.

This is Keothavong, who is a Brit.

This is the gesture Fognini made.

It's not the most offensive thing the fiery Italian has ever done on a tennis court (believe it or not). But if we read it right, it's probably top-five. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was just telling Keothavong to open his eyes and watch the ball.

Upsets of the day: There weren't many; the most notable was No. 18 seed Fernando Verdasco, who went down rather meekly to excitable Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The biggest faux pas Matosevic made was when he changed his shirt after a set – and got all the way back to his baseline before he realized he had it on backwards and to execute another quick change in the middle of the court.

You hope it was a freshie, even if it was inside-out. Matosevic is a sweaty guy.

Meanwhile, all four British men issued free passes into the tournament (wild cards) who played on Monday lost. Rather routinely. And blamed other people, pretty much. The Man. Global warming. Itchy shorts. A bad hair day. But Andy Murray remains.

The Ladies

On the women's side, the defeat of No. 17 Samantha Stosur by the Belgian Yanina Wickmayer wasn't really a surprise; for whatever reason, Stosur just can't get it together on grass. You'd think she has all the tools – a nice slice, good volleys, a good serve. But it doesn't ever happen.

But the loss by No. 18 seeded American Sloane Stephens – a player who struggles to win matches at the average, workaday events but who has been money in the bank in Grand Slams the last two years, was a surprise. Stephens lost to Maria Kirilenko of Russia, a former top player who is coming back from injury and a break after announcing her engagement to hockey superstar Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, and hasn't done a single thing worth mentioning on a tennis court since her return. Kirilenko won 6-2, 7-6.

Most of the other seeded players advanced routinely: No. 2 Li Na, No. 6 Petra Kvitova (despite a heavy wrap on her upper right leg), No. 8 Victoria Azarenka and No. 10 Dominika Cibulkova (who looked like a world-beater against Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak).

And the good news on the American side was that Coco Vandeweghe, who won her first career WTA Tour tournament just two days ago, came back against a fellow tall, big hitter in No. 27 seed Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain and defeated her 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

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