Milestones, upset highs, knockout lows, unfortunate retirements, emotions and stories of bored players filled the opening two days of the 2017 Championships. The tennis world was buzzing for more of the excitement at SW19 on day three and we were surely not disappointed.
Great Britain’s Johanna Konta got the day underway on Centre Court against Croatia’s Donna Vekic. Konta, who in the first round avenged for her French Open loss to Su-Wei Hsieh, had another score to settle, this time against the 21-year old Croat who triumphed over the Briton at the Aegon Open in Nottingham.
There was very little to separate the two power players who gave little away in their service games. Konta snatched the first set in a tiebreak 7-6(4), Vekic responded and drew level in the second 6-4.
It got even tighter in the deciding set with every 0-30 deficit or break point opportunity being snuffed out by a gutsy serve. After three hours and 10 minutes on court and 18 games in the decider, Konta was the last woman standing after an error by Vekic.
The Briton avenged another defeat with the score 7-6(4) 4-6 10-8 to reach the third round at Wimbledon for the first time. Many described this marathon the match of the tournament so far, hats off to Vekic for her effort as well in making it a great match.
Next on the premier court was men’s defending champion Andy Murray playing against the entertaining German Dustin Brown. Murray aware of facing a player with an unorthordox game, did his home work really well in order not to fall prey as Rafael Nadal did back in 2015, in the same round on the same court.
The Scot was had his serves firing and was equal to the tricky drop shots and volleys of Brown. It was not to be for the ‘Dreddy man’ as he was dispatched in an hour and 36 minutes, Murray winning in straight sets 6-3 6-2 6-2. Fabio Fognini will provide the challenge for the top seed in the third round. The Italian scored a 7-6(3) 6-4 6-2 victory over Czech Repulic’s Jiri Vesely on Court 12. Murray will have his cut out knowing how dangerous Fognini can be.
Wins for Aljaz Bedene and Heather Watson gave the British crowd more to cheer about. In fact, it’s been exaclty two decades since Britain had four players reach the singles third round at the All England Club. Watson scored an impressive 6-0 6-4 win over 18th seed Anastasija Sevastova while Bedene edged Bosnian Damir Dzumhur in four sets.
Rafael Nadal had no big worries seeing off American Donald Young. The Spaniard’s 6-4 6-2 7-5 win sets a date with NextGen star Karen Khachanov, the Russian beating Thiago Monteiro in four set.
Men’s 7th seed Marin Cilic overcame Florian Mayer with a 7-6(2) 6-4 7-5 win, the Croat will take on Steve Johnson next. 9th seed Kei Nishikori was stretched but came through in four against Ukraine’s Sergey Stakhovsky. Daniil Medvedev failed to back up his first round upset of Stan Wawrinka after being knocked out by qualifier Adam Bemelmans.
Roberto Bautista Agut, Sam Querrey, Gilles Muller, Kevin Anderson and Jerzy Janowicz have all booked their place in the round of 64.
In the ladies draw, Madison Brengle ended the hopes of two-time champion Petra Kvitova with a 6-3 1-6 6-2 win. Victoria Azarenka kept her comeback on course by knocking out 15th seed Elena Vesnina. Camila Giorgi took down 18th seed Madison Keys, Naomi Osaka sent Barbora Strycova packing with a 6-1 0-6 6-4 win.
Second seed Simona Halep,Elina Svitolina, Venus Williams, Jelena Ostapenko, Dominika Cibulkova, Caroline Garcia, Shuai Peng, Maria Sakkari, Ana Konjuh and Carina Witthoeft have all booked their place in the third round.