There were a lot of injury pull outs today and overall the day wasn’t the most pleasant due to the injuries and controversies. My feature match going into the day was Alexander Zverev taking on Evgeny Donskoy.
One of the biggest controversial players of the day was Bernard Tomic who ended up falling to Mischa Zverev 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. Tomic didn’t play horribly but it didn’t look like he was trying for the entirety of the match but what really got the media and public upset were his comments in the post-match press conference. Zverev was very solid on serve and he didn’t get broken once in the match as well as breaking at the right time in all three sets. If Tomic had put in that tiny bit more effort he could have made this match competitive because he is capable of outplaying people like Zverev if he is returning well. The thing that really got the fans going was Tomic in the press conference where he said that he was “bored” while playing his match and that he can’t find motivation to try in tennis matches anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was fined heavily after the tournament after he said that he faked an injury to have an injury time-out in attempt to snatch the momentum from Zverev. I think that Tomic clearly needs some help and some time away from the game because at the moment he is wasting all his talent which is so disappointing considering how promising he looked a couple of years ago.
One of the other Aussie hopes fell a couple of hours later as Albert Ramos-Vinolas overcame Jordan Thompson 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(7-4) out on Court 5. Thompson played the best he could out there today but Ramos-Vinolas was just the better player and it was a tough draw for Thompson. The lone break in the first set came when Thompson hit a few lose backhands early in the match to give Ramos-Vinolas the early 3-2 lead and neither of them were able to get another break after that. It was a similar situation in the second set because Ramos-Vinolas captured the lone break with a lose game from Thompson to give the Spaniard a 5-4 lead, which he promptly took advantage of by serving out the set in the next game. Thompson was the better player for most of the third set and he had a lot more opportunities than Ramos-Vinolas but the seeded player played the best when he needed to. There were no service breaks in the set and when the breaker came around Ramos-Vinolas hit a lot of winners to take the match. Ramos-Vinolas looked a lot better than I thought he would on the grass courts but I still don’t see him advancing very deep at this event.
My feature match saw the young German Alexander Zverev move past Federer’s conqueror in Dubai Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 7-6(7-3), 6-3. I was surprised at how well Donskoy played and how he really challenged Zverev but the young gun was still in control for most of the match. Both men were very good on serve and both were very hard to break but in the end it came down to Zverev hitting that extra ball in. Donskoy came out a bit nervous and he wasn’t going for what he should have been on his serve which gave Zverev the lone break of the first set to lead 4-3. The second set was very tight and a high quality set but when the business end of the set came around Donskoy seemed to get a little bit nervous which the professional Zverev took advantage of to get through the breaker relatively easily. A fatigued Donskoy dropped an early break in the third set and that was all Zverev needed to close out the final set to get through a tough but manageable first round match. A lot of people are looking to Zverev for a deep run at Wimbledon but he is going to have to play a bit better than today for that to happen.
We also saw our current world number 1 Angelique Kerber get her Wimbledon campaign underway as she got past Irina Falconi 6-4, 6-4. Kerber should be getting through these matches a lot easier considering that Falconi wasn’t playing that well. Falconi was very nervous to start as she quickly fell down a double break to give Kerber a 3-0 lead. From there on Kerber was not holding serve well but she eventually held to take the first set in an unconvincing fashion. The second set started with four straight breaks of serve before Kerber finally held serve but that was a uncommon occurrence of the match. Kerber went on to eventually serve out a disappointing first round win which she was quick to criticise in her post match press conference. If Kerber does go out early this tournament I think it would be a blessing in disguise because it would take all the number 1 player pressure off the German. If Kerber does want any hope of defending her final points from last year her level is going to have to get a lot better throughout the fortnight.