Wimbledon 2010 - Day 1 - Tough Day for Men

2010 Wimbledon Championships
By Hiland Doolittle, June 22nd, 2010
Roger Federer Survived in the first round match at Wimbledon 2010

Roger Federer Survived in the first round match at Wimbledon 2010

Top seed Roger Federer received a gratifying welcome from the fans but was totally outplayed for two hours and twenty minutes before nerves got the better of upstart Colombian Aleandro Falla. The world’s second ranked player but top seed on the Wimbledon grass looked beatable and in fact beaten until a groin injury and the reality of the moment overcame the Colombian in a tense 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1), 6-0 first round match.

Federer came back from two sets down for only the sixth time in 875 tour matches to escape a first round knockout. At 4-4 in the third set, Falla orchestrated four break point opportunities but was turned away on each, including a rare miss of a forehand net volley. At 4-5, Federer captured the only break point he needed to get back in the match.

Falla was not finished. The Colombian received treatment from the trainer for a groin pull and then summoned all his energy for the fourth set. Federer helped get Falla jump-started with three double faults to give the Colombian a break in the first game of the fourth set.

Falla made the break hold up and was serving for the match at 5-4 in the fourth. The moment overwhelmed Falla who made two unforced errors to give Federer a 15/40 edge. The Swiss broke and after both players held, cruised through the tiebreaker and the final set.

Federer’s first round was just an indicator or the suspense to follow. Usually the first day of the major tournaments is predictable but now top seeds are fair game at Grand Slams.

Third seed Novak Djokovic escaped a five set come-from-behind win in the final match of the day 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 over Belgian Olivier Rochus. The Belgian had won 3 of 4 previous meetings between the two and seemed poised to win in the decisive fourth set.

Djokovic fought off seven break points in the set. The Serb converted on one of his six break opportunities and made the break stand in the 62 minute set. Rochus had converted on all four of his break chances in the third set.

Russian Nikolay Davydenko, the fifth seed, seemed down and out against hard serving South African Kevin Anderson. The tall South African fired 36 aces at Davydenko, who like Federer, came back from two sets down in the more than four hour 3-6, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3), 7-5, 9-7 marathon.

The Russian’s fighting spirit seems in tact as her survived threat after threat against the formidable Anderson. It was the sixth time in the 29-year old’s career that he has rallied from two sets down.

Last year’s runnerup, American Andy Roddick, received a warm welcome from the fans and then went about his business, disposing of fellow American Rajeev Ram 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. The win was Roddick’s 30th of the year and gave the fireballer a 71-16 grass court record, third among active players behind Hewitt and Federer.

11th seed Marin Cilic, 30th seed Tommy Robredo and 17 seed Ivan Ljubicic were all eliminated on Day One, truly a day to remember. Lleyton Hewitt, Tomas Berdych, Michael Llorda and Jurgen Melzer all advanced.

Tomorrow’s contestants now know the gloves are off and the world’s oldest tennis tournament is underway. All hail!


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