Top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic advanced to the 3rd round with a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 win over Adrian Mannarino in 2 hours 5 minutes under the roof on Centre Court. Djokovic held 15 of his 16 service games saving 8 of the 9 break points he faced. Djokovic broke serve once in each set – just enough to get the job done. Mannarino was the aggressor with 30 winners to 23 from Djokovic, but he couldn’t match Djokovic’s consistency as he made 42 unforced errors to just 21 from Djokovic.
Djokovic has been the best in the world at winning points on 2nd serve (he leads the Tour with 58% won for the year), but he struggled today as he won just 47% on his 2nd serve and threw in 8 double faults as well. Djokovic was so strong when facing break point – he hit 1st serves in on 6 of the 9 (67%). The only break point that Mannarino won came when Djokovic double faulted while trying to serve out the match at 5-4 in the 3rd set.
19th seed Bernard Tomic needed 5 and a half hours to play a 41-minute final set and advance to the second round 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 over Fernando Verdasco on Court 2. The match was postponed yesterday after the 4th set and was scheduled to resume at 11:30 am this morning. The match was delayed by rain and once it finally began it was interrupted with Tomic leading 5-3 in the final set. He finished it out at 5:16 pm this afternoon.
The final set hinged on break point performance – Tomic saved all 5 against his own serve and converted his only chance on an 18 shot rally to take a 3-2 lead. All 5 break points against Tomic came when he served at 4-3. He was down 0-40, saved 2 more break chances and finally held for 5-3 after 7 deuces.
The match featured 9 breaks of serve – Tomic saved 13 of 17 break points he faced and converted 5 of his 15 chances against Verdasco. Verdasco pounded 28 aces and won 72% of his 1st serve points. He struggled on his 2nd serve winning just 47%. Tomic had 11 aces and won 76% of his 1st serves. He won just 30% when he had to hit a 2nd serve, but survived because he was able to get 74% of his 1st serves in play.
3rd seed Roger Federer defeated Marcus Willis 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour 25 minutes to join Djokovic in the 3rd round. Federer continued his dominant serving – he faced only 2 break points in the match and did not lose serve. Federer lost 19 total points in his 13 service games. Willis was playing his 2nd career Grand Slam main draw singles match – this was number 354 for Federer. It was a stress free match for Federer – he hit 37 winners and made just 14 unforced errors.
8th seed Dominic Thiem got some revenge over Florian Mayer with a 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 win on Court 3. Mayer had upset Thiem in the semifinals of Halle just a couple of weeks ago – this one was a true Thiem effort. Thiem held all 16 of his service games and did not face a break point. He broke Mayer’s serve once in each set and that was all he needed. Thiem was the aggressor with 43 winners to 19 from Mayer. Thiem hit 71% of his 1st serves in play and won 87% of those points (52 of 60). Thiem lost 19 points in his 16 service games – only 4 points went against his serve in the final set.
3rd seed Agnieszka Radwanska advanced to the 2nd round 6-2, 6-1 over Kateryna Kozlova in just 63 minutes on Centre Court. Radwanska showed her dominating return of serve, breaking Kozlova 5 times in 7 games, winning 48% returning 1st serves and 71% returning 2nd serves. Radwanska missed just 4 returns in the match (31 of 35 back in play – 89%).
7th seed Belinda Bencic outhit Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-3 in 1 hour 17 minutes on Centre Court. Bencic hit 32 winners to 16 for Pironkova. She held 7 of 8 service games saving 5 of the 6 break points she faced. She broke Pironkova 5 times and missed just 6 returns in the match (51 of 57 – 89%).
10th seed and two time Wimbledon Champ Petra Kvitova powered her way into the second round 6-0, 6-4 over Sorana Cirstea in 53 minutes on Court 18. Kvitova held her 8 service games without facing a break point as she lost just 8 points on serve in the match. Her 1st serve was dominating – 7 aces, 93% points won (25 of 27). Kvitova had 20 total winners to just 8 from Cirstea.
• 1 – Grand Slam singles matches played by Marcus Willis prior to his 2nd round match against Roger Federer
• 1 – Breaks of serve in the first round match between two qualifiers – Albano Olivetti and Mathew Barton – with the match suspended at 3-3 in the 5th set (50 holds – 1 break of serve – 3 tiebreaks in 4 completed sets)
• 2 – Break points faced by Roger Federer in 2 rounds
• 4 – Returns of serve missed by Radwanska in her first round match
• 4 – Total points lost by Petra Kvitova in the first set
• 5 – Qualifiers reaching the 2nd round of the Ladies’ singles
• 5 – Breaks of serve by Radwanska in her first round match (in 7 games)
• 6 – Qualifiers reaching the 2nd round of the Men’s singles
• 8 – Service points lost by Petra Kvitova in her first round match
• 14 – First round singles matches that have not yet been completed (6 Men, 8 Ladies)
• 18 – Break points faced by Novak Djokovic in 2 rounds
• 30 – Consecutive service games won by Federer in 2 rounds
2016 Wimbledon – Day 2
It took 2 days and over 4 hours on court for Gilles Muller to come back from 2 sets down to defeat Santiago Giraldo 4-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 15-13. Muller held 35 of 36 service games saving 4 of the 5 break points he faced. The final set was suspended at 11-11 due to “bad light” Monday evening. Muller had 19 aces and saved 4 break points in the 5th set – all were match points for Giraldo. He finished the match with 51 aces (he’s 2nd on Tour for total aces behind John Isner).
2nd seed Andy Murray easily advanced into the 2nd round 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 over Liam Broady in 1 hour 43 minutes. Murray did not drop serve and faced only 2 break points. He lost only 6 points on his 1st serve and 17 total points in 14 service games.
4th seed Stan Wawrinka needed 4 sets to get by Taylor Fritz 7-6, 6-1, 6-7, 6-4 in 2 hours 24 minutes. Wawrinka doubled Fritz’s winners total – 48 to 24 and held 19 of his 20 service games. Fritz faced 12 break points and was broken 7 times – Wawrinka faced just 3 break points in his 20 service games.
15th seed Nick Kyrgios advanced to the 2nd round 6-4, 6-3, 6-7, 6-1 over veteran Radek Stepanek in 2 hours 26 minutes. Kyrgios showed off his improved return game, breaking Stepanek 6 times in 16 break point chances. He also hammered in 25 aces and held 18 of 20 service games.
26th seed Benoit Paire needed 3 hours 54 minutes to defeat Croation qualifier Franko Skugor 3-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-3, 10-8. Paire saved 4 of 5 break points in the final set and converted 2 of his 3 chances. Paire showed his overall game with 87 total winners (18 aces & service winners, 26 forehand winners, 27 backhand winners and 16 winners at net). Skugor had 59 total winners.
The ultimate spoiler Juan Martin Del Potro advanced 6-1, 7-5, 6-0 over Stephane Robert in 1 hour 31 minutes. The 2009 US Open champion has been fighting injury over the last few years but looks like he’s in form and could be a dangerous opponent. Del Potro showed his big game as 20 of his 30 total winners came from his forehand side and he broke Robert’s serve 8 times.
Del Potro was instrumental in Andy Murray’s biggest wins at the All England Club. In the 2012 Olympic Games Del Potro battled Roger Federer for almost four and a half hours in the semifinals before falling 19-17 in the 3rd set. Federer had nothing left for the gold medal match against Murray. In the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, Del Potro fought Novak Djokovic for 4 hours 43 minutes in the semis before losing 6-3 in the 5th set. Djokovic was running on fumes in the final against Murray. Del Potro’s next opponent is 4th seed Stan Wawrinka.
Top seed and defending champion Serena Williams had a relatively easy first round as she defeated Swiss qualifier Amra Sadikovic 6-2, 6-4 in 1 hour 14 minutes. Williams did not have a great serving match (4 aces, 5 double faults, faced 5 break points), but she showed her overall power holding 8 of her 9 service games and winning 53 points with aggressive play compared to 28 aggressive points from Sadikovic.
6th seed Roberta Vinci fought back in the 3rd set to advance over Alison Riske 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in 2 hours 3 minutes. Riske broke for 2-1 and held serve for a 3-1 lead in the 3rd set but Vinci dug in and took the final 5 games. Riske had 2 break points to get back on serve with Vinci serving for the match at 5-3, but the Italian was just too strong on those big points. In the deciding set Vinci was the more aggressive player (11 winners to just 4 from Riske) and the more consistent (7 unforced errors to 10 from Riske).
• 2 – Break points faced by Andy Murray
• 4 – Match points saved by Muller in the 5th set versus Giraldo
• 5 – Consecutive games won by Roberta Vinci to finish out her match
• 51 – Aces by Muller in that match (most in the tournament so far)
• 87 – Total winners by Benoit Paire in his first round match
• 402 – Total points in the Muller v. Giraldo match that ended 15-13 Muller in the 5th set (202 – 200 Muller)
• 4 hours 16 minutes – length of the Muller v. Giraldo match – longest of the tournament so far
o Since 2002 when the All England Club changed the type of grass surface at Wimbledon, serve & volley has become an endangered species. To help validate this, look at the total serve and volley points played in the Gentlemen’s Final since 2000:
• Serve & volley points in the 2000 & 2001 finals (2 matches) = 382 (191 per match)
• Serve & volley points in 2002 through 2015 finals (14 matches) = 343 (24 per match)
o The combination of so few tournaments played on fast surfaces and the improvement in racket & string technology has made it very difficult to use serve & volley as a steady tactic. The power, angles and spin that players can generate using the new technology makes volleying extremely tough. These days serve & volley is used mostly as a surprise tactic.
o Looking at 15 of the last 16 Ladies’ Finals at Wimbledon, from 2000 through 2015 (other than the 2006 final where Mauresmo and Henin played 55 serve and volley points), there were 5 serve & volley points played in those other 14 finals.
o Djokovic & Federer combined to play 32 serve & volley points in last year’s Gentlemen’s Final – all by Federer. As a comparison, 14 years earlier in the 2001 final, Ivanisevic & Rafter played 243 serve & volley points.
o When Federer beat Pete Sampras in the 4th round here in 2001 he served and volleyed 109 times – when he won his first Wimbledon title in 2003 over Philippoussis he served & volleyed 35 times – when he won his last title here in 2012 he served and volleyed 11 times.
o Players still go to the net; they just prefer to do it behind aggressive groundstrokes.
The world number 1 has failed in her last three attempts to capture her 22nd career Grand Slam singles title. What’s wrong with her game? Well, her loss to Roberta Vinci at the 2015 US Open and her loss to Angelique Kerber at the 2016 Australian Open could be attributed to Serena just making too many mistakes, failing to capitalize on her opportunities or issues with her most important weapon, her overpowering 1st serve.
In her 2015 US Open semifinal loss, Serena made 40 total unforced errors and converted just 1 of her 6 break points in the two sets she lost. 22 of her 40 unforced errors came from her backhand side where she can struggle when her footwork gets a bit sloppy (two handed backhands require more precise footwork).
In her 2016 Australian Open final loss, Serena made 46 unforced errors and put just 53% of her 1st serves in play (49% in play in the two sets she lost). In the set she won, Serena made a total of 5 unforced errors in 52 points played (1 for every 10 points played). In the two sets she lost, she made 41 unforced errors in 124 points (1 for every 3 points played).
But in her loss to Garbine Muguruza in the 2016 Roland Garros final was somewhat of a different story. Usually Serena is the dominant player, the aggressor who sets the tone and determines the outcome. But this match differed from her other most recent Grand Slam defeats in that Serena was outhit and was the player on the defensive for the majority of the match. Muguruza actually had more unforced errors than Williams (25 to 22), but she won 57 points by hitting winners or forcing an error from Serena. Williams won just 44 points in that manner.
One of the big reasons that Muguruza was able to be so dominant was Williams hit just 49% of her first serves in play for the match, similar to her performance in Australia. This allowed Muguruza to be very aggressive on return of serve and she took advantage by winning 20 of 35 points when Serena had to hit a 2nd serve.
Coming into Wimbledon Serena Williams leads the WTA Tour in service games won, is 2nd in 1st serve points won but has won less than half of her 2nd serve points. As good as she is, Serena is at a disadvantage when she has to hit a 2nd serve and that is amplified when she’s facing her toughest opponents. So keep an eye on her 1st serve percentage and her unforced errors – when those go the wrong way even the best in the world will struggle.
2016 Wimbledon – Day 1
Ladies’ Singles Upsets
It took just 1 hour and 4 minutes for the first upset of the 2016 Championships as Carina Witthoeft knocked out the 25th seed Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1, 6-4. Begu would have had trouble hitting the water if she fell out of a boat as she donated 30 unforced errors (16 forehands, 9 backhands and 5 double faults). Witthoeft won her first career singles match at Wimbledon in her third try.
Witthoeft won despite hitting just 45% of her first serves in play (she held 6 of 9 service games). Witthoeft dominated when Begu served, winning 27 of her 41 return points (66%), and breaking Begu’s serve 6 times. For the match, Begu had 6 total winners and 30 unforced errors, Witthoeft had 9 winners and 13 unforced errors.
23rd seed Ana Ivanovic was dismissed 6-2, 7-5 in 1 hour 25 minutes by 223rd ranked qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova playing in her first ever Wimbledon singles main draw match. It was Alexandrova who came through on the big points, converting 5 of her 6 break point chances and saving 5 of the 7 break points she faced. Alexandrova was the aggressor as she hit 29 total winners (including 10 aces) to just 12 from Ivanovic. Alexandrova also made more unforced errors 28 to 21, but that just shows how she went for her shots.
Gentlemen’s Singles Upsets
The second upset of the tournament occurred on Court 16 as 21st seed Philipp Kohlschreiber was defeated by Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in 1 hour 56 minutes. Herbert put on a strong serving performance holding 19 of his 20 service games facing just 2 break points in the match. Kohlschreiber faced only 4 break points but Herbert was able to convert 3 of them, one in each of the sets he won.
Herbert mixed in quite a bit of serve and volley action, following his serve to net 38 times and winning 28 of those – Kohlschreiber did not attempt a single serve and volley point in the match. Overall, Herbert won 37 of 45 points that he finished at net. His winner profile shows his strategy emphatically: 9 aces, 9 forehand winners, 5 backhand winners, 15 volley and smash winners at net for a total of 38 winners.
Denis Istomin climbed out of a two set hole to upset 20th seed Kevin Anderson 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-3 in 3 hours 36 minutes on Court 4. The match came down to performance on 2nd serve and that’s where Istomin took control. He won 63% (42 of 67) of his own 2nd serves and won 61% (36 of 59) when Anderson had to hit a 2nd serve. The final set told that story best where Anderson won 12 of 14 points (86%) when he hit his 1st serve in play, and won just 2 of 11 (18%) when he had to hit a 2nd serve.
Istomin held 25 of 27 service games saving 4 of the 6 break points he faced. Anderson held 23 of 26 service games as Istomin converted 3 of his 5 chances.
In an all French battle, 17th seed Gael Monfils fell to Jeremy Chardy 6-7, 6-0, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in 2 hours 36 minutes on Court 12. Chardy’s forehand was the shot of the match – he hit 34 forehand winners and made 66 total winners to 44 from Monfils. Chardy held 21 of 22 service games by saving 8 of the 9 break points he faced. He broke Monfils serve 7 times. Chardy dominated the longer rallies winning 43 of 65 points that went 5 shots or more.
29th seed Pablo Cuevas fell to Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in 2 hours 39 minutes on Court 10. This match was a close as the score – total points won 141 – 133 for Kuznetsov – total winners was 36 each – unforced errors was 35 each – Kuznetsov was able to force 8 more errors than Cuevas and that was the difference. There were 15 break points played in the match – Kuznetsov won 8 and Cuevas won 7.
• 1 – service break in the match between Karlovic and Coric
• 2 – Set points saved in the first set by Venus Williams (she won 7-6, 6-4)
• 2 – Women who advanced to the 2nd round without facing a break point
• 3 – Men who advanced to the 2nd round without facing a break point
• 5 – Total returns of serve missed by Madison Keys (46 of 51 hit back in play)
• 5 – Total points lost by Daria Kasatkina in her 16-minute opening set
• 6 – Break points saved by Marin Cilic (he did not drop serve)
• 7 – Men who advanced to the 2nd round without losing serve
• 9 – Total service points lost by Jelena Jankovic in her 1st round win
• 18 – Service points lost by Ivo Karlovic in 17 service games and 2 tiebreaks
• 18 – Service points lost by Roger Federer in 17 service games and 2 tiebreaks
• 33 – Aces by Sam Querrey in his 5 set win
• 34 – forehand winners by Chardy in his upset of Monfils
• 67 – Serve & Volley points played by Karlovic
• 364 – Total points played in the Giraldo – Muller match that was suspended at 11-11 in the 5th set (183 to 181 Giraldo)