Cricketer Of The Year
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Moving the hole in the o-zone layer
The Championships, Wimbledon II - Gentlemen's Singles
- Monday (1st Round) - Wimbledon,
United Kingdom - Grass
- Eastbourne semifinalist Scotland Rivers has made a winning start at the All England Club after surviving a marathon five-set showdown with Hugh James. The World No. 42 was heavily favoured after his week in Eastbourne, and started very well to take the first set 6-3. The American continued to plug away, though, and looked well suited to the grass with his doubles experience clearly showing as he expertly volleyed his way to the second set 7-5. His unique serve-and-volley style continued to cause Rivers troubles, but the West CWLander continued to create opportunities and with a whipping backhand took the third set 6-3. Needing to win the last two sets, James made it hard for himself as he went down a break early. But through grit the American managed to smash-and-grab the set with a pair of breaks to send the match to a deciding fifth. There the errors began to flow, and Rivers was staring down the barrel of the first round exit with James serving at 5-4 and 30-0. However he managed to bring the set back on serve and then, four games later, earned a second break and took the match 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, 4-6, 8-6. He now faces a rematch against Patrick Pascaul the thirteenth seed after their meeting in Eastbourne last week. Pascaul won his opening match 6-7(7), 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 against José Navarro of Peru.
- In the same section, eighth seed Jefferson Drake came through his first round match with Bogdan Maurer unscathed and unchallenged as he ousted the Romanian in straights. Drake, a Queens finalist, looked in absolutely mint form as he battered Maurer with a torrent of big groundstrokes and a dynamic serve; dropping just four games all match. Drake also faced down just one break point in a comprehensive win on Court No. 4, and his 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 win puts him in good stead for a second round meeting with World No. 66 Petr Brožík. The improving Czech player came from a set down to oust Heinz Hainisch of Austria 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0.
- A five-set start was also what the doctor ordered for Ishan Narang as the qualifier edged out American veteran Jason Bradley. In unquestionably one of the biggest wins of his career, the World No. 108 beat a man ranked sixty places higher in a tough five set affair. The tall Indian-born player led two sets to love before the World No. 48 began his inevitable comeback. But in the fifth set Narang avoided becoming another player to let a two-set lead slip as he snatched an early break and hung on for a 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4 win. He now meets fourteenth seed Miroslav Brdar. In the same section, East CWLand compatriot Matt Bre was bundled out in five by France's Christopher Durand who won 4-6, 6-1, 2-6, 6-0, 6-3.
- Fifth seed Sven Oxenstierna was given a nice workout in his first round match as he edged out compatriot Pierre Rose. Oxenstierna looked the far better player throughout the first set, but failed to break Rose despite eight opportunities to do so. He proved too good in the tiebreaker, though, and after taking the second set to love he looked ready to oust his opponent easily. Rose continued to plug away in the third, though, but couldn't earn a break of serve as Oxenstierna advanced 7-6(2), 6-0, 6-4. The scratchy win pits him against Fok Zhenyu of China who beat Martti Korpinen of East CWLand 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Elsewhere, Jason Lawley went the way of Pierre Rose in a 4-6, 3-6, 3-6 loss to Ninteh Doh.
- The big story could have been East CWLand character Roy Daniels who caused World No. 2 Daniel Páez Blanco headaches on Court No. 1. Daniels had been involved in a number of bizzare media interviews with East CWLand newspapers last week, and was widely tipped to be trounced by the two-time Grand Slam champ. But in a fighting effort, he served his ring off throughout the first two sets to take Blanco to tiebreakers. Unfortunately he offered little returning and failed to convert either break point opportunity he was given. After taking the first two, Blanco cruised through the third to end Daniels' brief affair with international television 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 6-2.
- In other results, Julian Day provided the upset of the day with a come-from-behind win over 22nd seed Almen Benaglio. Down two sets, Day rallied to take the match 2-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5. Henry Charles, Britain's only real hope, looked done for as Den Bosch champ Anvar Juraev served out the second set. However, faced with a pillaging in the local media, Charles rallied to take the next three and escape with a 6-7(3), 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 win.
- Seeded players out: Carlo Amato; Almen Benaglio; Becker Haas.