The Championships, Wimbledon II - Gentlemen's Singles
GRAND SLAM - Monday (1st Round) - Wimbledon,
United Kingdom - Grass
- The first match on Centre Court of the Season II Championships saw defending champion Darcy Cowan produce a thoroughly unconvincing effort to defeat World No. 127 Tu Haifeng 7-5, 2-6, 6-0, 6-4.
- 31st seed Jarkko Maxum made a winning start to his campaign with an impressive win over American Waylon Jones. Jones, the World No. 99, provided an interesting test for Maxum and both players felt each other out in a tight first set. In a tiebreaker, Maxum was forced to save three set points from 3-6 and ended up claiming five on the trot to secure the breaker 8-6. Down a set, Jones looked to attack early in the second but was unable to break serve. Maxum, meanwhile, looked sharp on the return and caused Jones angst with some big groundies and impressive consistency. Jones failed to create the opportunities he needed, while Maxum was clinical despite his frustrations on the surface as he cruised into the round of 64 7-6(6), 6-2, 6-4.
- He will meet compatriot Spas Delev who survived a five-set thriller with Finland's Lari Färkkilä. It has been another underwhelming grass season for the Eastern enigma, but he started brightly to take the first set 6-3. The rapidly improving Fin quickly found his feet, though, and seized his opportunities in a one-sided second set as Delev was too quick to pull the trigger and struggled with his timing. He was far more competitive in the third set, but his serve continued to let him down as he gave up a 4-2 and then a 5-3 lead. The Fin clawed into a tiebreaker and took an unlikely set lead as he bagelled Delev in the tiebreaker. With his back to the wall, Delev finally pulled his finger out in the fourth as he got the jump on Färkkilä and began to come to the net more confidently. Färkkilä, meanwhile, was falling away and a double fault effectively handed Delev the set 6-1. With it all on the line in the fifth, Färkkilä couldn't muster the required game to overcome Delev who advanced to a meeting with Maxum on Wednesday 6-3, 2-6, 6-7(0), 6-1, 6-3.
- In the same section, there was a disappointing Wimbledon debut for Marcuss Deane who was thumped by World No. 5 József Boros. The teenager's preparation for Wimbledon had been most impressive, but he ran into a roadblock in the form of Boros who, although not the best grass court player, was the type of opponent Deane didn't want. The Hungarian made few errors and drew Deane into a number of clay-like rallies the teenager clearly did not want to be involved in. It took its toll on him as he made key mistakes when opportunities arose, and, worse still, lost confidence on serve. Deane still has a promising career ahead of him, and it was a beating that he will learn from as Boros showed him how far he has to come. The 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 win sets up a second round clash with Gunther Heug who outlasted Morton Blundell 5-7, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-2.
- Rob Bowenburg had just one tour match in preparation for Wimbledon, but made a bright start at the All England Club with a confident win over South African qualifier Ryan Miller. Despite a small hiccup in the second set, the Lob impressed as he disposed of a man with considerably more match practice than he in four sets. Bowenburg relished the quick surface and the shorter rallies and dictated play against the South African; winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. He will need to raise his play to have a hope in the second round - seventh seed Rasmus Olesen beat Marcelo Alavos 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
- No luck for Brett Read who, despite putting in a brave effort, was beaten by last year's semi finalist Zoltán Varga. After a love and one thumping in Halle against Carlos Amato, few gave Read a hope against the Hungarian and loaded up on some juicy straight sets odds. But he gave those punters cause for some concern as he shot out to a 5-2 lead, only to be reeled back in by the ninth seed who started to find his groove. Despite the strong start, Read began to fall prey to the shotmaking ability of Varga who began to decimate the West CWLander as he claimed eleven of the next twelve games. After a horror stretch was finally broken by Read in the first game of the third, he started to work Varga down and answered with his own aggression. Ultimately, though, he was unable to take a set off Varga who crucially took a break late in the set to secure passage to the second round 7-5, 6-1, 7-5. In a bizzare twist, Varga now meets his brother János following his 6-1, 7-5, 7-5 win over English wildcard Scott Whitehouse.
- Despite a gentle draw, 23rd seed Heath Davis has been given a nice hitout in his first round win over Jordan Mutch. The British wildcard was not expected to produce any great challenge for the West CWLand character, but came back brightly after going down 3-0 to have a break point at 4-4. Unfortunately for him, Davis aced him three times in a row and then broke immediately to take the set before starting to brutalise him in the second set. Davis, the World No. 27, showed form in the second set that more accurately represented his ranking but Mutch continued to hang on and again had break points early in the third. Despite a brave performance, Davis eased through in three sets 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 but will no doubt be grateful for a bit of match practice at the All England Club. Next up is qualifier Flavio Augusto Martins who surprised Rosmalen quarter finalist Evgeny Volkoff 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
- Finally, sixteenth seed Jojo Mustard made a winning start on Court No. 1 in a tough first round meeting with Aussie Toby Brookes. Brookes hit form last week with a semi final in Eastbourne, and looked a likely type early against Mustard as he was level at 5-5. The West CWLander got the decisive break, though, and served out the set 7-5. He kicked it up a gear in the second and Brookes wilted as he failed to provide much resistance to the Mustard onslaught. Brookes relies on staying in rallies, and Mustard did not give him that chance as he struck clean winners to take the set to love. Brookes stayed with him in the third like a lost puppy, but it was only a matter of time before Mustard converted a chance to secure a 7-5, 6-0, 7-5 win. He next meets Norway's Tom Vollan who beat Australian wildcard Adam Murray 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(1).
- Elsewhere, there was carnage in second three as two seeds fell. First, Russian prodigy Boris Denisov showed that he is better than his thrashing at the hands of Sven Oxenstierna in Halle as he stunned a quarterfinalist from last year in Kim Vollan 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-4. Elsewhere, another Norwegian was involved but got a win as Haiku Morkel ousted Sanchez Emelio the 26th seed 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-2.
- Seeded players out: Sanchez Emelio; Kim Vollan.