Day 1 of the men’s tournament at Wimbledon saw some very shocking results, with two of the top eight seeds being prematurely sent home by lesser-known players. The defending champion Novak Djokovic also made his debut but won without considerable difficulties against Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Wimbledon Day 1 Men’s Recap
Who looked good:
Novak Djokovic initiated his title defense with a relatively comfortable 3-set win over the always potentially dangerous Philipp Kohlschreiber. He was dominant on his serve, cranked up the pressure on return at key junctures, and never really looked under threat in the first Centre Court match of 2019.
Kevin Anderson also started strong. Last year’s finaist has been struggling with injury for most of 2019, and he had a potentially tricky first round against Pierre Hughes Herbert The South African he made easy work of it, on the back of his trademark bullet serve. He and Novak Djokovic are the only Top 8 seeds remaining in this half of the draw.
Milos Raonic won his opening match with relative comfort against Prajnesh Gunneswaran, remaining unbroken all throughout. With all the seeds that lost today, the Canadian looks in good shape for a potential deep run here.
Stan Wawrinka was the first winner of the day, and did it in very quick and straightforward fashion over Bemelmans. While he’s unlikely to complete his Slam collection here, the Swiss keeps showing signs that a return to the Top 10 might be possible soon enough.
Who looked bad:
Alexander Zverev remains disappointing at Slams. After reaching the quarterfinals at this level for only the second time in his career at Roland Garros, the German fell to Jiri Vesely in the first round at Wimbledon. Zverev was completely outplayed after the first set, with the Czech dictating play and imposing his will throughout. Vesely has a history of good results at Wimbledon, but this still has to be considered highly disappointing for Zverev.
Stefanos Tsitsipas shockingly lost in five sets to Thomas Fabbiano, after saving two match points in the 4th set. This was without a doubt the biggest upset of the day, considering the year Tsitsipas is having, the surface the match was played on, and the fact that when these two faced last year at this same tournament, Tsitsipas won 6-2 6-1 6-4.
Grigor Dimitrov looked to be cruising towards an easy win over Corentin Moutet after easily winning the first two sets, but the Bulgarian completely unraveled after losing the third set tiebreak. He was breadsticked in the deciding set and continues his ongoing slump down the rankings.
Karen Khachanov might have won his opening match, but he did so with enormous difficulty against an opponent playing his first ever ATP level match in Soon-woo Kwon. Khachanov was very erratic, and if anything the Korean was unlucky not to force a deciding set.
Match of the day:
In a day of mostly straightforward affairs, this award goes to Pablo Cuevas vs Damir Dzumhur. These two clay court players fought an unusual battle on the Wimbledon grass. The quality might not have been the highest, but the intensity and drama definitely were. Cuevas hit two unbelievable back-to-back hot shots to help seal the win. Those points have been doing the rounds on social media, and are bringing good attention to the tournament.
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