Wimbledon Men’s Day 2 Recap: Federer, Nadal and Nishikori Advance

Rafael Nadal Wimbledon

Day 2 at Wimbledon saw the two most successful players in Grand Slam history make their debut at this year’s Championships as both Federer and Nadal progressing to the second round without much trouble, although the Swiss was given a scare by Lloyd Harris before advancing in four.

Kei Nishikori also made a winning start and is now the only 5-8 seed left in the draw after Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev’s losses yesterday and Dominic Thiem’s defeat against Sam Querrey today. The enigmatic Nick Kyrgios, meanwhile, won a rollercoaster 5-set match to set up a blockbuster second-round encounter with Rafael Nadal, whom he beat in February in Acapulco.

Who looked good:

Rafael Nadal got off to a great start, losing only 7 games against Sugita, a player with some grass-court pedigree after his title in Antalya two years ago. Things are about to get harder for the 18-time Slam champion though, as Kyrgios awaits in second round, with Cilic and Tsonga also lurking.

John Isner hadn’t played a single match since the Miami Open due to injury, so there were some serious question marks about what shape he’d be in for this tournament. The first match showed us that if nothing else his serve remains as devastating as ever. He blasted 29 aces and didn’t get broken a single time en route to a straight-sets victory over Casper Ruud.

Sam Querrey added another top seed scalp to his Wimbledon resumé. After defeating Novak Djokovic (stopping a 30-match winning streak at the Slams from the Serb) in the third round in 2016 and Andy Murray in the 2017 quarterfinals, along with wins over the likes of Tsonga and Anderson, the big serving American defeated the 2017 and 2018 Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem in 4 sets after being just one point away from going down two sets. The result isn’t a huge surprise considering the surface, but it was certainly an impressive scalp for Querrey, who looks like he could have another strong run at this tournament.

Marin Cilic has been struggling all year, going all the way down to #18 in the rankings after being as high as #3 last year and finishing #7. His grass-court season had been quite bad so far as well and a first round encounter against an accomplished grass courter in Mannarino was another potential banana skin, but the Croat, a finalist at Wimbledon in 2017, served well and got a straight-sets win that might give him the confidence he needs to finally get a good run together.

Who looked bad:

Bernard Tomic lost in 58 minutes against Jo Wilfried Tsonga, seemingly putting up very little effort and drawing the ire of many tennis fans calling for a fine or suspension. He’s a mere shell of the player who reached the quarterfinals in 2011, giving eventual champion Novak Djokovic a serious run for his money.

Richard Gasquet looked like an injured and spent force in his match against Pouille as he was routed in straight sets, looking like his best days are fully behind him.

Tomas Berdych had an illustrious career, but it looks like his days might be numbered. The Czech had a promising start to the season back from injury but got injured again and mentioned that this might be his last Wimbledon a few days ago and it’s easy to see why. After almost 15 years of an excellent career, the Czech’s body seems to be breaking down; it’s too early to write his career obituary but the signs don’t look good.

Denis Shapovalov‘s rough season continues as he was unceremoniously dumped out of Wimbledon in straight sets by Ricardas Berankis, who hadn’t won a tour match since Dubai back in February. Shapovalov’s season keeps going south after his great run in Miami and he has now lost 4 matches in a row.

Match of the day:

This award can only go to Kyrgios vs Thompson today, a match that had everything, crazy shots, two tiebreaks, a 1h15m set and an 18 minute bagel set… it was a typical Kyrgios  rollercoaster, with the mercurial Aussie coming through in the end to set up a 2014 rematch with Rafael Nadal in the second round. Things could have been very different if Thompson had managed to serve out the second set.

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images

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