Your Woman in Wimbledon: Day One

25 Jun

Everyone loves an underdog. Except me today when Rafa lost to Mr Darcis.

We had court three tickets (Ticketmaster rocks!) for the first day’s play and went early to see the warm ups. The Fed was on Court 10 hitting up with Marin Cilic looking loose, good humoured and about 19 years old. How does Roger do it?

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Then Rafa was escorted straight past me on his way to warm up on Court 11. His stretches were a thing of beauty. No apparent injury, just the usual knee taping.

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We watched our Court Three Matches from prime position at the baseline. Great Britain’s Elena Baltacha was convincingly beaten by Italian Flavia Pennetta 6:4 6:1 then Jerzy Janowicz of Poland overpowered young Brit Kyle Edwards 6:2 6:2 6:4. Finally Viktor Troicki upset his fellow Serbian, 14th seed Janko Tipsarevic.

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Baltacha receiving.

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Pennetta in foreground.

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Big hitting power server Janowicz.

Brilliant tennis. We needed to stretch our legs before the Caroline Wozniacki V Estrella Cabeza Candela match (Caroline won easily) so went up to Henman Hill and settled in with a bottle of Jacob Creek’s finest Chardonnay (£21 a bottle) in front of the big screen to see Stu’s countryman, Andy Murray, start his grand slam effort.

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Andy was struggling with Germany’s Benjamin Becker on Centre Court in the first set but drew to level pegging then pulled ahead. The partisan crowd drew a collective sigh of relief. Not so for Rafa on Court One. He was moving well but playing conservatively against a guy playing all out, unseeded Steve Darcis of Belgium.

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No matter I thought, Rafa often comes back from two sets to love. Except that he didn’t.

It was surreal, Rafa beaten…..I sobbed. Stupid I know but I adore that crazy OCD Mallorcan and hated to see him beaten so badly in the first round.

Somehow Rafa managed to leave the court graciously.

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Back to Court Three to see Pauline Parmentier of France and Andrea Petkovic of Germany slug it out. Powerful women but Petkovic was clearly the strongest and won in two sets.

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Petkovic.

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For most people that would probably have been enough tennis for one day but we noticed Aussie Battler Lleyton Hewitt’s score on Court One. Incredibly he looked like he was in with a chance against the 11th seeded player Stanislas Wawrinka from Switzerland.

Experienced court invaders that we are we circled the third level walkway until we found a screen to watch the match, queued with the others waiting for the players’ break, and hoped like hell security wouldn’t ask to see a ticket. They didn’t. We were in!

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Lleyton went up two sets to love after a nail biting tiebreak and we started to get excited. Stan has a big serve, Lleyton’s weakest aspect, but tonight Lleyton hammered away consistently until Wawrinka made errors and Lleyton won some key points at the net. On Wawrinka’s serve in the third set with games at 3:5 the points went to deuce so many times I was wringing my hands and holding my breath.

The relief when Lleyton won the advantage and the match was tremendous. I feel bad for the folks around me as I let rip a scream three times the decibel level of Azawanka and Sugarpova combined!

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This was just the first day of a fortnight here in Wimbledon. I hope we have the stamina to see it through. Our accommodation is a small but perfectly fitted out studio apartment fifteen minutes walk from the championship entry gates. Stuart is on horse strength antibiotics for his condition and whilst it is early days he is in less pain.

Tomorrow Centre Court with Serena!

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