The beginning of a major grand slam is always an interesting time. You take a very large number of players (Wimbledon has 128 men and 128 women, for example), and cut that number in half in a matter of two days. So you get a mixed bag of the good, the bad and the ugly. Here is my breakdown of the action so far:
- First off, Happy Birthday America! And to celebrate, the Americans have had great first round showings out on the courts. US winners are Venus Wiliams, Madison Keys, Coco Vandeweghe, Sam Querrey, Donald Young, Stevie Johnson, my man Jack Sock, Ryan Harrison, John Inser and two first time Wimbledon first round winners: Jared Donaldson and Francis Tiafoe! I know it’s only the first round, but you’ve got to start somewhere!
- The outfits…NO controversial white outfits! Good job Nike, Asics, Adidas, Under Armour, and everyone else!
- Poland love…I’m going to throw some Polish love towards my favorite players from Poland, Agnieszka Wadwanska and Jerzy Janowicz, for winning their first round matches.
- We have our first upset, furriends! Stan Wawrinka lost his first round match against Daniil Medvedev. Not sure what’s going on with Stan these days, but hopefully adding Paul Annecone (Pete Sampras’s old coach) to his team, he can get his head straight and start winning again.
- Retirements! I believe there have been 6, yes 6, men’s players retire in their first round matches. This is a controversial topic, so I will tread lightly. To give you a bit of context, players are not on a salary or contract, so if they want to earn a living as a pro tennis player, they have to play matches. First round prize money at Wimbledon is ~$35K. So, even if you are injured, if you step foot on the tennis court and play one game, you earn $35K. Not too shabby. And that is exactly what happened here. Two of these matches happened on Centre Court today against two of the top players, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. If I was a fan who bought a ticket for Centre Court today, I would feel cheated. And, what about the healthy player who didn’t make the cut? This joker is taking up a space that another player could have had. I can see both sides of the argument, but I think this is something that should be fixed, in my humble opinion.
Stay tuned for more Wimbledon updates and have an enjoyable 4th of July!