Tandon's Wimbledon live blog -- Day 2
Need the inside scoop on all the latest news, results and gossip during the 2009 Wimbledon Championships? Our fearless blogger Kamakshi Tandon is on hand to fill you in on all the happenings every day from noon to 3 p.m. ET. Don't hesitate to ask your questions.
3:36 ET: And I'll leave you with news of Ana Ivanovic's dramatic 5-7, 6-2, 8-6 victory over the late-blooming Lucie Hradecka, where Ivanovic's service toss looked very shaky during the closing stages.
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She served for the match at 5-4 (held one match point), served to stay in it at 5-6 (faced match point twice), but finally pulled it together at 7-6 (with the help of a let-cord winner to set up two match points).
No such luck for last year's semifinalist, Marat Safin, who has gone out 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 against Jesse Levine. So it's farewell to Wimbledon for Safin, who is retiring at the end of this year.
Check back tomorrow between noon and 3 ET for more live updates from Wimbledon. Send in your questions and comments at email@example.com.
3:05 ET: Some of you may have seen the report in The Times of London that Rafael Nadal's parents are indeed separating as rumored. Makes sense that Nadal hasn't been able to find the strength of will to fight through his injuries as he has in the past.
When you're down, everything becomes harder.
2:58 ET: Kendrick will make the highlight reels with a couple of great dives during the match, but it's Andy Murray who comes away with a 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 win.
Kendrick even did a mock dive on the court when walking off; nice touch.
2:49 p.m. ET: A couple of questions about pressure:
Playing in front of home crowds often makes players extremely nervous,
but Andy Murray has seemed to enjoy it in the past. With expectations
growing every year, do you think the pressure of such intense British
hope will start to weigh on him? -- Diana
Does the hype about Roger getting No. 15 put on too much pressure or just acknowledge the obvious, with Nadal out? -- John
Well, I'm no psychologist, but the important thing for both of them is just to focus on their game and playing well, without thinking too much about the consequences of winning or losing.
Man, I'm sounding like a player -- "Just take it match by match." :)
But I think they both embrace the situation, partly because they know their abilities deserve it.
2:35 p.m. ET: What is it with knees at this year's Wimbledon? They resulted in Rafael Nadal's and Marcos Baghdatis' withdrawals from the tournament and struck down Severine Bremond Beltrame and Julien Benneteau yesterday. Now Dinara Safina and Gilles Simon are both reporting problems.
Here's Safina: "I have tendinitis in my knee. It's been bothering me since the clay-court season. Some tournaments, I've been playing just on Voltaren because it's so painful to go on the knee on the serve.
"And it's been OK. ... French Open was perfect, [but problems] started last week already in Holland because of grass. It's softer, so I have to push more. It's been bothering me."
2:22 p.m. ET: What has been going on with Ernests Gulbis? I hear you asking.
The talented Latvian with the flashy but unpredictable game has barely been able to win a match since February and parted ways with his coach, Karl-Heinz Wetter, during the American hard-court season.
But he looked upbeat after a routine first-round win here. Former mentor Niki Pilic is serving as his temporary coach, and he's been working out with trainer Pat Etcheberry in February.
"We stopped working with Karl-Heinz in America because our thoughts didn't go in the same direction," Gulbis said. (Not sure whether that's the royal "we.")
"I did a lot of physical workout, and I spent less time on my tennis part. So now I think physically I'm better than I was ever, and tenniswise, I'm getting my form back. I think I just need one tournament to play good.
"Today I was playing aggressive like I did before."
He's likely to meet Andy Murray in the next round.
2:06 p.m. ET: Andy Murray has been sporting a V-neck cable-knit sweater from his latest Fred Perry collection the past few days, but there's been speculation about whether he would really wear it onto the court. A little too Roger-ish, no?
And sure enough, he didn't. Murray stuck to a retro-looking but demure warm-up jacket with a classical Fred Perry polo shirt underneath.
Bethanie Mattek, where have you gone? (Answer: Out in three sets to Sam Stosur earlier today, and even worse -- the wire photographer at the match took photos only of Stosur.)
2 p.m. ET: Upset warning: Lucie Hradecka has taken the first set 7-5 from Ana Ivanovic.
1:59 p.m. ET: AmerDelic tweeting over his support for Robert Kendrick, who is hanging tough with Andy Murray in the third set so far:
I think Kendo needs a little plug here and there. Tell Gilbert to stop being Mr. Negative.
1:53 p.m. ET: The buzz is palpable here on the grounds (and the press center) as Andy Murray drops the second set thanks to an excellent tiebreaker performance from Robert Kendrick.
Many will remember Kendrick's five-set thriller against Nadal here three years ago.
1:46 p.m. ET: Question from S.M.:
Is Roger's wife with him this fortnight? ANY hints on when baby due -- and if it will affect his hard court season??
All Federer will say is that the baby is due "in the summer." All we know is that it's due sometime between Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. And it's probably a boy.
But the feeling is there's a good chance he won't play Montreal, Cincinnati or both.
1:37 p.m. ET: Line of the day comes, predictably, from Andy Roddick:
Question: Did you enjoy "The Hangover" (referencing Roddick's tweet?)
Roddick: To clarify, he's asking about a movie, not my choice of beverages.
1:08 p.m. ET: Question from Michael in Dallas, who reports it's 100 degrees over there (feels like it here, too):
I feel Roddick has yet to develop his game over the years. He's like the minor league hitter who feasts on fluff in minors, but can't catch up to a big league curve. Is there anything in Roddick's game you saw today that makes you think he's got a remote chance (or, as befitting for today's weather in Texas, "a snowball's chance in hell")?
It's tough to judge too much off a first-round match, but I'd definitely put Roddick among the top three or four favorites based on the way he's been playing this season. And being the third or fourth favorite means a lot more this year than it has for a couple of years.
It's pretty much the same story for Roddick at every nonclay Slam -- it's possible, but he needs a little help from the draw. I'm trying to remember this off the top of my head, but I believe Roddick has reached the semifinal or further at a Slam eight times. He's won once -- at the 2003 U.S. Open. The other seven times, he's lost to Roger Federer.
Andy Murray and Federer are probably the two players Roddick has only a slim chance against. Against everyone else, he probably has the edge. Let's see how the draw works out from here.
12:45 p.m. ET: Wondering about those rumors of Jelena Dokic's flying to Belgrade to reunite with her recently imprisoned father, Damir? Wonder no more: "Now and forever, there is nothing, no way that I would ever reunite with him or have a relationship with him."
Dokic, who hadn't played since hurting her back at the French Open, went down in three sets today.
12:34 p.m. ET: Some interesting off-the-court news ... Nicole Vaidisova and Radek Stepanek split up sometime after the French Open. That's according to the Czech journalists whom fellow scribe Tom Tebbutt and I managed to collar after Vaidisova's native-language news conference.
Vaidisova lost in three sets to Rossana de Los Rios, who prefers clay and is one of the rare moms on the circuit.
Vaidisova was in the interview room for more than 15 minutes, but the Czechs said they couldn't get anything substantive from Vaidisova on her slump. Everyone is mystified by the talented 20-year-old's swoon during the past couple of seasons -- her only notable result has been the quarterfinals here last year.
I went out to Court 11 in the middle of the third set, and the match came down largely to whether Vaidisova was hitting her serves and forehands in.
She hit some beautiful forehands to save match points down 5-4 in the third set but missed two in a row to finally give De Los Rios the match. Clearly, she's struggling with rhythm and confidence, but the shots are still there.
Vaidisova will drop to about No. 130 in the rankings, which means she'll have to contend in wild cards and qualifying very soon.
Noon ET: Hi everyone -- Andy Roddick has just put away Jeremy Chardy, who was the junior Wimbledon champ in 2004, the year Roddick reached his first final here.
7:41 a.m. ET: Welcome to Day 2 at Wimbledon. Centre Court has another star-filled lineup, with women's champ Venus Williams and perennial contender Andy Roddick kicking off the action on tennis' most hallowed stadium.
Then get ready for the start of "Andymonium" as Andy Murray begins his quest to become the first British man to win Wimbledon in 73 years.
Keep those e-mails (firstname.lastname@example.org) coming, as I also will be answering your questions and comments throughout the day.
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Women's singles: Serena Williams, United States
Roger Federer, Switzerland
Men's doubles: Daniel Nestor, Canada, and Nenad Zimonjic, Serbia
Women's doubles: Venus and Serena Williams, United States
Mixed doubles: Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Germany and Mark Knowles, Bahamas
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