Commentary

It ain't coming easy for Ana

Updated: June 24, 2009, 10:00 AM ET
By Ravi Ubha | Special to ESPN.com

Here are 10 things we learned on Day 2 at Wimbledon:

1. Safin's time is up

After Marat Safin reached the semifinals on a surface he once loathed, a majority of tennis fans hoped he would go deep at Wimbledon in his final appearance.

It didn't happen.

The charismatic, comedic (and many other adjectives) Russian fell to U.S. qualifier Jesse Levine 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4.

Safin will call it quits when the campaign ends.

2. Ivanovic's struggles continue

The pressure is off Ana Ivanovic, so maybe the Serbian starlet will pick up her game. Maybe not.

The 2008 French Open champion, whose ranking has tumbled from the top spot to 12th in a year, toiled against Czech journeywoman Lucie Hradecka, ultimately prevailing 5-7, 6-2, 8-6.

The key stat? Hradecka went 3-for-12 on break points, including 0-for-6 in the second set.

Ivanovic recently split with coach Craig Kardon and is back working with the group of coaches at Adidas.

3. It ain't easy when you're almost 40

In tennis terms, that is.

Japan's Kimiko Date Krumm, nearing 39, couldn't quite keep it up against precocious 18-year-old Dane Caroline Wozniacki as her comeback continued.

Date Krumm, a semifinalist on her last visit in 1996, led the ninth seed by a set and break before succumbing 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in the first round.

"Beginning of second set, I think it's perfect for me," said Date Krumm, a former world No. 4. "And then I felt little bit tired. And then the third set start little bit cramp. Then I couldn't move anymore."

French magician Fabrice Santoro, playing in his final Wimbledon at age 36, beat German Nicolas Kiefer, another 30-something, in straight sets.

4. Del Potro can play on grass

[+] EnlargeJuan Martin Del Potro
AP Photo/Anja NiedringhausJuan Martin del Potro is trying to build off the momentum of his French Open semifinal performance.

Juan Martin Del Potro impressed mightily at the French Open, reaching the semifinals and almost extending Roger Federer's French Open misery.

Grass is a work in progress for the fifth-ranked Argentine, though Del Potro looked good in a straight-sets dismantling of 2008 quarterfinalist Arnaud Clement. Just as in Paris, the serve was working -- Del Potro, 20, didn't face a break point.

"I don't know if I can win this tournament, but I'm trying," said Del Potro, who was a little sick after his French Open exertions. "I want to improve my game in this kind of surface."

Sounds like Rafa from a few years ago discussing Wimbledon.

5. Fairy tales don't really come true

Jelena Dokic was the toast of January's Australian Open.

Well, since reaching the quarterfinals on yet another comeback, Dokic has gone 5-7.

She retired at the French Open in the third round because of a back injury, up a set on Russian Elena Dementieva, and was hampered by illness in Tuesday's 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 defeat to German Tatjana Malek.

Dokic, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2000 making her first appearance at the All England Club in five years, complained of dizziness and an aching body. She called for the trainer and doctor.

"I think I made a major mistake with my schedule after the Australian Open," said Dokic, who is ranked 76th, more than 100 spots better than her 2008 year-end position. "I just played the wrong tournaments. I didn't play enough of them."

6. Triple bagels are rare

Especially at Wimbledon. But we almost had one.

Argentine Leonardo Mayer led Spaniard Oscar Hernandez, no fast-court specialist (uh, then again, neither is Mayer), 6-0, 6-0, 3-0, only to slack and take the decider 6-3. The match ended in 1 hour, 10 minutes.

Not since 1987 has Wimbledon featured a triple bagel, when two-time Wimbledon winner Stefan Edberg downed fellow Swede Stefan Eriksson in the first round.

Hernandez told Spain's El Pais newspaper that he had issues with his back, though nothing that would explain the score.

7. Five-set dramas can be traumatic

Poor Ivan Navarro.

Navarro, a journeyman from Spain who actually serves and volleys, lost nine straight main-draw matches to start 2009. He picked up steam last week at a grass-court tune-up in Rosmalen, the Netherlands, where he reached the semifinals.

The joy was short-lived, as Navarro lost 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-7 (5), 12-10 to Romanian veteran Victor Hanescu in 4 hours, 11 minutes on Court 5.

Navarro hit 18 aces but threw in 10 double faults. He was 1-for-6 on break points, inferior than Hanescu's 4-for-7.

Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas smacked 36 aces in rallying from two sets down to eliminate Belgian Christophe Rochus 11-9 in the fifth set.

8. The Brits aren't getting much better

All that money from Wimbledon, and still few results for Britain's beleaguered Lawn Tennis Association.

Of 10 British players in the main draw, only two reached the round of 64.

The biggest disappointment had to be the domestic women's No. 1, Anne Keothavong, who exited tamely to Austrian Patricia Mayr 7-5, 6-2.

Keothavong, at 51st ranked 29 spots better than Mayr, led 5-3 in the first and blew a set point. She wept during her postmatch news conference, halting proceedings temporarily.

9. Reality sets in

After a successful opening day at Wimbledon, winning five of seven matches, the U.S. contingent in sunny London went 5-7-1 on Day 2 of the fortnight.

The usual suspects of Andy Roddick and Venus Williams advanced, with Levine, Melanie Oudin and Vania King posting wins, too. Oudin, a stylish lefty, overcame Austrian 29th seed Sybille Bammer 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The health problems continued for Robby Ginepri. The former U.S. Open semifinalist won the first three games against 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt, then fell 6-4, 6-1, 6-1. Ginepri needed treatment for a neck injury he sustained last week.

Taylor Dent, at Wimbledon for the first time since 2005, trailed Daniel Gimeno-Traver two sets to one when darkness suspended their encounter. Dent is on the mend from multiple back injuries.

10. Critic's choice

Sam Querrey earned the chance to practice with none other than Roger Federer on Tuesday, he revealed on Tennistweets.com. The California native posted this entry Sunday: "This morning a homeless guy punched me in the arm after breakfast and it actually hurt."

Querrey will trade punches Wednesday with Marin Cilic, who's also 6-foot-6, in a Centre Court matchup with Davis Cup implications. The U.S. visits Croatia in the Davis Cup quarterfinals following Wimbledon.

ESPN.com prediction: Cilic in five.

Ravi Ubha is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com.

London-based Ravi Ubha covers soccer and tennis for ESPN.com.