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An exciting first week ends as tradition is restored at Wimbledon Championship

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Czech Republic’s Jiri Vesely celebrates beating Germany’s Alexander Zverev during their men’s singles first round match on the first day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 1, 2019. Ben STANSALL / AFP

The four grand slam events occupy a fortnight. In the days of yore, the middle Sunday was free of matches. As the pressure mounted on the organisers, especially with inclement weather, the organizers in London, New York, Melbourne, Paris, London and New York jettisoned the free Sunday and scheduled matches for the eighth day. Now that there are retractable roofs over the main bowls in three of the locations, except Paris, the effect of weather has been reduced.

The first week produced a legion of upsets as six top 10 seeded players lost in the gentlemen’s event. Austria’s Dominic Thiem (seeded fifth) lost to American Sam Querrey, 6/7 (4), 7/6 (1), 6/3, 6/0 first round.

Germany’s Alexander Zverev (seeded sixth) was defeated by Czech, Jiri Vecsley in the first round, just as Greek, Stefanos Tsitsipas (7) lost to Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano 6/4, 3/6, 6/4, 6/7 (10), 6/3 in the first round.

American John Isner (9) lost to Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6/4, 6/7 (3), 4/6, 6/1, 6/4 in the first round, same with South Africa’s Kevin Anderson (fourth seed), who lost in the second round to Guido Pella of Argentina, 6/4, 6/3, 6/4.

Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut sent out Russia’s Karen Khachanov (10) 6/3, 7/6 (3), 6/1.

In the ladies event, Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan produced the first shock with her dismissal of Naomi Osaka 7/6 (4), 6/2 on opening Monday, just as a 15-year-old Cori Gauff defeated the five-time champion, Venus Williams, 6/4, 6/4.

In the first round, Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia defeated Belarus’ Aryana Sabalenka (10) and Margarita Gasparyan of Slovakia defeated the 10th seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 7/5; 6/3.

In the third round, America’s Lauren Davis dispatched former champion from Germany, Angelique Kerber (5), 2/6, 6/2, 6/1, Britain’s Johanna Konta defeated American Sloane Stephens 3/6, 6/4, 6/, and Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic defeated fourth-seeded Kiki Bertens of Netherlands, 7/5, 6/1.

The hype of the first week was Andy Murray’s return, after recovery from hip surgery. Murray won the doubles in Queens with Feliciano Lopez of Spain, but is playing Wimbledon with Frenchman Pierre Hugues Herbert with whom he is through to the third round after the pair defeated the sixth seeded team of Franko Skugor and Nikola Mektic of Croatia, 7/6 (4), 4/6, 6/2, 6/2.

After initial uncertainty about a partner for Mixed Doubles, Murray is playing with Serena Williams and they won the first round match over Alexia Guarachi of Chile and Andreas Mies of Germany.
Serena’s first career title was in Mixed Doubles with Marx Mirnyl at the 1998 Wimbledon Championships. That achievement has been eclipsed by her 23 Grand Slam titles starting with the U.S. Open in 1999.


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