- Wimbledon, Day Two
Day of disaster for Australia
Say that again, to my face
After being criticised by Nikolay Davydenko for playing up injuries ahead of their first round meeting, it was interesting to see Andy Murray barely even flinched throughout a three-set evisceration of the once-competent Russian. Davydenko will probably think twice before making any comments about the Scot in future, we think.
Another victim of Italian passing
Laura Robson bowed out in the first round on Tuesday, succumbing to Francesca Schiavone in three sets. It was yet another case of Italian guile proving too good for English energy - now where have we seen that before this week?!
Schiavone even drove the comparison home at one point, controlling a ball that had already been called out with the sole of her shoe, before volleying it back to one of the ball-boys in one smooth movement. Skills like Andrea Pirlo, she had - although even Schiavone didn't have the cojones to attempt a Panenka-esque drop volley on a crucial point as she claimed the win.
Playing to the crowd
Towards the end of Rafael Nadal's ultimately comfortable victory over the questionably named Thomaz Bellucci, one of the Spaniard's wide, spinning serves found its way into the face of a poor woman who was sitting in the front row at courtside.
The woman in question, clearly with a finely-tuned sense for the occasion, proceeded to draw her programme up to her face as a rudimentary shield - a move that drew a greater reaction from the rest of the audience than even Cliff Richards all those years ago. After the applause had died down, she waited the perfect amount of time before lobbing the forgotten ball back onto the court - drawing yet more guffaws.
With comedic talent like that, we can only presume she pays no more than one per cent tax. Disgraceful.
Sing, home and away
As has become something of a tradition at SW19, it was great to see so many Australians turn out to support Leyton Hewitt in his first round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The former champion around these parts failed to win (or even claim a set), but the impromptu rendition of the Australian national anthem before the match got underway was nevertheless an enlivening part of Tuesday's action.
Grim & Tomic
If the travelling Aussies opted to cheer on Hewitt rather than Tsonga because they felt Bernard Tomic - a quarter-finalist last year - didn't need the support against young Belgian David Goffin, then they were proven to be wildly wrong. Goffin lost the first set but recovered to stun his more highly-touted opponent - marking him out as one to watch in the future.
Tomic meanwhile, felt the blame for defeat fell close to home. "The last few months I have been casually sort of working," Tomic admitted, perhaps unwisely. "I have sort of slacked off a little bit and look what it's costing me."
[Down] Under and out
Not to fixate on the Australians, but their demise on Tuesday led to an unlikely record. For the first time since 1938 there will be no Aussies in the second round at Wimbledon, a state of affairs that has only previously occurred twice - at the 1985 US Open and 2011 French Open. Streuth.
Is it a bad time to mention...?
With Australians faring so badly, did we mention how well British players have done already this week? Four homegrown players won were in the fourth round before darkness began to descend on the All-England Club, two in each draw - with Andy Murray, James Ward, Elena Baltacha and Heather Watson continuing to fight on. It's all a far cry from the days when Daniel Bogdanovic was about our only hope besides Murray.