Denis Shapovalov joined the long list of seeds to exit Wimbledon early this fortnight as he fell 0-6, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(3) to quirky Frenchman Benoit Paire.
The 19-year-old Shapovalov, seeded 26 at the All England Club, rued his missed opportunities, as he let the momentum he had from serving up a bagel in the opening set slip away.
“It was too good. He played a very good match and I didn’t play so well today. He deserved to win clearly today,” said the Canadian teen. “I had all the momentum after the first set, and I blew that. After that, he played really well and I wasn’t able to play well.”
“Obviously I wasn’t able to sustain my level today. Missing a lot of first serves. It’s probably the big key of it, but, you know, I just have to look over the match again and just do some brainstorming, find out why this kind of thing keeps happening.
“It was kind of the same story in the French Open. I had a lot of momentum going my way, and then all of a sudden it just slipped away from me. Yeah, it’s a little bit disappointing. I didn’t have a good grass court season. I got some tough draws. Wasn’t able to play my best tennis today, and, yeah, we’ll just have to move on from it and just learn from it.”
The 47th-ranked Paire, who made the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, survived 37 winners off the Shapovalov racquet and won 81 per cent of his first-serve points, to advance and set up a third round against Juan Martin del Potro, who defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 on Thursday.
“Benoit is a tricky player. He has too much talent,” said Del Potro of his next opponent, Paire.
“He plays all the shots on court. He can play drop shots, serves and volleys, can play flat with forehands and backhands. Nobody know who’s going to play.
“But Benoit also is a great player on grass. In the third round everything could happen. I will try to play even better than today.”
The All England Club initially started as a croquet club so the Wimbledon crew decided to set up a croquet challenge for the tennis stars there ahead of the tournament.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov, Kyle Edmund, Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza were among the players to try their luck at croquet.
Find out who succeeded in this challenge.
* Video courtesy of Wimbledon
An eventful and rain-interrupted day at Wimbledon saw seventh-seeded Karolina Pliskova finally reach the third round at the All England Club after losing in the second round here on each of her last five visits.
Pliskova defeated fellow ex-world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-3 to set up a third round against 29th-seeded Mihaela Buzarnescu.
On a day where women were given two slots on each of Centre Court and Court No. 1 (a third women’s match was later added to Centre Court), Venus Williams recovered from a set down to defeat Alexandra Dulgheru and later expressed her delight to see the women’s game given its fair shot on the show courts.
“I was really overjoyed when I saw the schedule for today. We have a lot of equal play on the main courts in the other three Grand Slams. It was just fantastic to see Wimbledon also follow suit. It’s wonderful to hopefully have that continue, to have equal for the men and the women,” said Venus.
Giant-slayer Ekaterina Makarova posted her 13th top-10 victory at a major by ousting No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
Active Players: Most Top 10 Wins at Grand Slams
56 – Serena Williams
37 – Venus Williams
21 – Maria Sharapova
12 – Ekaterina Makarova
Makarova: “I just like big tournaments. I definitely have different motivation, different emotions to fight. I’m ready to die to win the match.” pic.twitter.com/MynNi1oeUo
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) July 4, 2018
Serena Williams was impressive in her smooth 6-1, 6-4 victory over Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova.
Frenchman Gael Monfils followed up his opening round win over his compatriot Richard Gasquet with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), 7-6(3) success over Paolo Lorenzi.
Rain canceled the last matches of the day and suspended play in Stan Wawrinka match, where he was trailing Thomas Fabbiano by two sets.