Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wimbledon Day 2: Project 45

Curtain Call

Player: Guillermo Alcaide
Nation: Spain
Age: 24
Current Ranking: 238
Tour Page
Today's Result: loss to Gilles Simon (26th seed, France) in straight sets

Alcaide went through qualifying to reach his first Slam main draw. Well done!

I was glad for the chance to see Kei Nishikori (Japan) today, even though he got tuned by Nadal. Only 20 years old, Nishikori would seem to have a very bright future ahead of him. A couple of years ago, he went through both Sam Querrey and James Blake pretty efficiently to win the title at Delray Beach. He's a very smart player and highly enjoyable to watch. The Japanese have high hopes that he will become their highest-ranked male singles player ever. He has been dogged by injuries over the past year or so. It's good to see him back.

Our Girl asked today why the crowd is so quiet at tennis matches. I explained that the players need to be able to hear the sound of the ball coming off of their opponents racket and so forth. Then John McEnroe started yapping. "Why does he get to talk?" she asked. I have often wondered the same thing.

Catching Up with Old Friends

Anastasia Pivovarova (Curtain Call, Roland Garros Day 7)
- She just turned 20 last week and this was her first Wimbledon. She got creamed by Maria Sharapova (16th, Russian) today but Sharapova is, after all, a former champion here.

Pivovarova made it into the main draw as a lucky loser. When a main draw player pulls out after the draw comes out but before the tournament begins, the highest ranked player to lose in the last round of qualifying takes her place. Quite a lot of players pulled out this year so there are several lucky losers in both the men's and women's draws this year. Pivovarova is one of the beneficiaries.

All Part of My Fantasy

I picked Serena Williams (1st, USA) for the suicide pool today, a considerable risk. I am, of course, completely doomed if she wins the title. However, I actually believe that she will lose in the second round. You heard it here first.

Besides, I could have gone with a lower risk pick as I did with Nicolas Almagro (19th, Spain) in the men's draw. He lost, of course. At least with the women's draw, I'm still alive.

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