The ladies also crammed a lot of matches into yesterday’s rain-free window, managing to complete the entire first round with plenty of interesting results along the way.
On a mixed day for the home nation, one bright spot was the performance of world no. 339 Sophie Letcher, an 18 year-old Australian last seen losing to Alicia Molik in the wildcard play-off. Letcher recovered from a dodgy second set and produced some inspired tennis at the death to clinch the match against veteran Severine Beltrame, 8-6 in the third.
She’ll be joined in the second round by compatriot Isabella Holland, 19, who defeated fellow Aussie Monique Adamczak (see what I meant by a mixed day?). Less encouraging were the losses of Ashling Sumner, overmatched against Anastasia Pivovarova; Monika Wejnert, who went down in straight sets to Sesil Karantcheva; and Viktoria Rajicic, who did well to take a set off Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko before succumbing 6-1 in the third.
Elsewhere, several seeds bit the dust. The veteran Duque Marino, seeded eighth, fell to Corinna Dentoni of Italy. I feel like I’ve been hearing Dentoni’s name more and more recently, and she may be one to keep an eye on.
Fifth seed Anastasia Yakimova was surprised by Canada’s Stephanie Dubois 6-4 6-2, twenty-first seed Petra Cetkovska lost to Germany’s Kathrin Woerle, and France’s Olivia Sanchez, the sixth seed, lost to Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, a talented player who has struggled for consistency.
The most interesting results of the day, however, came from players I’ve tipped to do well (as did some of the surprise losses, but we won’t dwell on that). Sabine Lisicki knocked out Michaella Kraijcek in a big-serving duel, beating the Dutch 76(2) 63, and Sania Mirza progressed to the second round over Kuryanovich of Belarus. It was also a good day for the British, although Katie O’Brien lost out to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s ex Mandy Minella in a match that … well, I’ll let her tell you.
However, Anne Keothavong beat Darya Kustova in straights and Heather Watson had another smashing win, this time over Kristina Mladenovic of France.
And now for the second round …