Reigning Seeds

June 30, 2016 — Rains stopped at Wimbledon today but seeds fell in buckets. In total 28% of the 64 seeded singles players lost on day four. 

The women:

  1. Muguruza (No. 2)
  2. Bencic (No. 7)
  3. Stosur (No. 14)
  4. Pliskova (No. 15)
  5. Svitolina (No. 17)
  6. Errani (No. 20)
  7. Jankovic (No. 22)
  8. Mladenovic (No. 31)
  9. Petkovic (No. 32)

The men:

  1. Thiem (No. 8)
  2. Ferrer (No. 13)
  3. Simon (No. 16)
  4. Karlovic (No. 23)
  5. Troicki (No. 25)
  6. Paire (No. 26)
  7. Dolgopolov (No. 30)

The two biggest upsets were French Open Champion Garbine Muguruza and Dominic Thiem. The young Austrian made a galant run to the semifinals at Roland Garros this year, only to be slapped aside in three quick sets by the future champion, Novak Djokovic. However, Thiem won his first grass court title a week later in Stuttgart, which shocked him. He doesn’t consider grass a good surface.

Garbine Muguruza was too tired to get past the second round today, falling to Qualifier Jana Cepelova. Photo credit WTATour.com.

Muguruza looked uncomfortable from start to finish in her loss to Qualifier and No. 124 Jana Cepelova, 6-3, 6-2. Muguruza appeared sullen and pensive between points.

“My energy was missing a little bit today,” she said afterward. “From yesterday I felt a little bit tired. And after the match today I’m like empty a little bit. She was playing great with no fear, but my energy was not there.”

Although Cepelova came through qualification and is a name that doesn’t roll off fans’ tongues, she is nothing to brush aside. The Slovakian has three wins over top five players. She shocked Serena Williams in her first round in Charleston in 2014 as a qualifier, then went through to the finals where she lost primarily due to exhaustion. She upset Simona Halep last year in Wimbledon in the first round. And, today, she took out Muguruza. 

“After winning the French Open and then playing Mallorca and practicing so hard, I think maybe it was a little bit too much,” Muguruza added. "I felt it right away today. I just have to recover; and, I have to learn how to recover and not reach a level where your energy is too low.”

The upset was played on Court 1, the same court on which Cepelova upset Halep last year.

“Last year I beat Halep on this court and I had great memories.”

Jana will have a tall order next. She plays 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist and 2014 fourth-round finisher, Lucie Safarova (No. 28). 

Dominic Thiem entered Wimbledon under a spotlight. He was the first of the #NextGen to break into the top ten; and, it happened right after Paris. His win/loss record (48-13) is comparable to world number-one Novak Djokovic (46-3). In fact, they are the two winniest players on tour. But Jiri Vesely, the six-foot-six 22-year-old contemporary of Thiem, was too tough and won, 7-6(4), 7-6(5), 7-6(3). This is the same guy who took out Djokovic in the first round of Monte Carlo, a Masters 1000 tournament, in April.

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Dominic Thiem during Roland Garros last month. He frequently points to his head when either thinking well or not well enough.

Yet the number of match hours, training, and traveling seem to have taken a toll on Thiem. Coach Gunter Bresnick, who heralds his tutee as one of the most determined he’s worked with and he coached Boris Becker for 15 years, was wary of Thiem’s expectations and outcomes at Wimbledon before the fortnight got underway. 

“The best of the season is over for him,” Bresnik said, the Wimbledon website reported. “I don’t know how far he can recharge his energy. There are a lot of questions marks. He said himself, he won one grass court tournament and he doesn’t know. There are a lot of players at Wimbledon who are not seeded but are better grass court players than him.”  

Vesely is on his way to the third round at Wimbledon for the first time. The big-serving lefty Czech is, of course, pleased. “I had a lot of confidence in the most important moments,” he said, the ATP reported. “In the tight moments I was more comfortable; I served well and overall I think I played a very good match.”

Like many other players that have been caught in the crosshairs of England’s wet summer, Thiem had to play two days in a row. His first-round match against Florian Mayer sputtered on and off court throughout Wednesday. He won, but because of the match backup Thiem was then called on to play again today. 

Number-three seed Agnieszka Radwanska also played two days in a row, coming way-too close to losing today when she faced Ana Konjuh. The Pole pulled it out in three, though, 6-2, 4-6, 9-7. 

“Yes, of course,” she said about adding roofs to additional courts at Wimbledon, the Telegraph reported. “Especially in the beginning of the tournament. We have so many matches. The draw is big. I know it’s a big thing to build a roof. But, of course, more roofs, better.”

Before matches got underway Thursday, eight players had not struck a single tennis ball, yet Novak Djokovic (No. 1) and Roger Federer (No. 3) had already checked into their third-round berths. 

Some ripe comments from frustrated players were heard around The All England Club as a result of frayed nerves. 

“I don’t want to play when it’s raining on grass,” Gilles Simon shouted at Chair Umpire John Blom, ESPN reported. “If I play and get injured I will sue you and you will pay.”

Victor Troicki let loose, too, as he battled Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The chair umpire made a call the number 25 seed didn’t agree with, which happened to bring that game to match point in the fifth set. According to USA Today, Troicki “grabbed the tennis ball and shoved it in the umpire’s face to show him there wasn’t any white on it so he couldn’t have hit the line.” He then screamed, “No way look at it. The ball … please look at it! White! White! Look at it!” For a finally, he yelled, “You’re the worst umpire ever in the world.” 

Troicki, as you remember, was one of the felled reigning seeds. 

© Jane Voigt Tennis 2013