The Wimbledon Championships are done with the first week and preparing for the second one. A lot of chaos ensued in the first week, but will things calm down in the second one? Some players excelled so that they could take part in week two, while others were upset and didn’t manage to make the second week. Here are the disappointments and the surprises of week one at Wimbledon:
Disappointment: Marin Cilic
The third-seeded Cilic was tabbed by some as a favorite for the tournament. He was viewed by many as the prime contender to Roger Federer for the championship. Cilic made the Wimbledon final last year and had won the main warm-up tournament for Wimbledon, the ATP 500 Queen’s Club event, a few weeks ago. Everything was lined up for him to face Federer in the semifinals and very possibly meet either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal in the 2018 final. He took a two-set lead over Guido Pella, an Argentine without a good or long history on grass, in the second round, but then a rain delay robbed Cilic of his momentum… and he never got it back, losing in five sets. The fact that Cilic lost was shocking. The opponent Cilic lost to was more shocking. The fact that Cilic lost after leading by two sets – and then leading by a break of serve in the fourth set – is the part which might haunt him the most over the summer. It’s a hard loss to easily shrug off at this point.
Disappointment: Sam Querrey
The man who lost to Cilic in last year’s semifinals also tumbled out of the tournament early on. Querrey lost to Gael Monfils, a man with a very poor track record at Wimbledon and on grass in general. Querrey lost focus consistently and did not play with the urgency of a man who had a lot of semifinal rankings points to defend from last year at Wimbledon. He was expected to make the quarterfinals and possibly play Roger Federer. Not at least getting to that point – or coming even close to it – should trouble Querrey as he rests before the coming summer hardcourt season.
Surprise: Gael Monfils
The other side of the coin relative to Querrey belongs to Monfils, who finally made the round of 16 at Wimbledon after many times failing to get out of the first week. Monfils’ serve looks recharged on grass. He is winning a lot of easy points with his serve. He just needs to have one really good return game per set to win sets, a formula he used to perfection against Querrey. If Monfils continues to play at this level, he could become a sneaky threat in the top half of the draw.
Surprise: Gilles Simon
The French have some players who do well on grass, such as Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and then they have other players who are not as comfortable on grass, such as Monfils and Simon. The rise of Simon at Wimbledon is hard to figure. Simon won at least two matches in the same tournament only twice in 2018 before entering Wimbledon. He had done nothing to suggest he was ready to make this push, but now he has turned his best tournament of the whole season. What a turnaround this is for the man nicknamed “Gillou.”
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