THE WIMBLEDON BUZZ – Oh, the Seeds They Are a Toppling

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Bill Simons

AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH: When asked why he didn’t play any pre-Wimbledon warm-up tourneys, Rafa joked, “because if I play too much, then I come here, [and] all the questions are: Why you are not playing less? Now I play less and the question is: Why you are not playing [more]?”

OUCH: Croatia’s 39-year-old Ivo Karlovic hit 61 aces, but still lost 13-11 in the fifth set to German Jan-Lennard Struff, who will next face Roger Federer.


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‘YES WE KLAHN’: One of the good guys in tennis, the 28-year-old Stanford product Bradley Klahn, Thursday will be playing Britain’s No. 1 Kyle Edmund on the world’s best court – Wimbledon’s Centre Court. Fifteen thousand Brits will be cheering their man, but loyal Yanks will be screaming “Yes, We Klahn!”

LEST WE FORGET: Venus and mother Serena – ages 37 and 36 – are still going, and their Wimbledon run here to the third round is just the latest chapter in their careers. All the while, let’s not forget that the emergence of the two sisters from Compton is the best sports story of our era, or perhaps any era. You could say it would be like one family producing two Tiger Woods.

TWO NATIONS DIVIDED BY A COMMON LANGUAGE: Madison Keys said, “London doesn’t really care about the Fourth of July.” Then again, we might ask, how much do most Americans really care about England’s World Cup soccer team? Oh well, Winston Churchill supposedly said that the US and Britain were “two nations divided by a common language.”

THE VARIETIES OF LOSS: In 2015 Maria Sharapova had a great Wimbledon. She reached the semifinals. But since that run three years ago, the five-time Slam champ, who won here in 2004, hasn’t won a Wimbledon match, and her inability to win has come in an assortment of ways. In 2016 she was serving her suspension for drug use. Last year she was injured. This year she was up 5-2 in the second set of her match against a fellow Russian – the lowly-ranked No. 132 Vitalia Diatchenko. Twice Sharapova was within two points of beating her 27-year-old foe. But Maria – who once was said to be the toughest mentally on the tour after Serena – seemed tentative, error-prone and perhaps nervous. The 31-year-old, the No. 24 seed, suffered her first-ever first round loss at Wimbledon. Maria’s harshest critics point to her drug use. Others wonder whether time has caught up a bit with her, or whether the vastly successful business woman, who regularly has earned over $20 million a year, has lost her intensity. Indeed, Maria admitted her “competitive desire” was not that great at the moment.

IT’S ALMOST A WIMBLEDON MANTRA: After Katie Swan, yet another British wildcard, lost, the BBC said she gave us “a brave performance, but it was just not enough.”

OH, THE SEEDS THEY ARE A-TOPPLING: Overall, 10 seeds lost in the opening round, including Sloane Stephens (4), Elina Svitolina (5), Caroline Garcia (6), and two-time champion, Petra Kvitova (8).

For the first time in the Open Era, four of Wimbledon’s top eight seeds have been eliminated in the first round. It is the first time it’s happened at a Slam since the 2015 US Open.

Other seeds eliminated were Coco Vandeweghe (16), Magdalena Rybarikova (19), Anastasia Sevastova (21), Maria Sharapova (24), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (30) and Zhang Shuai (31).

By day three of the Championships, Caroline Wozniacki (2) and Agnieszka Radwanska (32) were also eliminated.

On the men’s side, Grigor Dimitrov (6), Richard Gasquet (23), Borna Coric (16), Leo Mayer (32), Lucas Pouille (17) and Marco Cecchinato (29) also lost early.

PRESS BLACKOUT: Sam Querrey, whose long-ago appearance on Millionaire Matchmaker drew much attention, married Abby Dixon on June 14thJohn Isner and Steve Johnson were groomsmen. Querrey revealed there was no press conference after the ceremony.


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