Guy McCrea’s Wimbledon Diary: Day 3
Finally some top seeded exits in the women’s draw on Wednesday – at the head, U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki. The Dane had two match points but ended up losing to Austria’s Tamira Paszek, in what for me was the best match of the tournament to date. It is incredible how much Wozniacki’s results have declined this season. Remember she was the top seed at January’s Australian Open! Now in the lower reaches of the WTA top ten, that first Grand Slam title also looks further away than ever. Wozniacki was clearly upset in her press conference afterwards. She offered the shortest of responses when asked whether her relationship with golfer Rory McIlroy is affecting her tennis: ‘No.’
I’m thinking ATP world number 13 Gilles Simon may now be regretting his comments opposing equal prize money after several WTA players ripped the Frenchman for making them. The escalating war of words was the subject on most people’s lips on Wednesday. Compatriot Marion Bartoli and young American Sloane Stephens were just two women who were critical of Simon’s remarks. The Frenchman’s post-match press conference on Thursday promises to be very interesting indeed.
Wimbledon’s opening few days are so crammed full of matches that star names often have to make do with unfamiliar surroundings. The latest example was former world number one Ana Ivanovic – who must have not have played too often on Court 14 before in her career. All available seats for the Serb’s match with Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez were snapped up over an hour before play. It was standing room only for the next couple of hours as the popular Ivanovic ground out a three-set win. Normal service then resumed straight afterwards though, as the 2008 French Open champion held court in Wimbledon’s main press conference room.
I also had a fascinating chat with German tennis writer Petra Philippsen in the wake of good second round Wimbledon victories for both Sabine Lisicki and Julia Goerges. The current strength-in-depth of the German players on the WTA is impressive. Philippsen thinks the key reason for it is Fed Cup captain Barbara Rittner’s role in player development: ‘She really has a clear plan for the juniors and also has been a positive influence on the special generation of Petkovic, Kerber, Goerges and Lisicki. Rittner is a like a big sister watching over all of them.’ Too much other good stuff to include in one diary entry here – but plenty of food for thought for the next time I commentate on one of the German women’s matches. Thanks Petra!
Guy McCrea commentates on WTA tennis for television and radio. Follow Guy on twitter: @GuyMcCreaTennis