Well that was a full day of tennis. Fed, Nole, and Rafa are through, as are the Sisters Williams, JJ, Lena D., and Dinara. Nicole Vaidisova, though she looked fitter, was still dumped out Alize Cornet and Dani H. had a typical Dani H. stumble but was still able to beat good buddy Ai Sugiyama.
But though the day went mostly according to form it wasn't without surprises.
Who didn't have high hopes for Muzza to make a run here? The story was just too perfect. A streaking player who would have to get past a player he has recently dominated and a player who he has never beaten. I really thought it was going to be a storybook ending for Muzza. Didn't know it was a Stephen King book though. Different kind of ending.
And what to make of Kuzzie's loss to hometown girl Na Li? Not much really. I thought Kuzzie would have a good showing here simply because it seemed that she had finally gotten her form back in Montreal. But let's face it, her US Open title aside, Kuzzie has consistently shown that she cannot perform in big matches. Her early loss at the AO, semifinal no show at RG, another early round loss at Wimbly, and now a first round dump at the Olympics. The girl simply overthinks on the court and crumbles under the weight of the moment. It's really unfortunate because she has all the talent and game to be a true #1. If only she could win a damn final!
And what of David Ferrer? Currently ranked a career high #4, he got dumped out by a solid Janko. This was a tough first round draw as Janko has been playing relatively well lately. But I don't know if it's his movement or his head, but Ferrer is just not looking like the same player. He's going for big shots at the wrong time and he's getting beaten off the ground.
Rafa, to put it nicely, did not look good. He was missing (which he never does) and he was missing BADLY. Distracted by the prospect of Ana leaving Beijing? Who else will he have long walks with in the Village to talk about...whatever those two would talk about? Luckily he refocused and closed out the match in three sets. Let's hope he plays himself into form.
And new medal favorite Agi Radwanska struggled to put away the pesty Yung-Jan Chan, 61 76(6). That was close. I was getting worried.
Let's give a hand to Zheng Jie, Na Li, and Shuai Peng, all of whom had to dig deep and fight to get through to the second round. No doubt the hometown crowd was the difference in each very close match.
- Zie d. Szavay 46 63 75
- Na d. Kuznetsova 76(5) 64
- Shuai d. Navarro 75 76(2)