Crisp Whites, Vol. 1: Wimbledon Opens Politely

Your opening day summary, brought to you by Spencer Hall, home watching this with a cup of tea and wearing his finest summer wear.
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↵Match of the Day: Julien Benneteau (pictured) versus the world No. 4 Novak Djokovic, which isn't even over at the moment thanks to the first two sets going 7-6, 6-7 in an hour and fifty minutes. (Noted by the always punctilious Chris Fowler, one of eight human beings caught in the grip of a college football/tennis obsessive cycle over the course of a calendar year.) Benneteau suffered a tweaked knee on an awkward slip ↵

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↵The Remaining Formalities: Djokovic is the highest seed to be in trouble early here, as Federer got a respectable but ultimately futile warm-up from the Taiwanese player Lu Yen-Hsun; Serena Williams brutalized Neuza Silva 6-1, 7-5, and Maria Sharapova won a sloppy but competent match with Viktoriya Kutuzova 7-5, 6-4 despite two falls resulting in awkward half-splits at the baseline. ↵

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↵Federer's early going bodes well: he looked aggressive and economical even in what was clearly a warm-up match on grass, and had 42 winners to 10 unforced errors. Without Nadal, his path deep into the tournament looks to be a matter of avoiding the lightning-strike match from a ranked opponent. French Open runner-up Robin Soderling struggled but advanced against Gilles Muller 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-1, 6-2, while #17 James Blake became the first seeded player to be knocked out of Wimbledon. Then again, you knew that would happen, because James Blake excels at two things: the game of tennis, and exiting major tournaments in the first round. ↵

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↵Because they're like cyborg tennis warriors from the future. Nike somehow got Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova into white ↵military jackets for the tournament. Littmann described them as looking something from Pharrell Williams closet, but I'm seeing more of a Tennis Purple Rain/Cyborg Future look. At any rate, they're terrible -- if there were enough wags in the stands this year they'd be mock saluting them as they came on court. Due to the new roof, normal people will not be in the stands due to rain delay. Everyone will therefore just clap as they look like escapees from some terrible SciFi channel drama about an futuristic society where all disputes are settled in epic games of Space Tennis. ↵

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↵Bud Collins is wearing: Yellow pants and fuchsia socks. Because like us when we get that old, Bud Collins does not. ↵Give. A. [PROFANITY OF YOUR CHOICE.] ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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