Crisp Whites, Day Three: Ms. Gruntypants Exits

Spencer Hall provides the kind of incisive Wimbledon commentary one can only achieve watching the game from his couch. ↵

↵It's dangerous being a ballperson. As bad as this was, the resulting injury forced Michael Llodra to retire yesterday from his match with Tommy Haas. ↵

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↵ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵ ↵
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↵The ballgirl was fine, by the way. Llora was not, and gamely struggled for a bit before informing the umpire he was unable to continue. ↵

↵Ta-ta, Gruntypants. Maria Sharapova looked as rusty as a winning tennis player possibly could in her first match against Viktoria Kutuzova. Today she looked similarly rusty, but against an opponent primed to take advantage of the rust, Argentine Gisela Dulko. ↵Dulko exploited Sharapova's unforced errors, got out to a big lead with an early rush, and held on in the final set to beat Sharapova 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. An upset? Yes, technically speaking, but Sharapova recovering from injury wore the ranking as tribute to her past achievements at Wimbledon, and not as an indication of her still- recovering current on-court game as seen here this week. With that, the sports blogosphere's interest in Wimbledon declines exactly 30%. ↵

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↵Federer? A machine set on stun, evidently. Federer 6-2, 6-2, 6-4'd Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in a nearly flawless display of savage tennis-bot dominance. Novak Djokovic also sped through his opponent Simon Gruel 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 after going down a set initially, throwing his racket, and getting angry enough to tear Greul to pieces after some early defiance. Barring this year's annual shocking surprise, these are your two early stud horses in the race to the finals. ↵

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↵Serena Finally Gets Her Protest On Air: After eliminating Jarmila Groth 6-2, 6-1 in a breezy match with only four unforced errors, Serena finally got to protest Wimbledon's new "no eating in the locker room" rule, something the All-England club instituted despite putting bananas and Kit-Kats out for players to eat somewhere between the locker room and the courts themselves. In on-air interview, she made her case, and then revealed her allegiances: ↵

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↵ESPN: So they have kit-kats and bananas in there? ↵

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↵Serena: Yeah, they do. ↵

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↵ESPN: Are you more of a kit-kat or a banana girl? ↵

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↵Serena: I'm more of a banana girl. ↵

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↵Incisive reporting: ESPN's Wimbledon coverage has it. ↵

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↵No, seriously, it's fantastic: ESPN's doing a top-flight job on Wimbledon. None of the announcing teams overdo the business of calling a game, often letting points play out with only the barest of commentary. (In fact, in the better matches in this tourney they've gone to great lengths not to over-announce the games. ↵The vibe remains as loose and summery as the crowds on Henman Hill, who have gotten plenty of luxurious camera shots and a few interviews from the ↵

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

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