1) Roger Federer isn’t the greatest of all time for nothing. By just about every measure, No. 1 Roger Federer should have lost his first round match Monday. His opponent, ATP No. 60 Alejandro Falla, thoroughly outplayed him for the first four sets of the match. But Federer hung tough, and gave Falla just enough rope to hang himself with. Federer didn’t lose this match, even though he was supposed to. Federer’s inability to lose early at slams is one of the most impressive phenomena in all of sports. Federer’s streak of 23 consecutive grand slam semifinals may have ended at this year’s French Open, but his streaks of 24 consecutive grand slam quarterfinals and seven straight Wimbledon finals are still alive—and they’re spectacular.
2) Andy Roddick has won over the Brits. Entering to a standing ovation, No. 5 Andy Roddick’s performance in last year’s final ensured the support of the Wimbledon crowds for the rest of his career. He thanked them for that support by putting on the most clinical display of dominance by any man in action today, beating fellow American Rajeev Ram 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Roddick’s draw got easier today with the exits of potential fourth round opponents No. 11 Marin Cilic and No. 17 Ivan Ljubicic, but his second round match against Michael Llodra is guaranteed to be tough.
3) This men’s tournament is going to be wildly unpredictable. Of the eight Top-20 seeds in action on the men’s side today, eight of them lost at least one set. Three (No. 1 Federer, No. 3 Novak Djokovic, and No. 7 Nikolay Davydenko) lost two sets, and three (No. 11 Marin Cilic, No. 17 Ivan Ljubicic and No. 20 Stan Wawrinka) exited the draw by losing three sets. The grass makes for incredibly quick swings in momentum, and an entire match can turn on its head in an instant. The top guns on the bottom half of the draw (No. 2 Rafael Nadal, No. 4 Andy Murray, No. 6 Robin Soderling) had to be a little shaken up by what they saw today.
4) Lightning is not going to strike twice for Schiavone this summer. Despite being crowned champion of the French Open just two weeks ago, no one thought much of No. 5 Francesca Schiavone’s chances to win Wimbledon. But she was at least expected to survive the first round, which she instead lost to Vera Dushevina in a lopsided third set. but the hard court season (and the time to rest before it) should provide her game with a favorable bounce.
5) Venus Williams isn’t worried. In her first round match against journeywoman Rossana De Los Rios, No. 2 Venus Williams was lackadaisical, but always in control. She cruised to a 5-0 lead in each set, but only won the match in the end by the score of 6-3, 6-2. There’s no doubting her killer instinct, but there also seemed to be a decided amount of merciful meandering in her play today.