With the schedule jam-packed due to Monday's rain, there was plenty one could learn on Day 2 at Wimbledon 2011.
1. Sequels suck. If it were a movie, Isner-Mahut II would be praised for dramatically improved acting. Both John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played much smarter, bolder tennis, especially on their returns. But the screenplay didn't hold a candle to the epic original, with the scoreline resembling a routine Isner victory. By the time the match had reached the third set, the stands were more than half-empty, which is pretty shocking considering how much hype there was for this match. It's fair to say that no one wants to see Isner-Mahut become a trilogy.
2. This whole tennis thing means an awful lot to Serena Williams. Anyone who has ever seen Serena Williams play a tight match knows how much she hates losing. She claws and screams her way back from the brink of defeat time and time again with incredible heart. But until today, it wasn't always clear just how much just playing means to her. Now it is.
3. Old dogs can still chase younger dogs around the yard. Wimbledon 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt scored his biggest win of the year with an incredibly impressive four set victory over young whipper-snapper Kei Nishikori, beating the young Japanese hopeful 6-1, 7-6(4), 7-6(9), 6-3. Another player in the last stages of his career, American James Blake, had a surprisingly excellent showing as well. Down two sets to none, Blake pushed No. 32 seed Marcos Baghdatis to a fifth set before eventually succumbing 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 4-6, 6-4. If that was Blake's last match at Wimbledon, he went out on a high note.
4. Melanie Oudin might be done. No. 18 Ana Ivanovic has become one of the streakiest players in tennis, so for Oudin to lose to her 6-0, 6-1 says a lot about where the young American's game is (or isn't) right now. Oudin made the fourth round of Wimbledon (and more famously the quarterfinals of the US Open) in 2009, so the surface isn't what made her lose. Oudin will get her share of wild cards in the American hard court season, thus she won't disappear immediately. But if she doesn't take advantage of those opportunities, her place in the main draw of slams will be in serious jeopardy.
5. Women in the top half aren't afraid to administer a beatdown. After the lack of lopsided matches for the favorites on the bottom half of the draw yesterday, most of the top half took care of business in decidedly easier fashion. Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova only lost three games, and Marion Bartoli lost only two. I'm sure the tournament organizers who are scrambling to fit matches in appreciate their brevity.
6. Samantha Stosur's success at Eastbourne may have been a mirage. With her enormous serve and forehand, many would assume that grass would be Samantha Stosur's best surface. It has always been the exact opposite, with her kick serve and top spin neutralized by the ball's skidding. When she beat top seed Vera Zvonareva in Eastbourne last week, it seemed like Stosur might have figured this whole grass thing out. But in the first round of Wimbledon today, Stosur fell 6-3, 6-4 at the hands of WTA No. 262 Melinda Czink. As the No. 10 seed, Samantha Stosur becomes the highest seed to crash out of the tournament thus far. Hopefully she gets her confidence back in the American hard court swing, because the WTA is a lot more interesting with her style of play in the mix.