For most of the day it was the only match being played at Wimbledon but it didn’t matter. Venus Williams and Kimiko Date-Krumm delivered one of the most dramatic encounters ever to grace Centre Court. Not bad for a second round game.
Williams survives but only just The combatants had a combined age of 71, 40 of which belonged to Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm. The former world #4 had clearly taken inspiration from her husband Michael, a professional racing driver, as she motored around the court for three hours with five-time Wimbledon winner Venus. The fans could smell a classic was on the cards when Date-Krumm raced into a 5-1 lead in the first set. Venus had other ideas however as she charged back to force a tie-break. Date-Krumm’s resolve remained unbroken and she took the tie-break and with it the first set.
Having been rattled early, Venus quickly fought back by battering her way to the second set 6-3. Any doubts about Date-Krumm’s spirit were quickly dispelled in the final set. The Japanese veteran came under immense pressure in her first two service games but both times she battled to victory. Venus, to her credit, looked composed on her own serve throughout the set but couldn’t break Date-Krumm in regulation. It took extra games to finally separate the duo. Venus finally broke Date-Krumm at the seventh time of asking, sealing a 6-7 6-3 8-6 victory.
German ladies impress Andrea Petkovic, the #11 seed, led a trio of rising German stars into the second round of the Women’s Singles. Petkovic enjoyed a comfortable straight sets victory over Stephanie Foretz-Gacon. She will be joined in round two by compatriots Julia Goerges, the #16 seed, and Sabine Lisicki who both won comfortably on Wednesday. Tennis betting fans should keep a keen eye on Lisicki who looks a good bet for an upset over French Open champion Na Li.
Isner beats Mahut somewhat faster this time It took John Isner roughly 9 hours less than he required last year to beat battling Frenchman Nicolas Mahut. Their evening tussle looked likely to be extended into a second day when Mahut, at two sets down, raced into an early lead in the third set. With darkness closing in it was unlikely there would have been time for a fourth set. Clearly fearing a repeat of last year’s 11 hour madness, Isner raised his game and hit back to eventually take the third set and the match on a tie-break.