Baseline Buzz: The week that was


LONDON -- Somewhere in between the third and fourth match points he saved Thursday, you wondered if Nick Kyrgios had finally exhausted his extraordinary luck.

Turns out, he hadn't -- although maybe skill and guile were the operative words. Yes, the precocious 19-year-old tied an Open era record by heroically fending off all nine match points Richard Gasquet had against him that day to reach the third round here at Wimbledon.

It must be nice to be Kyrgios, the super-athletic, jocular, audacious Aussie who has turned more than a few heads with his tenacious play.

Yep, life is good -- that is unless you're Serena Williams or Li Na. It's kind of like the French Open all over again.

Serena looked like she was in full control Saturday against Alize Cornet. And then the world No. 1 regressed into the player we have seen at the Slams this season. If you're doing the math, Williams is now 0-3 in her attempt to reach a major quarterfinal this season. Never mind winning. A quarterfinal!

It's hard to believe the No. 2 player in the world, Li, is, well, the No. 2 player in the world. In Paris, Li barely had time to finish her first baguette, falling to Kristina Mladenovic in the first round. And Friday, her unfortunate fate came to fruition with a third-round loss.

Afterward, a crestfallen Li said that grass simply isn't her thing, and that she is going to take a long break before returning to Montreal later this summer.

So it'll be awhile before we talk about Serena and Li again, at least in a positive sense, but that certainly won't stop the Wimbledon crew from tossing around the other highs and lows of a spirited Week 1 at the All England Club in another edition of the Baseline Buzz:

Matt Wilansky: Guys, I don't mean to kick things off being such a downer. Even if you take Serena's performance out of the equation, we still have a lot to gripe about. Fabio Fognini was fined nearly 30 grand, Ernests Gulbis lived up to his ignominious reputation and Virginia Wade spewed unkind words toward Amelie Mauresmo. What's up with all that? Isn't Wimbledon supposed to be about grace and beauty and courtesy? I was especially taken aback by Wade, who made no bones about her incredulity at Andy Murray's decision to hire Mauresmo, calling the Frenchwomen "mentally fragile." Picking on the defending champ, who just so happens to be British, is never a smart idea. Just sayin'.  

Greg Garber: OK, this is something I've actually been thinking about. When Mauresmo was playing, the word in the locker room -- and you could see it on the court in times of trouble -- was that she did not handle the momentous moments particularly well. Wade, who is certainly a curmudgeon, was just telling what is widely perceived in the tennis world to be the truth. I was as happy as anyone when Mauresmo broke through in 2006 with her two career Grand Slam victories, but most of the rest of the time her nerves got the better of her. Of course, this does not prevent her from being a great coach for Murray. Sorry for the rant, what was our topic today?

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...