Carl Bialik: I agree that's the perception of Mauresmo. It's a harsh one. One player's frayed nerves are another's bad draw. Sixteen of her career Slam losses were to top-three seeds, including seven against the No. 1 seed. Murray can relate, and so can his previous coach, Ivan Lendl. When Murray's Slam hopes end, it's usually because he's run into someone named Federer, Djokovic or Nadal. For Lendl, those names were McEnroe, Connors, Becker and Edberg. Players who can relate to Murray's plight of competing against some of the best players ever, and eventually overcoming those rivals, might be better fits than ex-players who had more straightforward career paths. Speaking of straightforward paths, and of the first week of Wimbledon: Can you remember a more dominant Week 1 performance for Murray at a major? I didn't give him a great chance of defending his title, but he's looked to me like the best player in the men's draw so far.
Melissa Isaacson: You're right Carl, Murray is looking good, particularly compared with Nadal and Djokovic, who both have appeared a bit vulnerable at times. But don't get me started on Virginia Wade. It makes no sense, just like it made no sense when she called her fellow countryman a "drama queen" two years ago at the French Open when Murray had back problems during a second-round match. Is she jealous that Murray is now the most recent Wimbledon winner? Bored? It's especially annoying when women publicly criticize other women, as Wade did at the hiring of Mauresmo, particularly when there is no legitimate reason to essentially call it a joke as she did. How can we expect men to behave any more respectfully toward women when they are bashing their own?
Wilansky: Speaking of bashing, my favorite press-conference rant so far came via Benoit Paire, who summed up his thoughts in typical Benoit Paire fashion: "Simply, I hate Wimbledon, and I'm glad to leave as soon as possible." The tennis gods apparently had his back, as the foolhardy Frenchman was booted in the first round. But all in all, despite some of the struggles the top guys have endured, few have joined Paire as early exits. So far, the highest men's seed to lose has been Tomas Berdych, the 2010 finalist here, who fell in straight sets to Marin Cilic. But his match came under scrutiny when the Hawk-Eye replay system stopped working because it was so dark. For the record, it ended at 9:38 p.m. local time, the latest ending ever for an outside-court match.
Garber: A curious thing happened Friday when No. 2 seed Li Na dropped the first set to Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. I started to think about framing an upset story, but a trip to the research office put me off the scent. Strycova, it turned out, had never beaten a top-10 player in 24 previous tries. In my mind, because of the sheer weight of the numbers, I automatically assumed she would lose. It's a good thing she didn't think that way and went on to stun the Aussie champion. Carl, it makes me wonder: Can a player's particular history, say, his won-loss record in certain situations, if he's aware of it, affect the next result?