10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Federer Wins Over Mannarino Fall, Serena Sacked by a Slip, and Paire Tanks on a Wild Day at Wimbledon

By Ricky Dimon

It was a bleak Tuesday at Wimbledon–literally and figuratively.

For the second day in a row, rain drenched the All-England Club and resulted in a whole host of postponements. Although it could not touch Centre Court and Court 1 because of the roofs, multiple matches on those courts also failed to result in fitting conclusions.

The second match on the most famous ground in tennis saw Roger Federer go up against Adrian Mannarino. For the first time in three tries against Federer at this event, Mannarino managed to be competitive. In fact, the Frenchman led two sets to one and had a break point for a lead in the fourth. However, it went downhill from there for the underdog. With Federer ahead 4-2 in fourth, Mannarino slipped on the grass behind the baseline and sustained an obvious knee injury. He retired before the fifth set even started.

Aside from advancing, it was a mostly lackluster performance by Federer. The 39-year-old Swiss did, however, raise his level when it mattered most in the fourth set.

“I thought I found a nice groove from the baseline,” Federer commented. “He’s famous with that shovel backhand, he creates a lot of problems for so many players and he did the same again today on the grass against me. That’s why I tried to cut down on the lengths of points a little bit. It worked well. Once I got the break (in the fourth set) I was able to loosen up a little bit, but then everything ended.”

It ended with terrible luck for Mannarino, who has always been a force on grass and was playing one of his best matches.

“It’s awful,” Federer assured. “It shows one shot can change the outcome of a match. I wish him all the best and I hope he recovers quickly so we see him back on the courts. Look, he could have won the match at the end. He was the better player, so I got a little bit lucky…. I’m obviously happy I can get another chance for another match here. I enjoyed myself out here. It was great fun until the end, obviously.”

The next match on a slippery Centre Court between Serena Williams and Aliaksandra Sasnovich never became fun. Just six-plus games into it, Williams–like Mannarino not long before–fell behind the baseline and seemed to hyperextend her left knee. The 39-year-old American played a few more points following treatment, but retirement was never in doubt.

With that, Williams’ latest bid for a record-tying Grand Slam title came to an abrupt end.

While play on the outer courts was suspended around the same time because of rain and then darkness, Nick Kyrgios and Ugo Humbert kept going on Court 1. They may have gone all the way past midnight into Wednesday morning if not for the Wimbledon curfew rearing its ugly head. The most entertaining contest of the day was halted shortly before 11:00 pm with Kyrgios and Humbert tied 3-3 in the fifth set, much to the chagrin of a faithful crowd.

If the decider had been as short as the third set of Diego Schwartzman vs. Benoit Paire, the nightcap on Court 1 would have finished.

But how could it have been? A 6-0 bagel by Schwartzman required only 16 minutes of work for the Argentine. “Work” is a bit of an overstatement, however, as Schwartzman had to do little more than stand on the court and hit a few balls in play. Paire’s latest tank saw him win only five points–a grand total of zero on return–in the third set.

The Frenchman, who was given a code violation for tanking by Mohamed Lahyani, went down 6-3, 6-4, 6-0.

Perhaps Lahyani should have given a code violation to the entire day of tennis.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Editors Note • Wimbledon Grounds-crew Has to dry out center court and court one. Both are tooooo slippery. Please Bring out the blowers…