Day 2 is over and Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Serena Williams, and many other top players kicked off their both kicked off their quests to win the title. All of the day's action recapped below:
Federer started his campaign for an 18th major title with a 62 64 61 win over Frenchman Benoit Paire on centre court (his 57th straight appearance on Rod Laver Arena!). The win was a smooth ride from start to finish as he was never in trouble. He broke in the first game of the match, and after saving break points the next game, he cruised to the first set. The second set was more of the same albeit closer, and in the third set Paire basically tanked, hitting many poor shots, reminding me of Tomic last year against Roddick at the US Open.
Roger hit 25 winners to 18 unforced errors, hit 3 aces, got in 64% of his first serves, won 84% of those, broke 6 times, and was 25/31 at the net. He only dropped 17 points on serve the entire match. It's hard to gauge how Fed really did because the match had little flow and few extended rallies for Roger to get into any sort of rhythm. He served very well though and got to net plenty, which is a good sign. There were few signs of rust after not playing any warmup tournaments, also a good sign.
He plays Nikolay Davydenko next, which could be challenging. Will we see the Davydenko who nearly beat Roger in Rotterdam last year, or will we see the Niko that got routed in Doha last year?
- Sara Errani became the highest seed (#7) to exit as she went on in straight sets to Carla Suarez Navarro. Pretty shocking stuff, but Suarez Navarro has game and she has a beautiful one-handed backhand. Nadia Petrova, the #12 seed, also exited in straight sets to 42 year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm, who became the oldest major winner ever. Pretty crazy that someone ranked as high as Petrova could lose while only getting 2 games to a 42 year-old.
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won an entertaining match against Michael Llodra in straights. He is in good form and looks in great physical shape and I would not be surprised to one iota to see a quarterfinal clash between him and Roger.
- Serena Williams, to nobody's surprise, double bageled her unfortunate opponent. However, she suffered a fall during the match and hurt her ankle, so let's hope it's alright. Though I actually think Serena could win the title even if she had to do it on one leg. Superwoman.
- Andy Murray took out Robin Haase in quick time. He looks like he has a safe path to the 4th round, where he'll likely face Gael Monfils/Alexandr Dolgopolov or Gilles Simon.
- Two Canadians made it to the second round, as Milos Raonic and Jesse Levine won. Raonic, the #13 seed, dropped the opening set before taking the next three. It was a good win for Milos considering the struggles he's had recently, but I don't see him making the fourth round to play Roger.
- The 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro lost 5 games en route to a rout over Adrian Mannarino. He looks like a very serious threat to Andy Murray in the quarters. Watch out Andy.
- Bernard Tomic took out Leonardo Mayer in straights, bringing him one match closer to the match he desires against Federer in the 3rd round. Be careful what you wish for though.
- Jarkko Nieminen won a thriller against Tommy Haas in a match that lasted over 3 and a half hours. I'm sad that Tommy lost but since his return to great form last year he has proven a very difficult man to beat. Something to note is that Tommy did withdraw from the Hopman Cup doubles against Serbia with an injury, so not sure if he was completely healthy or not.
- Petra Kvitova survived a test from Francesca Schiavone, the wiley Italian. Kvitova plays Laura Robson next, who defeated US Open 2009 wunderkid Melanie Oudin. Robson was the one who ended Kim Clijsters' career last year at the US Open.
- Caroline Wozniacki came back from a set down to beat Sabine Lisicki. With the draw Caroline has, she could make the quarters to play Azarenka, though I'd honestly be surprised to see that. But 2013 is a new year after all...
- Gael Monfils, returnee to the tour this year, beat Alexandr Dolgopolov in a tough 4-setter. Good to see the Frenchman win in his first Slam match back. He is very fun to watch and he was missed last year. He could cause some problems in his draw because he's full of talent and ability.
- Other notables advancing on the men's side: Gilles Simon, Marin Cilic, James Duckworth, Richard Gasquet, Marcel Granollers, Gilles Simon, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Jeremy Chardy, Richard Berankis, Andreas Seppi, Yen-Tsun Lu, Alejandro Falla, Denis Istomin, Blaz Kavcic (upsetting Thomaz Bellucci), and Florian Mayer. On the women's side, those notables who also won: Yanina Wickmayer, Sloane Stephens (one of my favs), Maria Kirilenko, Jamie Hampton (upsetting the 31 seed Urszula Radwanska), Svetlana Kuznetsova, Varvara Lepchenko, Roberta Vinci, and Lucie Safarova.
On day three, watch out for Lopez vs Stepanek, and young upstart Madison Keys. One of the better matches of the day could be Malisse vs Verdasco.