It rained. Then Francesca Schiavone and Jelena Dokic had to wait almost an hour for the roof to be put on and for all the accompanying preparations to be made. It was 1-all in the third set, and Schiavone got a break, but was broken back. She broke again, though, and advanced to the second round with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 victory. And though I certainly didn't think that the comment that would make me cringe the most today would come out of the mouth of Chris Evert, it did. She wondered out loud whether the 6th seed would ever have thought of going to the net more if she didn't have a coach tell her to do it during the rain delay. And while it's true that Schiavone did get to chat with her Wimbledon coach and he gave her solid advice --she's 30 years old, she's been coachless for most of her career, and she won the French Open--it's hard for me to imagine she would have been totally clueless had there been no rain delay.
Dokic was not the only former Wimbledon semifinalist to go out in the first round. 17th seed Kaia Kanepi, a semifinalist just last year, was defeated 6-3, 6-3 by Sara Errani. She wasn't the first seed to go out, though--that would be 22nd seed Shahar Peer, who was also the first seed to make an exit at the French Open. Peer was defeated 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 by Ksenia Pervak.
Though it's a smaller upset on paper, the real upset of the day for me was Christina McHale's 2-6, 6-1, 8-6 win over 28th seed Ekatarina Makarova. Makarova is a good grass player, and--unlike Kanepi and Peer--is not having a bad season. What made the third set especially interesting was the memory of McHale's massive choke in the first round of the French Open. She held herself together this time (which actually seems more in character for her) and advanced to the second round.
2nd seed Vera Zvonareva got a bit of a fight from Alison Riske, but prevailed, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3; Riske did become mentally paralyzed in the third round. 12th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova had even more of a fight from Zhang Shuai, but emerged the winner with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 score.
Five-time champion Venus Williams had an easy straight-set win over Akgul Amanmuradova, Kimiko Date-Krumm defeated Katie O'Brien, Yanina Wickmayer defeated an injured Varvara Lepchenko, and the talented Anna Tatishvili defeated Anastasia Pivovarova. Also advancing to the second round were Elena Vesnina (def. Laura Pous-Tio), Pauline Parmentier (def. Sorana Cirstea), Aleksandra Dulgheru (def. Jill Craybas, and Monica Niculescu, who defeated Sybille Bammer. Bammer retired from professional tennis after the match.
Victoria Azarenka and Magdalena Rybarikova played a set and a half, with Azarenka leading, when the rain came. That match will be continued tomorrow. Also playing tomorrow will be defending champion Serena Williams (vs. Aravane Rezai), world number 1 Caroline Wozniacki (vs. Arantxa Parra Santonja) and French Open champion Li Na (vs. Alla Kudryavtseva).