Victoria Azarenka took what appeared to be a terrible spill during her first round match at Wimbledon today. The Australian Open champion hurt her knee and underwent a lengthy medical treatment, but came back to defeat Maria Joao Koehler in straight sets. Azarenka later indicated that the injury wasn't nearly as bad as it appeared to be when she took the fall. But it looked so Azarenka-at-a-major, you know?
5th seed Sara Errani made a quick exit, falling to Monica Puig in straight sets. Sloane Stephens beat Eastbourne runner-up Jamie Hampton, Eugenie Bouchard barely escaped loss and overcame Galina Voskoboeva, and Petra Kvitova--all together together now!--lost the second set against Coco Vandewegh. Kvitova had a match point on Vandewegh's serve, but wound up having to serve out the match. (The barking, I should add, was some of the best ever.) Kvitova slipped a couple of times and hurt her hip in the first set, and the injury affected her serve, making things even more difficult for her.
Maria Sharapova had a fight on her hands against Kristina Mladenovic. This didn't surprise me. Mladenovic is really maturing, and her considerable doubles skills serve her well. Sharapova took control in the first set tiebreak when Mladenovic had a collapse of nerves. The Russian went on to win the second set 6-3. Had Mladenovic retained her mental edge, the match would have become even more interesting.
On ESPN, Chris Evert did her best to detract her fellow commentators
(and especially Pam Shriver) from talking about the Serena vs. Maria
"confiict," but Shriver would have none of it. Always the voice of
reason, Evert will have her work cut out for her at this tournament.