"When I start to play, I was kind of smashing the serves. It was a good sign" - @Petra_Kvitova #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/hK3i1eyNUf— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 30, 2015
My favorite version of Petra Kvitova showed up today at Wimbledon to play in the opening round. That would be Scary Petra, the pineapple-loving, Princess-slaying, give-you-"that-look" Petra. Kvitova defeated Kiki Bertens 6-1, 6-0 in 36 minutes. The defending champion made only three unforced errors, and one of the those was a double fault--the only point she lost on her serve. Scary Petra.
Meanwhile (speaking of Princess), Genie Bouchard was defeated in her first round match by world number 117 Duan Ying-Ying, known in some circles as the Chinese Lindsay Davenport.
Things are looking grim for Bouchard. The 2014 Wimbledon runner-up said, in her press conference, "...when I had a loss in Indian Wells or Miami, I didn't feel like it was the end of the world....We're closer to the end of the world now."
I should point out that Bouchard was playing with a torn abdominal muscle, which she was advised not to do. One can't really blame her for wanting to give Wimbledon a try, especially considering all of the ranking points at stake, but going out in the first round can only make the mental injury worse, if not the abdominal injury.
To add insult to that injury, the Canadian star was issued a code violation for wearing a black bra under her white bra. We know that the inspection of women's underwear is a priority at Wimbledon, so the Greater Good was doubtless served by calling Bouchard out on her bra. Understand why I dread Wimbledon every year?
Meanwhile, third seed Simona Halep was also shown the door--by Jana Cepelova. All we heard from commentators is that Cepelova is ranked number 106 in the world, but there's a lot more to the story than that. Cepelova has talent. We got to see that talent in 2014 when she made a Serena Williams-defeating run to the Charleston final. Her semifinal victory over Belinda Bencic was one of the great matches of the year.
Unforunately, Cepelova has had to overcome several health obstacles--and all that goes with that--since she made that great run, but today, we got to see her shine once again. Her win over Halep was a reminder of what she's capable of doing, and here's hoping she can be more consistent in the future.
As for Halep--things just aren't right. She has changed coaches so much that one might confuse her with Ana Ivanovic, and she has spoken publicly about the pressure she's under now that she's a huge sports star. She feels that pressure especially in her homeland, Romania.
There's also the matter of Halep's having to deal with a stalker. Being stalked is a violation, and a violation is a trauma. The Danish "fan" issued death threats toward the Romanian star in April, and she supposedly "shrugged them off." Let me take a professional moment here and say that no one can "shrug off" death threats. Halep seems like a pretty stoic woman, but death threats--or any kind of stalking or threats--make you vulnerable.
To add to her troubles, Halep played today's Wimbledon match with a blister on her toe, and it was obvious that her serve was hampered by the injury. Suddenly, the Romanian star can't catch a break.
The curse didn't reach as far as Sabine Lisicki, who won her first round match, as did grass court threat Ekaterina Makarova. Katerina Siniakova, whom some consider a grass court threat in the making, was defeated, and--in a holdover from day 1--British number 1 Heather Watson defeated 32nd seed Caroline Garcia. Jelena Jankovic defeated Elena Vesnina (who served for the match) 6-4, 3-6, 10-8, in what may have been the match of the day.