by Karen 

A few days ago one of my tennis buddies said to me that she felt like something was going to happen at Wimbledon.  She said either Serena will lose early or Fed will go out early.  Neither player lost in the first round but in the case of Serena she struggled mightily with nerves in her first set against the unheralded Gasparayan.  In the second set she did not have to play pretty tennis but she did what needed to be done in order to move on.
The same cannot be said for the hot and cold Simona Halep (seeded No. 3) who went out in spectacular fashion to Jana Cepelova who notched just her second win of the season.  This was by any account a really weak effort by Halep.  Not only did she have semifinal points to defend at this tournament, but she had a really good opportunity to work her way through her side of the draw with a potential semifinal against Petra Kvitova.  That is not to be and I am hopeful that Halep will take these early losses at the Major events as a sign that her game and mental attitude needs a  lot of work.
After her loss to Lucic-Baroni in Paris, she indicated that she was trying to do too much off the ground.  She subsequently fired her coach and commenced working with Darren Cahill.  While she did not have a lot of match time on the grass (losing to Mladenovic in Birmingham), she seems to have not learned from her French Open failure as on the two occasions that she has lost, she has lost matches playing hit hard tennis and when that does not work, hit it even harder.  Someone needs to tell her that that is not her game and she should go back to working the point until she finds an opening and then finish with her kill shot. 
Halep losing was not the only top seed going out on the women’s side.  As Genie Bouchard said in her post match press conference, “I believe that the world has now come to an end”.  I don’t think I would be that dramatic, but I do believe that the alarm bells that have been ringing all year are now pealing and as a result Bouchard will need to take a step back and evaluate her game as well as the team around her.  I don’t know if the problem lies with her coach, but one thing that has struck me about Bouchard this year is the weight loss that for me has taken away her weight of shot.  Before the start of this year’s tournament, I watched last year’s final and Bouchard had stronger legs and a bigger physique.  She had well developed muscular arms and legs and this is one of the reasons why she was able to win as many matches as she did last year.   This year she is significantly thinner and I don’t know if the two go hand in hand but it is hard to ignore that particular glaring fact.
As I opined earlier, this so-called sophomore slump of Bouchard is not a slump but an indicator of the kind of player that she really is.  I don’t know whether adding back the muscle that she has undoubtedly lost will help her cause but it could not hurt her to try something new.   With Halep and Bouchard losing early, the draw has opened up significantly for a fair number of players to take advantage.  
At the close of play today, Madison Keys, one of the players who could benefit from the loss of Halep and Bouchard was locked in a 3 set battle with Stefanie Voegele. 
News came today that the doubles team of Venus and Serena have withdrawn from the Championships. No word as to the reason behind the withdrawal but hopefully it is because both women have realized that they will need to be in peak optimum condition in order to win this title.  
Tomorrow’s Day 3 OOP sees 32 matches from the top half of the women’s draw which features both Williams Sisters and Sharapova.  Also in action will be Ana Ivanovic and Sloane Stephens.  The Spin’s Picks are highlighted below.
Court Assignment
Williams (S) v. Babos
No. 1
Hantuchova v. Watson
No. 2
Sharapova v. Hogencamp
Williams (V) v. Putintseva
No. 3
Mattek-Sands v. Ivanovic
No. 12
Radwanska (U) v. Stosur
Errani v. Krunic
No. 18
Bencic v. Friedsam
Flipkens v. Azarenka
Court 8
Ziyas v. Sasnovich
Stephens v. Davis
No. 16
Tsurenko v Begu
No. 17
Pliskova v Vandeweghe
Ostapenko v Mladenovic
Hsieh v Safarova
From the Commentary Booth

Most of what I have been listening to has been very good commentary so far.  Perhaps this is because I have had the distinct pleasure of getting streams that have European commentators who know not to talk during points, or who only speak when they have something of value to add to the tennis.  Unfortunately, this ended today while I was watching the Keys/Voegele match. 

I believe the commentary team was made up of  Doug Adler and Jeff Tarango.  For the first time in a long while I wanted to verbally abuse someone on social media.  Luckily for me, I did not. Below are a series of tweets which told the story about the men in the booth:

No clue who is playing 

Being the ultimate Monday Morning Quarterback 

Killing me softly 

Trashing Lindsay Davenport 

Needs to be fired 

We all wondered who Vergeller or Vergulla was

We were in Pain 

People want him to seek employment elsewhere 

Don’t forget the screamingly obvious commentary 

See or heard something in the commentary booth that you want to share, hit me up on Twitter or in the comments.  

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