Radwanska speeds past Kozlova into second round
Elsewhere before the rain There were a number of victories for notable seeds, including Petra Kvitova, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem, who all won in straight sets. Meanwhile Dan Evans was tied at 6-6 with Dolgopolov in the first set, while Heather Watson was tied at a set all with Annika Beck. There’s no play on any of the outside courts so I’m going to wrap up today’s blog. Thanks, Sean
Meanwhile Willis is giving his view on the match:
It’s daunting playing on Centre Court. It’s tough. I was panicking on the big points until I settled into the match. He puts you under a lot of pressure - he hits balls you don’t want him too. I was enjoying it out there but I still have a lot of improving to do. I just need to keep going and keep my head down. It sounds funny but I am disappointed to lose, but I have had a fantastic few weeks. The last three years I have been more dedicated, but I have to knuckle down as I want more experiences like this. I’m absolutely exhausted - but I have earned myself a beer now.
Federer is speaking - and smiling:
Today was very different. Marcus brought some unbelievable energy to the court and the fans, and he played some great shotmaking. I always knew it would be a completely different match than I have played at Wimbledon. He had nothing to lose and he went out and enjoyed himself. I had the pressure on my shoulders, even though I said beforehand this was a pressure-free tournament. My mindset going in was that I was playing a guy in the top 50 because that is how he has been playing. I hope he can rise in the rankings - it was a pleasure for me to play him.
FEDERER WINS 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 Willis has a half-chance at 15-30 after two uncharacteristic misses from Federer. But soon the natural order reasserts itself and Federer wins the next three points to come through in straight sets. The players hug at the net after a hugely enjoyable 85 minutes of tennis, and there are a few tears from Willis as he walks off. The 25-year-old Brit has belated realised that it might be a good idea not to squander his obvious talent: hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve seen of him at Wimbledon.
Third set: Federer 6-0, 6-3, 5-4* Willis Suddenly all the energy is sucked out of Centre Court as Federer breaks to love. He’ll be serving for the match in a minute ...
Third set: Federer* 6-0, 6-3, 4-4 Willis Comfortable for Federer, who holds to 15. Meanwhile it is raining again ... but they are still out in Court 12 where Annika Beck is having her ankle tapped and Heather Watson is shivering in the cold. It’s about 15c out there - the same as it was in Wimbledon on Christmas Day last year.
Third set: Federer 6-0, 6-3, 3-4* Willis Willis, as John McEnroe says on commentary, is feeding off the crowd’s energy. First there’s a lovely pick-up from a viciously dipping volley, then a monster backhand to go 30-0 up. A huge serve takes it to 40-0, before he seals the game with a dismissive backhand. Superb.
Third set: Federer* 6-0, 6-3, 3-3 Willis Another roar goes around a Pimms-fuelled Centre Court as a Willis challenge is successful and it seems to ruffle Federer, who screws a volley into the tramlines to go 30-15 down. The World No3 is unable to get a forehand back and finds himself facing breakpoint. Willis couldn’t, could he? No, he couldn’t. Federer hits the lines three times’ in a row to hold.
Third set: Federer 6-0, 6-3, 2-3* Willis Another standing ovation for Willis as his eighth ace crashes home and then he hits another unreturnable serve to win his service game to love. “Come on!” he tells himself. “Come on!”
Third set: Federer* 6-0, 6-3, 2-2 Willis Another hold for Federer, who was a little erratic there but held to 30. Elsewhere Britain’s Dan Evans is 5-5 in the first set against Dolgopolov, Heather Watson is a set all in her game against Annika Beck, while the eighth seed Dominic Thiem is two sets up against Florian Mayer.
Third set: Federer 6-0, 6-3, 1-2 Willis More good serving from the Willis, who lest we forget is still ranked 772nd in the world, as he holds to 15. If he can find the application to match his talent he could be a lot higher rated.
Third set: Federer* 6-0, 6-3, 1-1 Willis Federer holds to 15. Meanwhile Heather Watson is having a shocker in the second set: she’s 5-0 down to Annika Beck, having won the first.
Third set: Federer 6-0, 6-3, 0-1* Willis Willis rushes to a 40-0 lead but then a series of calamities befalls him, including missing a straightforward put away at the net. But Willis has bottle as well as a punishing serve and soft hands: he wins the next two points to go ahead of Federer in this set!
Second set: Federer* 6-0, 6-3 Willis But Federer wastes little time in wrapping up the second set. Willis is beaming away here - he’s enjoyed every one of the 52 minutes this match has lasted.
Second set: Federer 6-0, 5-3 Willis* Willis clearly has good hands to go with his booming serve: at 30-15 he hits the sweetest of volleys which has Federer scrambling unsuccessfully and then chalks up another game with a venomous serve out wide.
Second set: Federer* 6-0, 5-2 Willis In a blink of the eye Federer holds his service game. Meanwhile Jo Konta has won 6-1, 7-5 against Monica Puig on Court One - a very impressive result for the 16th seed.
Second set: Federer 6-0, 4-2 Willis* Willis is a touch slower and wilder now that his energy levels have dropped but his first serve appears to be keeping him in this. He saves two breakpoints with two big serves - but he simply can’t match Federer on the ground. A third breakpoint comes and this time the World No3 takes it. This could be over quite quickly now.
Second set: Federer* 6-0, 3-2 Willis Federer wins another service game, this time to 30. Meanwhile on Court 12 Heather Watson has just won the first set 6-3 against Annika Beck. Britain’s No17 Jo Konta is a set and 5-5 up against Puig.
Second set: Federer 6-0, 2-2 Willis* Willis has called for a trainer - his shoulder is tightening up - but he’s still swinging for England. He goes 40-0 up and then wins the game to 15 with an ace!
Second set: Federer* 6-0, 2-1 Willis The crowd get a little more giddy when Willis goes 0-30 up on Federer’s serve, but the seven-times champion then rattles off four points in a row.
Second set: Federer 6-0, 1-1 Willis* This might be tennis as pantomime, but even the hardest of hearts would be softening at the sight of Willis winning his first game. The sense of anticipation built as Willis went up 40-0 up thanks to a series of crushing serves. But then he netted a forehand and Federer smashed a winner to pull it back to 40-30. But finally a Willis forehand sent thousands of people on their feet, while the man himself raised his hands in the air in triumph.
Second set: Federer* 6-0, 1-0 Willis Federer races through another service game. Willis has new balls here: can it help him finally get a game on the board?
Elsewhere at Wimbledon ... Bernard Tomic has come through his match against Fernando Verdasco in five sets, while Heather Watson is 4-2 up against Annika Beck.
First set: Federer 6-0 Willis* Willis is battling away here. A series of well-constructed points earns him a game point at 40-30. Then the parks’ player comes out as he hits a horrible shanked forehand and an errant volley. Federer’s first set point is saved by a superb serve and volley. But soon after he sends another ball out and he finds himself a set down after less than half an hour.
First set: Federer* 5-0 Willis 19 minutes in and this is match is fast running away from Willis. Federer seals another game with an imperious backhand smash.
First set: Federer 4-0 Willis* Willis goes 30-0 up but he can’t put a game on the board. The Brit can clearly play but he already looks knackered, which is unsurprising given that Federer is skilfully nudging him around the court. Even though Willis has lost 55lb pounds since he was called ‘Cartman’ by his opponents a few years’ ago, he is - by the standards of men’s professional tennis - still not very fit. His face is red and he is puffing hard already. And we are just 15 minutes in.
Elsewhere ... play is underway on the outside courts. I’ll try to keep you updated when and where I can. Looking over my shoulder I see that Heather Watson is 3-1 up against Annika Beck.
First set: Federer* 3-0 Willis Willis punches the air with delight after a stupendous backpeddling lob flies over Federer and in. The crowd are on their feet. Even Federer appears to be laughing. 30-30. Then, suddenly, Federer nets, and Willis has breakpoint. The crowd is a mixture of giddy laughter and raucous energy: but after a long rally Willis nets a long pass. Federer then wins the next two points and he’s 3-0 up.
First set: Federer 2-0 Willis* Every Willis point is greeted with riotous acclaim, but - understandably - he initially rushes through his first service points on Centre Court just a little too quickly. After an on-the-knees volley puts him 30-15 up, Willis spews a groundstroke wide and then double faults and is immediately faces breakpoint. But all credit to Willis, who saves it with a 120mph-plus serve! Another Federer breakpoint, another point saved: this time with a nifty serve and volley! A third breakpoint? Another save - this time with an ace! But Federer keeps at it and finally breaks.
First set: Federer* 1-0 Willis There’s a football-like atmosphere on Centre Court, and Willis seems to be revelling in it. He smiles throughout the knock-up and his old-school backhand, which has plenty of slice, keeps Federer off him initially before he holds to 30.
Huge huge cheers on Centre Court ... as Marcus Willis, the world’s 772nd best player, steps on to court to face arguably the best of all time - Roger Federer. They’re knocking up now.
Better news on the weather front: the covers are off on the outside courts and play could be getting underway in the next 30 minutes.
That’s it! Djokovic wins 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) ... but the straight sets victory doesn’t tell the entire story. The World No1 was pushed hard by his impressive opponent, who also dumped him on his back in the tie-break after a battle drop shots - but he finally comes through 7-5 in the tie-break to move through to the third.
Their respective tie-break records in 2016 tell a story: Djokovic is 13-2 this year, Mannarino is 2-7 ... but the Frenchman is on a roll and immediately hits a rasping forehand to win the first point. Djokovic then hold his serves, helped by an astonishing half-volley flick for the clean winner down the line, to go 2-1 up. Then the point of the match, as the pair slug it out mano a mano, including a miraculous get from Djokovic that is smashed away by Mannarino. 2-2. But Djokovic raises his game again, getting the mini-break and then passing his opponent to go 4-2 ahead ... surely now it’s match over?
Suddenly Djokovic is starting to look a little wobbly ... he shanks a forehand into the tramlines and suddenly he is 0-30 down on serve and two points away from losing this set. But Djokovic is the world No1 for reason: Smartly, he changes things up, electing to come to the net on a slice and benefitting when Mannarino hoiks a shot wide and then wins the next three points to take it to a tie-break.
Now Mannarino holds to go 6-5 up in the third... he’s like a pesky wasp who won’t go away despite Djokovic repeated attempts to swat him aside.
Mannarino breaks back: it’s now 6-4, 6-3, 5-5 After Mannarino holds his serve, Djokovic steps up to seal the match. There’s a sniff of a chance when Mannarino wrong-foots his opponent with a forehand to earn a breakpoint at 30-40, but Djokovic saves it with a serve down the line. Still, another opportunity arises when Djokovic volleys long - and this time, at the ninth time of asking, the Frenchman breaks! Cue raucous cheers.
Novak Djokovic is now just one game away from victory ... Mannarino tried to attack him again there, but the Serb was too good, clinching the game with a backhand down the line.
Mannarino has played very well here ... but twice in succession he gets a rush of blood to the head and clouts forehands way past the baseline. Djokovic is 15-40 up and sensing blood. The Frenchman saves the first breakpoint by wrongfooting his opponent, but then he sinks a shot into the net, and it’s very nearly game over, with Djokovic leading 6-4, 6-3, 4-3 - with a break in the third set.
Forgive the brief delay: Wimbledon’s wifi went down for a few minutes. You haven’t missed much - Djokovic had a sniff on Mannarino’s serve, but the Frenchman held on. Djokovic then held and it’s now 6-4, 6-3, 3-3.
Fair play to Mannarino, who holds his serve ... he was helped by a rogue call from a line judge at 30-30, however: a Djokovic forehand was called long late, just as Mannarino’s reply hit the net. The umpire over-ruled it, but the Serb could have very easily had a breakpoint. Djokovic quickly holds and now it’s 6-4, 6-3, 2-2.
Still this epic game goes on ... Djokovic chucks in another double fault - his third of this game. But as usual he finds a way to pull through and finally holds. He now leads 6-4, 6-3, 1-1. Will Mannarino be left deflated having spurned so many chances there?
But wait - Djokovic has double faulted again (his fourth of the match) to give Mannarino his fifth break point of the game ... but Djokovic again saves it, and then hits a sumptuous down-the-line winner from around his ankles to have his first game point.
Mannarino gets another breakpoint chance ... but Djokovic finds the line with his second serve to pull it back to deuce.
Three breakpoint chances for Mannarino, after a volley puts him 0-40 up! The Frenchman goes for it on the first, slapping a return into the net. Djokovic saves the second with an ace. And then he screws a forehand wide to blow the first.
Mannarino is hearing the last rites of this match when he goes 30-40 down on his opening service game of the third set. But what a response: an ace - only his second of the match - then an unreturnable serve, then another ace! Djokovic now leads 6-4, 6-3, 0-1.
Meanwhile another announcement from the Wimbledon tannoy: there will be no play on the outside courts before 4.30pm “but we are optimistic that the intermittent showers will clear and there will be play later”.
Novak Djokovic rattles down an ace to go two sets up ... Mannarino isn’t playing badly, but that’s not enough to stop the Serb in this form.
Unsurprisingly lots of today’s matches have already been cancelled ... and there’s news from the doubles too - which is already upsetting some players. It’s now 6-4, 5-3 in the Djokovic - Mannarino game.
Panic move by @Wimbledon . Doubles now best of 3 in 1st round after 1 day of rain. Panic!! Bad move guys
Djokovic’s first serve percentage has gone up this set ... and as a result he is looking even more secure: he has now won 88% of 1st serve points. Mannarino slaps a lovely forehand winner and benefits from a rare unforced error from Djokovic but he still loses the game to 30. It’s now 6-4, 5-2.
Mannarino clings on ... At 15-30 down on serve he looked in trouble again but he hit another exquisite drop shot which sent Djokovic sliding to the floor, followed by two meaty serves to hold on. He’s still 6-4, 4-2 down. Now can he put Djokovic’s serve under pressure?
Another easy service game hold for Djokovic ... who now leads 4-1 in the second set.
After losing five games in a row ... Mannarino stops the rot. He was made to work for it, but holds to 30 to pull it back to 6-4, 3-1.
I popped out at the end of the first set to check the weather ... the covers are being deflated on the outside courts, which is a good sign, but the it’s still spitting a little bit. I wouldn’t be counting on play across Wimbledon any time soon. Meanwhile Djokovic holds to lead 6-4, 3-0.
This isn’t looking good for Mannarino now ... he played well in the first set but after Djokovic holds at the start of the second set he makes a hatful of unforced errors to be broken. Djokovic has now won four games in a row and leads 6-4, 2-0.
First set Djokovic 6-4! Djokovic senses there’s an opportunity to put the pressure on and he does just that by going 0-30 up. Mannarino then hits two big serves to pull it back to 30-30. But the Serb holds his nerve in two long rallies in a row, and after Mannarino nets for a second time in succession, he wins the set. “Come on,” shouts Djokovic -who is applauded by his coach Boris Becker.
Djokovic holds easily to go 5-4 up ... Apart from the first game he’s looked largely untroubled on serve. Now can he apply the squeeze and take the first set?
Mannarino produces his first ace of the match to hold again ... It’s now 4-4 in the first set. Meanwhile a quick peak outside suggests that it is still raining - which will be very frustrating to the thousands who have tickets for Court One, Court Two, and groundpasses for all the outside courts.
Superb from Mannarino ... who from two feet behind the baseline produces a sand wedge of a drop shot that spins away from Djokovic’s clutches. That clearly rattles the Serb, as he then produces a double fault to make it 30-30. But when Djokovic slips on the next point, Mannarino misses his chance, and the Serb holds for 4-3.
Meanwhile in the tennis it’s 3-3 in the first set between Djokovic and Mannarino ... with Mannarino giving as good as he’s getting. You might expect his wide starting position for the serve might leave him to vulnerable down the line return, but so far Djokovic has been unable to exploit it.
For those asking ... yes, the legendary crooner Cliff Richard is here today. He’s in the Royal Box along with actor Gemma Arterton, and a number of Dame’s and Earls that I - and surely most readers of this blog - will have never heard of.
Djokovic sniffs an opportunity on Mannarino’s serve at 15-30 ... and he skips in frustration as his return flies just long. Still, he quickly earns breakpoint, but finds the Frenchman holds firm. It’s 2-2, first set.
Meanwhile there’s a weather update from the umpires’ office ... they say play will not get underway on the outside courts until at least 3.30pm. Given it is still raining and blustery, that forecast appears wildly optimistic.
Mannarino isn’t going to die wondering ... he’s having a real pop at Djokovic’s serve whenever he gets the opportunity, but the Serb holds firm at 30-30 to go 2-1 up.
Encouraging start for Mannarino ... there are suggestions that his groundstrokes are little flat, and his forehand scratchy, but he had no problems holding serve there. It’s 1-1, first set.
Well, this wasn’t part of the script. Mannarino finds his return game immediately and goes 15-40 up. But Djokovic’s first and second serve has improved substantially, and he’s not perturbed. He pulls it back to deuce, hits a wide 99mph serve to leave an easy put away for advantage, then finishes with an unreturnable serve to hold. Djokovic leads 1-0.
So what of Adrian Mannarino? Well, he can play a bit. He got as high as 27th in the world last year after finishing runner up in a tournament in Bogota, but is now ranked 55th. He’s a left-hander who has a decent return game and played pretty well to beat Britain’s Kyle Edmund in straight sets in the first round. This, though, is an entirely different level of opponent.
Meanwhile Britain’s world number 772 Marcus Willis has just given a wave to the Wimbledon crowds ... who responded with a rousing cry of “Will-Bomb’s on Fire!” (But even if Willis was burning the heavy rain here would soon be put out)
Still, at least we’ll have Novak Djokovic against birthday boy Adrian Mannarino on Centre Court shortly ... Djokovic is looking to extend his 29 Grand Slam winning streak and it would be a major shock if Mannarino denied him. I can’t tell you the odds for the match, because Wimbledon have blocked the Oddschecker website, but Djokovic will be a very short favourite.
The rain appears to have picked up ... we’ll have no play on the outside courts until at least 3pm now.
Wet and windy today especially Wales and W England. Some interruptions to play at #Wimbledon https://t.co/gCW1Ruf9Mp pic.twitter.com/uvDPEnEPxI
Radwanska says she is “very happy” with her performance. “It’s good that we could play today. I’m trying every year to do better and better, it’s another year to try and hopefully do better than before.”
A last flash of resistance from Kozlova ... who is staring down the barrel of the gun at 6-2, 5-1. A lovely passing shot takes the world 97 to 15-30, but Radwanska rattles off three quick points to serve for the match. Kozlova saves it when her return clips the outside of the line, and another match point with a lob that has her opponent flailing, but eventually Radwanska wins through 6-2, 6-1.
In other news, the Australian Nick Kyrgios has been fined $3,360 for unsportsmanlike conduct during his first round win over Radek Stepanek. The 15th seed, who was one of 10 players sanctioned in the opening two days of the tournament, admitted swearing at the change-over after losing the third-set tiebreak, but said: “I’m pretty sure we’ve all said it in this room.” He then argued with chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani.
Radwanska breaks to go 3-1 up ... the twice semi-finalist and 2012 finalist looks to be racing to victory. Meanwhile Rafal Gorka writes from Poland: “Radwańska will win Wimbledon this year if Serena is out before the semis. Aga is in the best shape ever and she is focused 100% which is not what she always does. Being focused all the time is difficult for her, so it will maybe for these two weeks, forget Rio I’m afraid.”
It’s still on serve in the second set on Centre... Radwanska leads 2-1.
Radwanska wins the first game of the second set ...to go 6-2, 1-0. On the BBC they are talking about whether she will ever win a grand slam. Given the Pole is ranked third in the world, she has an obvious chance, just wonder whether she has enough oomph on her groundstrokes.
Radwanska recovers from that little blip earlier ... to win the first set 6-2 in 33 minutes.
The latest from umpires’ office: “The weather outlook is not promising. The showers are expected to be slow to clear and we are not expecting any play on the outside courts until 2.30pm at the earliest.”
Kozlova is finding her feet here ... she holds to love go to just 2-4 down. There was a nice drop shot there too, which had Radwinska scrambling and failing to reach - and then nearly clattering into the umpire’s chair.
Kozlova looked as nervous as anything in her first four games on Centre Court and went 4-0 down in a blink of an eye... But that was much better there. After a superb lob she hit three passing winners to break to 15. Radwinska now leads 4-1 in the first set.
Radwinska is having few problems here ... she’s already 3-0 up in the first set.
We now just have one match in play ... the third seed Agnieszka Radwinska has just held her serve to go 1-0 up against the Ukainian Kateryna Kozlova, who is ranked 97th in the world.
For those asking, here’s Annika Beck’s ‘Nighty Dress’ ...taken from before her match with Heather Watson was suspended
The covers are now on all the outside courts ... except on Court 18 where Thomas Berdych has just put the dogged Ivan Dodig out of his misery, winning a fourth set tie-break by seven points to two to come through 6-7, 7-5, 6-1, 7-6.
Verdasco sees five break points come and go ... but Tomic also can’t take advantage of a series of game points either. Seven deuces come and go before a Verdasco drop shot - with Tomic beaten - goes into the net. Tomic now leads 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 5-3 ... but the players have just agreed to come off court because it is too slippy.
The players are also still going on No2 court ... Where Bernard Tomic is 4-3 up in the final set against Bernard Tomic, but under pressure at 15-40 down. He wins the next three points to have a game point, but Verdasco isn’t budging and - with a loud cry of ‘Vamos!’ greeting another winner - earns another breakpoint.
But the players stay out on an increasingly slippy court 18 as Thomas Berdych tries to become the first victor of the day. But serving for the match against the Croatian Ivan Dodig he is broken. So it’s now 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-1, 5-4*.
Heather Watson breaks to go 2-1 up ... but as she sits back in her chair the rain starts to tumble down and play is suspended.
Watson holds her serve easily enough and it’s now 1-1 Beck has tried lobbing her a couple of times already - an interesting ploy in this wind - without success. Elsewhere the fifth set between Bernard Tomic and Fernando Verdasco is so far going with serve.
Watson misses the chance to break in the first game... with Beck saving a breakpoint.
Annika Beck is wearing the controversial ‘Nighty Frock’ which has had a few people at Wimbledon talking over the last couple of days. Jo Durie, on BBC commentary, wonders whether it might get in the way of Beck’s groundstrokes given it is so windy today. Not sure if that’s the case, but the large gusts are noticeable with the ball wobbling around in the rallies.
British No2 Heather Watson arrives on court 12 for her match against Annika Beck ... to huge cheers. The players are knocking up now.
A further announcement from the referees’ office: The courts have been inspected and the players are due to appear on all the outside courts shortly.
Good news, covers starting to come off! Weather supposed to be a bit patchy today.⛅️☔️@Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/UQARWngUvf
A glimmer of good news: The covers on the outside courts have been deflated, and if the rain holds off they will be removed shortly.
An update from the referees’ office: The showers have proved more persistent than expected, and play now won’t start until 12.15pm at the earliest. I’ve just popped outside and to say that the rain is spitting would be an overstatement: there’s just the odd speck here and there, which would barely be noticed if, say, this was a clay court tournament.
Announcement from Wimbledon tannoy system: The scheduled start time has been pushed back to 11.45am. That seems a touch optimistic, but hope, eternal, springs, and all that.
Better news: The rain appears to have stopped ... for now. No sign yet of when play might get underway, however, and the covers are still on. There’s a distinctly autumnal feel to SW19 today: winds whipping in from the west, a scattering of rain forecast, and temperatures around 15 or 16c for most of the day.
While we are waiting for some play, which is unlikely to start until 1pm, this is a nice piece by Kevin Mitchell on Marcus Willis, who will face Roger Federer around tea-time. As Mitchell points out:
The venerated Swiss has rarely played an underdog so separated from his sport’s mainstream as this one-time overweight, disillusioned rebel who still lives at home with his parents in Wokingham – “living the dream”, as he called it on Monday night.
Good morning everyone. Let’s start with the bad news: the early morning sun in SW19 has been swallowed up by dark clouds which have scudded in from the west, and its now raining pretty hard. Worse still, it looks like being pretty grim all day. Still, at least we have three games from Centre Court to look forward to, starting with third seed Agnieszka Radwanska facing Kateryna Kozlova (Ukr), followed by Novak Djokovic against Adrian Mannarino. Before, finally, perhaps the greatest player of all time, Roger Federer, against the 772-ranked player in the world Britain’s Marcus Willis. Here’s the full order of play.