Hello. Amy here. As the self-elected official unofficial bringer of Sidepodcast tennis news, I bring you Wimbledon: Day 1.
Wimbledon is the third slam of the year and the only one played on tennis' original surface of grass. They don't call it Lawn Tennis for nothing. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have one slam a piece in 2010, and they are once again the two favourites to lift this title. Some say 2010 could bring an upset though, as in the all too short grass season coming into this tournament Roger lost to Hewitt for the first time in 16 matches in the final at Halle and Rafa was taken out early in Queens. My friend Kait has written a blog about the five men outside the top five who are most likely to cause havoc this year, and I would recommend giving it a read. I am going to put my money on Roger this year though, because I always do.
This is also the last slam I'll be able to give proper attention since someone who doesn't know my travel plans went and scheduled the US Open in the two weeks between Spa and Monza. Many tennis fans, including me think SW19 (as it is affectionaly known) is the best slam of all. What's not to like? Strawberries and cream, Queen Liz shows up, and thanks to the all-white clothing rule we get a break from some of the fluro colour schemes we see the rest of the year. Seriously though, this is the slam that everybody wants the most. As an example of how much they want this one, seven time slam winner Justine Henin came out of retirement solely so she could add it to her collection. We will be in for some fantastic matches over the next two weeks.
Wimbledon is all about tradition and one tradition that is very good to me is that the defending gentlemans champion always kicks off proceedings on Centre Court. This is great because as we've established already, I love Roger, and now I get to watch him take on Alejandro Falla at the socially acceptable hour of 10pm. If you live in the UK this match and the first match on Court 1 will start at 1pm. Play on all the other courts starts at 12. The first matches I will be keeping an eye on are my favourite lady Kim Clijsters taking on Maria Elena Camerin on Court 2 and Judy Murray's favourite "Deliciano" Lopez vs Jessie Levine on Court 14.
There are no English men in the draw this year for the first time in forever so local hopes fall on the shoulders of world number four Andy Murray and er, world number 253 Jamie Baker from Scotland. There are plenty of local ladies to see you through though, with 16 year old Laura Robson making her Centre Court debut against French Open semi finalist Jelena Jankovic after the Federer match. After seeing Laura at the Australian Open I'm not really a fan but that makes me feel mean because she's just a kid so go Laura!
There are plenty of other local women in action today with Melanie South third on Court 5, and Britain's number one ranked woman Elena Baltacha first up on Court 12. Katie O'Brien will be playing not before 5pm but her court has not yet been chosen.
Other matches I hope to watch today are Novak Djokovic v Olivier Rochus (Centre Court), Rajeev Ram v Andy Roddick (Court 1), Mardy Fish v Bernard Tomic (Court 2), Maximo Gonzalez v Lleyton Hewitt (Court 2), Marin Cilic v Florian Mayer (Court 12), Justine Henin v Anastasija Sevastova (Court 12) and Shahar Peer v Ana Ivanovic (yet to be scheduled). So that is my day one, have a look at the full Order of Play here and let me know who you'll be watching.
Will we see any major first round upsets? Will Mirka spend all of Roger's match on her Blackberry? Will any seeds fall today? How many times will Robson yell at the ball boys and girls? Stay tuned to find out and I'll see you in the comments!