The rain expected for Tuesday responded and led to the cancellation of nearly fifty matches on Tuesday, the second day of the Wimbledon tournament, but it did not prevent Carlos Alcaraz or defending champion Elena Rybakina from rally the second lap. Thanks to the roofs which allow the Central Court and the court number 1, we could see tennis on the London lawn, but in a drip. Matches started at 12 p.m. (matches start later on the two main courts), including a tantalizing Stefanos Tsitsipas against Dominik Thiem, had barely passed the first set, when everyone was sent back to the locker room.
The slim hope of seeing the game resume on the ancillary grounds has withered over the minutes and the 69 cancellations of matches announced by the organizers. The lucky holders of a sesame for the two sheltered courts, reserved for the big posters, nevertheless attended the qualification of some favorites or darlings of the public. Those on Central even had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with Princess of Wales Kate and King of Places Roger Federer, on his first visit as a retired player.
Rybakina patina then unroll
He was able to verify, by the very long ovation he received when he entered the stands, that his speed was intact. Before their eyes, the defending champion Rybakina, struggling in recent weeks with a viral infection, took a set to settle before finding the right rhythm against the American Shelby Rogers (49th). Rogers made the entry break and defended his advantage until concluding the first end with the score of 6-4.
But what followed was almost a lone rider from the 3rd WTA player who won the next two sets in just over an hour 6-1, 6-2. In the next round, Rybakina will find on her way the French Alizé Cornet (74th) or the Japanese Nao Hibino (127th and drafted from the qualifications). A little later, her runner-up from last year, the Tunisian Ons Jabeur, and the world number 2, the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka were much more expeditious.
Faced with the 70th in the world, Poland’s Magdalena Frech, the number six seed, intractable on her serve, broke away at 6-3, 3-0 before seeing her opponent materialize her very first and only break point of the match to come back level in the second set. But Jabeur gave a boost in the eighth game to seize the opposing face-off again and conclude on his first match point, in 1h18 (6-3, 6-3).
Thunderous entrance to Alcaraz
Sabalenka, meanwhile, needed just over an hour to defeat Hungary’s Panna Udvardy 6-3, 6-1. On the men’s side, Carlos Alcaraz made a thunderous entry into the tournament. It only took him 55 minutes to go two sets to nothing, 6-0, 6-2 against Frenchman Jérémy Chardy who was certainly dreaming of another goodbye for his last singles match on the circuit.
In a last-ditch effort, Chardy broke the world No. 1 to lead 4-2 in the third set, but Alcaraz quickly rallied to pinch the deal in three straight sets, 7-5 in the final set. While defending champion Novak Djokovic had the honors of Central on Monday, Alcaraz had to play on the number, but it was to make room for local hero Andy Murray.
Ten years after the first of his two crowns at Wimbledon, Murray made short work of his compatriot Ryan Peniston, invited by the organizers. In just over two hours, Murray won 6-3, 6-0, 6-1, saving energy for a second round that will be of a completely different caliber, against Tsitsipas or Thiem.