Wimbledon Day 3: Raducanu, Murray bow out

Tough day for the Brits as home favourites stumble on Centre Court

Emma Raducanu Wimbledon 2022©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT
 - Reem Abulleil

Second-round action got underway at Wimbledon on Wednesday and there was no shortage of thrill and drama.

Here's a look at some of the biggest storylines, where upsets came in spades...

Early exits for Emma and Andy

After claiming opening-round wins on Monday, home favourites Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray saw their fortunes change on their return to Centre Court, as they suffered back-to-back exits on Wednesday.

The 10th-seeded Raducanu, who made the fourth round on her Wimbledon debut last year, fell 6-3, 6-3 to France’s Caroline Garcia, who avenged her defeat to the Brit from three months ago at Indian Wells.

“Obviously it's tough to lose any match, but I think that Caroline played a great match,” said the 19-year-old US Open champion.

“She is a great player. I struggled to find a way through her today. But it's okay because coming into this I didn't really have many expectations of myself. Playing on Centre Court again was, again, a really positive experience for me.”

Raducanu Garcia Wimbledon 2022©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

Garcia, a former world No.4 who is ranked 55 this week, picked up a seventh consecutive victory, having lifted the trophy on grass in Bad Homburg last Saturday.

The 28-year-old Frenchwoman is into the third round for the third time in nine appearances at Wimbledon and next takes on China’s No.33 seed Zhang Shuai.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match, and to play on Centre Court is never easy for the first time. I'm really pleased with the way I played my match and I went for it,” said Garcia.

“That's what I said to my team afterwards, I'm, like, I'm very pleased that I play my first big match in Centre Court and I got the win, because I don't have great memories from my first step on the other centre courts of Slams like either US Open or Australian Open, and Roland-Garros, as well.

“It's experience, you know. You learn from everything. I'm obviously very happy that today I played a full match from the first point to the last one.”

Next up on Centre Court, two-time champion Murray lost to John Isner for the first time in nine meetings, succumbing to the American No.20 seed’s monster serve 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-4.

The 2.08m Isner fired 82 winners, including 36 aces, and won 84% of the points behind his first serve. The 37-year-old made the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2018 and will next face Italian No.10 seed Jannik Sinner.

Murray was particularly disappointed because he felt his game was in a place that could have got him far at Wimbledon this fortnight, and lamented the fact he is still unseeded and had to face someone like Isner as early as the second round.

Asked if he plans on coming back to Wimbledon next year, the 35-year-old Murray said: “It depends on how I am physically. If physically I feel good; then we'll try to keep playing. But it's extremely difficult with the problems I've had with my body in the last few years to make long-term predictions about how I'm going to be even in a few weeks' time, never mind in a year's time.

“If physically I'm in a good place, yeah, I will continue to play. But it's not easy to keep my body in optimal condition to compete at the highest level.”

This was the first time in 14 appearances that Murray has failed to reach the third round.

The British former world No.1, who is playing with a metal hip after undergoing resurfacing surgery two years ago, said his goal for the next few weeks is to move up the rankings – he is currently No.52 – so he could be seeded at the US Open, or the 2023 Australian Open at the latest.

Pair of top-five seeds sent packing

No.1 Court also witnessed an upset as No.2 seed Anett Kontaveit fell to Wimbledon debutante Jule Niemeier 6-4, 6-0.

Kontaveit, who took some time to recover from the after effects of a bout of Covid-19 earlier this season, said she struggled with her 22-year-old opponent’s power.

“I thought my opponent played a very good match. It was hard for me to control her big shots, because, you know, I haven't had the opportunity to prepare as well as I would have liked to. Yeah, it was just tough out there,” said the Estonian.

Niemeier, the world No.97, is contesting just the second Grand Slam main draw of her career and picked up a first top-10 victory.

“I love to play on grass. It fits to my game. I love to play slice, drop shots, going to the net. If I'm serving well, it's tough to break it,” she said.

Over on the men’s side, No.3 seed and recent Roland-Garros finalist Casper Ruud was eliminated by French lefty Ugo Humbert 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.

Humbert, who was ranked as high as 25 in the world last year, left the top 100 for the first time since 2018 and is currently down to 112.

He is a natural on the grass having reached the fourth round at Wimbledon on debut in 2019 and having won Halle last season.

Humbert’s reward is a third-round clash with Belgium’s David Goffin on Friday.

No drama for Djokovic and Alcaraz

Defending champion Novak Djokovic picked up a 23rd consecutive victory at Wimbledon with a smooth 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 result against Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis.

“I think the quality of tennis was really high from my side,” said the top-seeded Djokovic.

“Much better than the first match performance. I knew that I had to start off well today because I was facing a really tricky opponent, someone that serves well, has big serve, big forehand. I didn't want to give him too much time.

“I played with not too many unforced errors from back of the court. Whenever I needed to put the return in, I did. So all in all just a really, really satisfying performance.”

The Serb next faces his compatriot, the No.25 seed, Miomir Kecmanovic.

Spanish fifth seed Carlos Alcaraz continued his progress on the grass with a 6-4, 7-6(0), 6-3 win over Tallon Griekspoor.

Into the third round for the first time at Wimbledon, the teen phenom will square off with German No.32 seed Oscar Otte next.

Upset of the day

Greet Minnen bt. Garbine Muguruza 6-4, 6-0

In a first-round match that was suspended for darkness from the previous night, Belgian world No.88 Greet Minnen knocked out former champion and No.9 seed Garbine Muguruza in straight sets.

It was the first top-10 victory of Minnen’s career, and her first ever match win at Wimbledon victory, from two appearances.

“I played an incredible second set. I really wanted to start well in the second set because of the delay. I was happy to get through with the first set yesterday and start with the advantage today. I tried to play my aggressive tennis, like I always try to play, and it worked out really well today,” said Minnen, who returns to action on Thursday for her second round against Zheng Qinwen.

“Incredible, especially it’s been a rough year for me with some illness and some injuries. I knew I had the level to beat those players and I’m super happy that I could do it,” she said of her milestone win.

“It’s an amazing feeling for sure, the confidence will be higher after this match – as it should be. She’s a great champion and I have tremendous respect for her. It’s amazing this victory and I hope it can help me in the future.”

Quote of the day

“There's no pressure. Like, why is there any pressure? I'm still 19. Like, it's a joke. I literally won a slam. Going back to New York, it's going to be cool because I have got a lot of experiences playing on big courts, playing with people in the stadium, playing with the spotlight on you. I don't mind that. I mean, for me, everything is learning. I'm embracing every single moment that is thrown at me.”

–  Raducanu explains her mindset ahead of her upcoming title defence at the US Open.

Wild finish

A match that could have been dubbed 'Battle of the day' ended up as the 'Wildest' instead as Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who took out one of the tournament favourites in Hubert Hurkacz in the first round, saw his four-hour duel with Jiri Vesely end on a point penalty, which was handed to him on match point.

The Spaniard, who was given a code violation earlier in the contest, hit the ball out of the stadium, which prompted the umpire to give him another code, an automatic point penalty that gifted Vesely a 6-3, 5-7, 6-7(2,) 6-3, 7-6(7) victory.