Wimbledon: intractable Isner, uncontrollable Fokina, Wednesday's "best of"

Wimbledon: intractable Isner, uncontrollable Fokina, Wednesday’s “best of”

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A boiling Center Court, a super tie-break disqualification and a settling of accounts on the networks, Wimbledon went through all the emotions on Wednesday

Mathieu Aeschmann


Andy Murray must admit defeat: he never managed to tame John Isner’s fire service


The game

John Isner’s victory over Andy Murray, of course (6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4). It had been a few years since Center Court had shaken like this under the decibels. The English public tried everything to carry Sir Andy Murray, push him to remain calm and patiently bide his time. In vain. Because the Scot, double winner in his kingdom, fell on a huge John Isner (24th player in the world). The American giant has done everything right. In the service, inevitably: 36 aces which brings his total to 100 in two matches! But it is especially in the small game that “Big John” will have marked its territory. At 37, the semi-finalist in 2018 displayed total serenity in each of his first ends or half-volleys but also – and this is rarer – on his defensive slices. John Isner had never beaten Andy Murray. He did it on the court where the Scot is the hardest to beat. Hat.

The tile

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina should remain the man of this first week whatever happens. After his qualification in roller coaster mode against Hurkacz (3 missed match points in the 3rd set, qualification for the super tie-break in the 5th), the Spaniard offered himself a new super tie-break against Jiri Vesely. Except that this time, he didn’t manage to play it to the end; the fault of a loose ball in the bays at 7-9. Nothing serious at first. Provided you have “a clean record”. But the sanguine Andalusian had already received a warning for obscenity a little earlier. His second offense therefore became synonymous with a penalty point and a game lost. So of course, the referee could have been more of a psychologist, taking into account the context. Except Carlos Ramos – the man who tipped off Serena Williams in the US Open final for “coaching” – isn’t quite known for his psychology.

The phrase

The pressure, what pressure? Are you kidding? I’m 19 and I won a Grand Slam tournament.

Emma Raducanu, beaten by Caroline Garcia

Powerless on the court, Emma Raducanu lost none of her repartee in the face of the media. A few minutes after her mediocre performance against Caroline Garcia (3-6, 3-6), the champion of the last US Open showed a broad smile to respond to the concerns of the local press. Foremost among which, his poor sporting record: 10 small victories in 10 months while the summer offers him tons of points to defend. “I am 19 years old and, indeed, there is a lot of attention around me. But I am a Grand Slam champion and no one is going to take that away from me. If the pressure exists, it is rather on the shoulders of those who have not yet won a Major. And pan (as Jean-Paul Loth would say)!


It is a rather angry message that Tamara Korpatsch posted on social networks on Wednesday afternoon. The reason? His doubles partner had just stood him up a few hours into their first round. The identity of this boor: Harmony Tan, who fell for Serena Williams late the night before after three epic sets. Officially hit in the thigh, the French preferred rest and her second round in singles (Thursday against Sorribes Tormo). “It was she who offered to play, not me. And she texts me an hour before the game. It is unfair. I am very upset, explained the German, calling journalists among the most active on the networks to witness. If you are destroyed the day after a three-hour match, you cannot play at the professional level. Vibe.

The rumor

While the Belgian Alisson Van Uytvanck forfeited doubles, sick, and Tatiana Golovin set foot in the dish by declaring that “all the Czechs had the Covid at Roland-Garros”, the players are starting to pay attention. According to “radio locker room”, the cohort of Spanish players would have warned the restaurant where it has its habits not to wait for it any longer. From now on, everyone eats at home. It’s more prudent when you hope to last in the tournament.

The impression

The one left by Iga Swiatek on the most camouflaged court in Aorangi Park. Wednesday at midday, the view on the training courts offered a variation of No 1: Swiatek therefore, then Andy Murray and, on the other side of the road, Rafael Nadal. You don’t even have to turn your head to look for the similarities. The main one: the intensity and, for the two winners of the English, the violence of the strikes. It was as if Rafa and Iga had chosen to ‘overplay’ in training – Marc Lopez even hitting his commitments hard – so that the rhythm of the game became a comfort zone. However, familiar with the limits, it was the Polish woman who seemed the most comfortable. If Nadal is still looking for his bearings, Iga Swiatek has found everything for a long time. And even if you have to be wary of training, his level of play seems to be on another planet.

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