The Order of Play for Day Three included a massive 87 matches to clear for The Championships to get back on schedule and, not withstanding some rain interruption and some stupid Just Stop Oil climate protesters, the referee and his colleagues should be very satisfied that the objective was nearly reached with just 10 first round men’s matches still to be decided.
The reception today, I don’t feel it that often. I was really touched,” Daniil Medvedev
Two activists, both in their sixties, ran onto Court 18 to scatter orange confetti and jigsaw pieces during Grigor Dimitrov’s match against Sho Shimabukuro. After abrief delay, Dimitrov, seeded 21, eliminated his Japanese opponent 6-1 6-2 6-1.
“Following an incident on Court 18, two individuals have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and criminal damage and these individuals have now been removed from the grounds,” said a Wimbledon spokesman.
Just hours later, on the same court, the action was repeated by another of their ‘gang’ to jeers of contempt from frustrated courtside fans. It delayed Katie Boulter’s match with Daria Saville but the delight and enjoyment of the fans, the pair crawled about the court in initial attempts to clear it.
Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner are the only players to progress into the third round of the men’s draw where they now patiently await their opponents.
Djokovic maintained his grip on the trophy with a 6-3 7-6(4) 7-5 victory over Australia’s Jordan Thompson, while Sinner, the young Italian eighth seed who is a dark horse for the title, took out the experienced Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, 7-5 6-1 6-2 and both will no doubt enjoy their day off.
It took a while for Sinner to work out Schwartzman but once he had, he motored through with relative ease to skip past the Argentine who has yet to score a win over the 21-year-old in three meetings.
“I always go on court with pretty high expectations,” Sinner, who defeated Carlos Alcaraz at last year’s Wimbledon, said afterwards. “Hopefully I can play good tennis here, point by point. We’ll see where I finish in this beautiful place.
“I thought we were both a bit tight at the beginning and then I hit quite hard, especially in the third set. Moving him around isn’t easy because he’s so fast. He’s a good friend of mine – we play doubles sometimes, and he’s such a nice man. It’s always tough to play against a friend.”
But someone who many felt to be a good contender for this year’s title, Sebastian Korda, son of the Australian Open champion Petr Korda, crashed out in his opening match to Jiri Vesely 7-6(7) 4-6 6-2 6-3.
The 23-year-old American, seeded 22, had three set points for the opening set, all saved by his Czech opponent who then went on to snatch the opener in the tie-break.
Korda failed to find any momentum after taking the second set though as Vesely,29, continued his incredible record of not losing in the opening round at Wimbledon in his ninth appearance at The Championships.
Another seed to fall early was Tallon Griekspoor (28) of The Netherlands who went down tamely 6-4 6-2 6-4 to Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.
Meanwhile earlier in the day, world number three Daniil Medvedev marked his return to Wimbledon after last year’s ban on Russian and Belarussian players precluded him from attending, with a first-round win.
Unfortunately for home fans, it was at the expense of a Brit, Arthur Fery, the 20-year-old American College student, who looks to have a good future ahead of him on the pro tour.
On this occasion the French born wildcard was beaten 7-5 6-4 6-3 but he left his mark.
Medvedev though, was pleased to be back on the Wimbledon courts though he was unsure of the welcome he would receive.
“The reception today, I don’t feel it that often. I was really touched,” the relieved 27-year-old after his match on Court One.
Another British wild card to impress was the German born Geore Loffhagen, having switched nationality in 2019.
He also had a tough draw but put up a good show against the Danish sixth seed Holger Rune who reached the second round for the first time with a 7-6(4) 6-3 6-2 win.
Rune was delighted at making it through and tweeted: “First win at Wimbledon. Tomorrow practice and ready for match again on Friday.” But he doesn’t know who he will be playing!
American ninth seed Taylor Fritz saw off Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann 6-4 2-6 4-6 7-5 6-3 in a match which had started on Monday, and he was joined in round two by his countryman Frances Tiafoe, the 10th seed who made the last 16 in 2022, who in turn ousted China’s Wu Yibing 7-6(4) 6-3 6-4.
Wu required a medical time out at the end of the first set after falling ill but to his credit, continued the match and still pushed his opponent, the Stuttgart champion, with some impressive shot-making.
“Am I playing Superman right now?” Tiafoe was heard to ask.
Canada’s Milos Raonic, the 2016 runner-up to Andy Murray but now ranked at 849 following a two-year absence with a series of injuries, defeated Austria’s Dennis Novak 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(5) 6-1 for his first win at the tournament in four years.
Now for Day Four and hopefully no rain or demonstrators.