There’s a second-round match being played on Court No 3, an all-American affair, where Jack Sock, the Nebraskan, is two sets up on Maxime Cressy, born in Paris, but resident in Hermosa Beach.
The Dutch outsider, the wild card, breezes through, and into the fourth round.
Tiafoe, from a tie-break, does take the second set from Bublik. Game on, and these two look highly evenly matched. They’re at 1-1 in the third, and Bublik is serving well, crashing down the aces.
She won 12 of the last 13 games to charge into the fourth round, and Begu had no answer. “Come on,” she roars as she completes her win.
That game between Tiafoe and Bublik is another that looks to be levelling up in the second set. Ostapenko has meanwhile found her stride against Begu, and is 2-0 up in the third, and serves out for 3-0 up with a crashing forehand. Begu’s in trouble, the former French Open champion.
Six games in a row, and Ostapenko is now level on sets with Begu, while Tsurenko is 3-0 up in the second set with Jule Niemeier, having lost the first. Basilashvili meanwhile trails Van Rijthoven by two sets, and the Dutch wild card is on course to make the fourth round.
Ostapenko’s now 4-1 up in the second set on Begu, her power beginning to tell. The dark clouds are beginning to circle, and a storm may be brewing.
Basilashvili meanwhile trails Van Rijthoven by a set, while Tiafe has a break back against Bulblik. Still the early knockings at Wimbledon today, though Ostapenko has just broken Begu in the second set, and leads 2-1. A fightback looks on.
Begu’s taken the first set from Ostapenko, 6-3, and looks in full control, the same going for Bulblik, who took the first set off Tiafoe by the same margin.
In those early matches, Bublik is 3-0 up on Tiafoe, it’s going with serve between Begu and Ostapenko, and between Basilashvili and Van Rijthoven. Tsurenko, who beat Britain’s Jodie Burrage on Monday, leads Jule Niemeier, the German, 3-1.
Singles matches taking place at the moment, though it’s a big day for the doubles, with Jamie Murray and Venus Williams in mixed doubles action against New Zealand’s Michael Venus and Poland’s Alicja Rosolska in a Venusian derby match.
Court 2: (23) Frances Tiafoe (USA) v Alexander Bublik (Kaz)
Court 3: Irina-Camelia Begu (Rom) v (12) Jelena Ostapenko (Lat)
Court 12: (22) Nikoloz Basilashvili (Geo) v Tim Van Rijthoven (Ned)
Court 18: Lesia Tsurenko (Ukr) v Jule Niemeier (Ger)
Today’s show court order of play
Centre Court (from 1.30pm)
- Parry v Jabeur
- Djokovic v Kecmanovic
- Norrie v Johnson
Court One (from 1pm)
- Watson v Juvan
- Kerber v Mertens
- Otte v Alcaraz
Later on Court 1, scheduled to start at 3.30pm, Carlos Alcaraz, who will play the German, Oscar Otte. Alcaraz could be the next big thing. His five-setter against Jan-Lennard Struff was followed by a rather easier, three-setter, against the wonderfully named Tallon Griekspoor.
The Wimbledon weather forecast is overcast with sunny spells. It’s currently a lukewarm 18 degrees in SW19.
Kyrgios said what happened against Jubb in round one, and the subsequent headlines his behaviour provoked, for which he has been fined £8,200, made him even more determined to put on a show. “I was pretty disappointed in my performance in the first round. Then obviously the media’s disrespect and just everything, it was just kind of a reminder to put you all back in your place from the performance today. He made finals at Queen’s, top 30 in the world, seeded. It’s a gentle reminder.”
While the Polish No 1 is still the bookies’ clear favourite she is not quite an odds-on shot as yet, which means that there are two ways to think about her chances of following up her French Open triumph last month. On the one hand, Swiatek is the likeliest winner. On the other, the betting still implies that, at some point over the next nine days, someone is likely to beat her.
Liam Broady has certainly been around. In his youth he was one of the finest young players in the world and a junior Wimbledon finalist in 2011, and he has spent the years since trying to complete the notoriously difficult transition and establish himself at the top of his sport. His trials have, at times, challenged his self-belief.
Restrictions would hit Spain’s Rafael Nadal, because he is “superstitious” and known for carefully lining up multiple water bottles as part of a long-established courtside ritual.
The mystery of the missing punters continues. Attendance figures for Wednesday struck another low, with 38,520 people on site. That made it the third day in a row where attendance was the lowest since 2007, at least where rain or Covid haven’t been involved. It signifies something of a worrying trend and it’s not just affecting the show courts. Is it uninterested debenture holders or a shortage of foreign visitors? Is it the cost of living crisis or a lack of Roger Federer? Everyone in and around the courts is speculating while the All England Club stays decidedly silent.
Before the action begins, and we get underway on the outside courts at 11am, a look at yesterday.
“It wasn’t the best start, but it was probably the best finish,” Nadal said. “I have room for getting better. A couple of weeks ago I was close to retirement but now I don’t feel that way.” Speaking on Covid, he said was taking extra precautions because: “This is reality. I am staying at home I am not going out any more. At some point you have to open up but then there are more cases, this is part of the challenging world we are in.”
After yesterday’s Brit fest – well done, Katie Boulter, Heather Watson and Liam Broady, commiserations, Harriet Dart and Jack Draper – a return to tennis as a global game, though Cameron Norrie, No 1-rated plucky Brit is also in action, as well as Heather Watson. Ons Jabeur, the Tunisian who some shrewdies fancy to win the whole caboodle, gets us under way on Centre Court, taking on France’s Diane Parry. Though no rest for Heather Watson, as she is no Court No 1 against Kaja Juvan. Norrie is in the teatime slot on Centre Court, when he plays the American, Steve Johnson. He follows Novak Djokovic, who takes on fellow Serb, Miomir Kecmanovic, 22 and who has reached further than before at SW19 and is having his best year yet in slams.
All that and more, throughout the day.