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By Rohit Sharma
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The Championships at Wimbledon started with a bang this year when the green grass at the All England Lawn Tennis Club witnessed some of the best matches of the season, no, Correction, some of the most record breaking matches EVER. Whereas many would have an idea as to which match is it that i m referrng to, others would simple wonder why things are blown out of proportion about a top player's slow start into the championships. But the week one was all about Federer's tryst with an 'almost' early exit and Isner-Mahut marathon, termed by the media as the 'never-ending match'.
The opening day started on a sunny afternoon with defending champion Roger Federer taking the centre court to soon find himself trailing by two sets and a break. The six time champion managed to bring his A-game just at the nick of time to survive a major upset in the history of Wimbledon. His opponent Colombian Alejandro Falla had several opportunities to close out the match but fate had something else to offer. Soon it was time for another match to take centerstage when American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut started their first round match on Tuesday evening. Due to bad light, the match got re-scheduled for a Wednesday finish. Unfortunately, that end never came as both men came through an 9 hour plus tussle just to find out that they had already become the part of history. The final set scoreline was 53-53 when the Chair Umpire Mohammed Lahyani decided to schedule it once again for a hopeful finish on Thursday. As the match began on Court 18, the tennis fans across the world waited with bated breath for the outcome of the tussle which eventually favoured tall American John Isner who fired 112 aces to complete the marathon 4-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68 match in the total time of 11 hours and 5 minutes. In a small felicitation ceremony organized by the AELTC, both players were felicitated for their monumental effort.
2008 champion Rafael Nadal too faced some stiff competition from his initial opponents and survived a five set battles against little-known Dutch Robin Haase and feisty German Philipp Petzschner. Similar was the story of three time finalist Andy Roddick, who came through a couple of tough matches against Michael Llodra and Philipp Kohlschreiber.
In the women's draw, seeds prevailed without much ado. Top two seeds Serena and Venus Williams looked in supreme form and joined the other two contenders for the crown - Belgians Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin into the pre-quarterfinals of the event. Additionally, by the virtue of her tremendous performance, Maria Sharapova once again emerged as a contender for the title.
Wimbledon's Royal connection found a new meaning when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited the Green lawns for the first time in 33 years and met the top men and women in the draw along with rising British stars Laura Robson and Anne Keothavong. The Queen spent some time at the Centre Court Royal Box as well where Andy Murray got the better of Finland's Jarkko Nieminen in three comfortable sets. On the Super-Saturday, sporting legends - Martina Navratilova, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and the likes visited the centre court Royal Box to enjoy some nail-biting action and got their 'tennis buds' satisfied when Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal showcased mind-boggling tennis to enter the next round.
The week 2 begins on Monday with some interesting line-ups in the offing. Serena-Sharapova, Clijsters-Henin and Djokovic-Hewitt are some of the mouth-watering contests scheduled on Monday. Fans will most definitely have a lot to look forward to when 'beginning of the end of the 2010 Championships' commence tomorrow.
Follow the nail-biting action happening on the green grass at the All England Lawn Tennis Club with TennisEarth.com and get the minute-by-minute updates of the 2010 Wimbledon Championships.
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