(Wimbledon) The rain expected for Tuesday responded and led to the cancellation of nearly fifty matches on Tuesday, the second day of the Wimbledon tournament, but it did not prevent Carlos Alcaraz or the defending champion, Elena Rybakina to rally the second round.
Thanks to the roofs that protect the Center Court and the number 1 court, we could see tennis on the London lawn, but in dribs and drabs.
Matches starting at 12 p.m. – matches start later on both main courts – including a tantalizing Stefanos Tsitsipas against Dominik Thiem, had barely passed the first set when everyone was sent back to the locker room.
The slim hope of seeing the game resume on the ancillary grounds has withered over the minutes and the 48 match cancellations announced by the organizers.
The lucky holders of a sesame for the two sheltered courses, reserved for the big posters, nevertheless attended the qualification of some favorites or darlings of the public.
Those on Central even had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with Princess of Wales Kate and King of Places Roger Federer, on his first visit as a retired player.
He was able to verify, by the very long ovation he received when he entered the stands, that his popularity was intact.
Before their eyes, defending champion Rybakina, struggling in recent weeks with a viral infection, took a set to settle before finding the right rhythm against the American Shelby Rogers (49th).
Rogers made the entry break and defended his advantage until concluding the first end with the score of 6-4.
But what followed was a nearly lonely No. 3 WTA player who won the next two sets in just over an hour 6-1, 6-2.
In the next round, Rybakina will find on her way the French Alizé Cornet (74th) or the Japanese Nao Hibino (127th and drafted from the qualifications).
Her runner-up last year, the Tunisian Ons Jabeur, was more expeditious against the 70th in the world, the Polish Magdalena Frech.
The number six seed, intractable on his serve, broke away at 6-3, 3-0 before seeing his opponent materialize his very first and only break point of the match to come back level in the second set.
But Jabeur gave a boost in the eighth game to seize the opposing face-off again and conclude on his first match point, in 1:18 (6-3, 6-3).
On the men’s side, Carlos Alcaraz made a thunderous entry into the tournament.
It took him just 55 minutes to go two sets to nothing, 6-0, 6-2 against Frenchman Jérémy Chardy who was certainly dreaming of another goodbye for his last singles match on the circuit.
In a last-ditch effort, Chardy smashed the world No. 1 to lead 4-2 in the third set, but Alcaraz quickly rallied to close the deal in three straight sets, 7-5 in the final set.
While defending champion Novak Djokovic had the honors of Central on Monday, Alcaraz had to play on the number, but it was to make room for local hero Andy Murray.
Ten years after the first of his two crowns at Wimbledon, Murray made short work of his compatriot Ryan Peniston, invited by the organizers.
In just over two hours, Murray won 6-3, 6-0, 6-1, saving energy for a second round that will be of a whole different caliber, against Tsitsipas or Thiem.
Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, seeded number 2, needed just over an hour to defeat Hungary’s Panna Udvardy 6-3, 6-1 in the first round.
Sabalenka had taken her opponent’s first serve to lead 3-0 and keep this advantage until the end of the first set (6-3).
The second set was even easier, as she fielded six games after Udvardy led 1-0 on her engagement.
In the next round, Sabalenka could find the French Varvara Gracheva or the Italian Camila Giorgi.