18/04/2024
Nick Kyrgios in round one at Wimbledon

Nick Kyrgios might have had to wait an extra night to finish off Ugo Humbert but he managed to upset the 21st seed. Photo: ATP Tour/Twitter

The first round of Wimbledon featured delays due to rain and curfews but that didn't stop seven of the 14 Australians advancing to the second round.

The first round of the 2021 Wimbledon Championship wasn’t without drama, with shock high ranked players losing, retirements and delays across the first few days due to rain and curfews halting play.

French Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered a shock loss to American Frances Tiafoe sending a shockwave through the top half of the men’s draw. Meanwhile Serena Williams was forced to withdraw after slip, she attempted to play on but after two games the 39-year-old was unable to play on.

King Kyrgios takes two days to get the job done

It might have taken two days to find a victor but the five set match between Nick Kyrgios and Ugo Humbert was the match of the first round amongst the Australian men. Starting on the second day of the tournament both players were in fine form with very little separating either one of them.

Despite going down a break early, Kyrgios took the first set, but the Frenchman wasn’t daunted and claimed the the next two sets without giving up his own serve, managing to win five consecutive games at the end of the second and start of the third.

However, Kyrgios rallied winning the fourth set without much trouble at all, only losing the second game of the set before trouncing Humbert and sending the match to a fifth and final set.

If fans were looking for a satisfying end to the match they were denied it on day two, leaving the score level at three games apiece when play was called to a halt for the day, fans would have to wait until day three to see the conclusion of the match.

What a conclusion it was, starting mid afternoon the match could have been over quickly with both players threatening one another’s serve but never quite getting the break.

It looked as though disaster had struck when Kyrgios suffered a fall in the 13th game, after Serena Williams’ shock exit from the tournament, people waited hoping the 26-year-old would collect himself and be able to resume.

After a few minutes he got to his feet and continued losing the game but composing himself to win the next three games and advance to the second round, besting Humbert for the second time in 2021 in a five set epic.

Around the courts the Australians produced mixed results, winning matches they were expected to lose, and some losing when they were the favourite.

Australia’s top-ranked man, Alex De Minaur struggled to come back from two sets to love deficit, against American Sebastian Korda. Despite taking the third in a tie-break he was unable to overcome Korda’s impeccable service game and bowed out in the first round for the first time at Wimbledon.

Qualifier Chris O’Connell took 13th seed Gael Monfils to the edge in the second of two five-set matches for the Australian men in the first round. The Frenchman was just too good, as the 27-year-old Australian couldn’t get the break back after going down early in the fifth set.

Jordan Thompson was the last of three of the Australian men to go to five sets, beating 12th seed Casper Rudd on the third day of play after being impacted by the delays from games scheduled ahead of them.

Alexei Popyrin went down in straight sets to Kei Nishikori whilst John Millman lost in four to eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

Alex Bolt and James Duckworth hit the winners list with straight set victories in their respective matches and Marc Polmans overcame a shaky third set to win it four over Yen-Hsun Lu.

Marc Polmans 6746
Yen-Hsun Lu2561
Chris O’Connell 626[5]64
Gael Monfils 13467[7]46
Sebastian Korda666[5]7[7]
Alex De Minaur 15347[7]6[5]
John Millman2636[4]
Roberto Bautista Agut 86367[7]
Kei Nishikori666
Alexei Popyrin444
Jordan Thompson7[8]7[7]226
Casper Ruud 126[6]6[3]662
Nick Kyrgios64369
Ugo Humbert 2146617
Filip Krajinovic6[5]45
Alex Bolt7[7]67
James Duckworth666
Radu Albot441

More Wimbledon 2021 News

Wimbledon 2021: Barty heads up Aussie women contingent

Wimbledon 2021: Is there another contender to stop Djokovic?

Wimbledon 2021: A fit Kyrgios and firing De Minaur headline Aussie men

The Barty Party is back

World number one Ash Barty may have been the winner of her first round match against Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro but the match was about more than just a first round victory.

A beloved figure in the game, Saurez Navarro returned to the tour after she was declared cancer free following a year away from the game. The match was her farewell to Wimbledon and is her penultimate Grand Slam and she will retire following the US Open later this year.

Barty dominated in the first set only dropping the second game and showing few signs of the injuries that forced her to withdraw from the French Open.

The second set was not as simple as the first with neither player giving up their serve until the ninth game when the Australian took a break. However, the Spaniard was quick to break back and ultimately forced Barty into a tiebreak, making quick work of the Australian and sending the match into a third set.

From there the 25-year-old did not hesitate, winning the first five games of the final set, winning 13 points in a row and only giving up two across the five games. Saurez Navarro hung in long enough to take a game away from the top seed but Barty finished her off in a 40-love game.

Of the remaining Australian women, only Ajla Tomljanovic progressed through to the second round trouncing Greet Minnen in straight sets.

Lucky Loser Astra Sharma managed to steal a set from Kristyna Pliskova but couldn’t find a way to force an upset, ultimately losing in three.

Ellen Perez will be back in the women’s doubles competition, however, she ultimately lost in straight sets in singles to Clara Burel.

Lastly, Sam Stosur showed she still has plenty of spark, snatching a set from Shelby Rogers but didn’t have enough left in the tank to win the third set and advance. She’ll continue her title chance in both the women’s and mixed doubles tournaments.

Ash Barty 166[1]6
Carla Suarez Navarro17[7]1
Greet Minnen26[5]
Ajla Tomljanovic67[7]
Kristyna Pliskova366
Astra Sharma644
Ellen Perez22
Clara Burel66
Shelby Rogers656
Sam Stosur173

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