First Take: Madison Keys, who advanced to the second round at this year’s BNP Paribas Open, earned her first career WTA title, defeating World No. 7 Angelique Kerber 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 at the Aegon International. Playing in her first final, the unseeded 19-year-old became the first American since Chanda Rubin in 2002 and 2003 to win the event. Congrats!
Double Take: Meanwhile, Feliciano Lopez took home his second consecutive Aegon International crown, taking down Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-5. Lopez was featured in our Wimbledon Players to Watch, which also included Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska.
Milestone Moment(s): Today, by winning his opening match at Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal joined the 700-Wins Club, becoming only the 11th player in Open Era history to reach this staggering number of victories. Also, defending Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray secured his 450th career win on Monday, dispatching David Goffin 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 on Centre Court. Four-time BNP Paribas Open Champion Roger Federer looks to add to his legacy as well, as the Swiss tries for a record-setting eighth title at the All England Club.
Fun Run: Grigor Dimitrov’s coach, Roger Rasheed, challenged Andy Murray’s fitness trainer, Jez Green, to race at Wimbledon Park Athletic Track, for bragging rights…and charity. The challenge originated back in January at the Australian Open when apparently there was “banter between the two teams,” said Rasheed, whose Sports Foundation raises money to promote better, healthier lives for children in disadvantaged circumstances. They chose to duel it out in a 200-meter sprint. In an effort to resemble the fastest man alive, Usain Bolt, Rasheed comically sported track cleats, leggings and a royal blue shirt for the event. Murray and Dimitrov stood at the finish line, camera-phones ready, to cheer on their respective teams. By a hair, Rasheed came out victorious with a time of 26.25s, over 5 seconds slower than his Jamaican idol. Watch it here: http://bit.ly/1nkoM6u
Centre Court Shakeup: The defending Wimbledon Champion traditionally opens Centre Court play at The Championships, but this year was a little different. With 2013 Champ and 2011 BNP Paribas Open finalist Marion Bartoli retiring, runner-up Sabine Lisicki fulfilled the duty on Tuesday. The World No. 19 comes into the 2014 Championships with a 19-5 overall record at the event, just two wins shy of her 21 combined wins at the Australian, French and US Opens.
Two Comes Before One: Three-time BNP Paribas Open Champion and World No. 1 Rafael Nadal takes the backseat to second-ranked and two-time Indian Wells victor Novak Djokovic at this year’s grass-court battle. Even though the Spaniard is the current world’s best, Wimbledon officials seeded Djokovic at the top spot. However, coming off of a Grand-Slam Victory in Paris, Nadal looks to channel the confidence into a worthy performance in the upcoming weeks at Wimbledon.