Upsets. You just never know what will happen in sports on the Olympics stage. That’s the beauty of the competition, and today, the first day of tennis competition, there were plenty of surprises to put into the books.
Perhaps the biggest surprise to come out of the first round was the elimination of number five seed Venus Williams after failing to withstand her Belgian opponent, Kirsten Flipkens. The two put on an entertaining match-up for the fans in attendance, as they fought back and forth with neither gaining full control throughout the course of the three-hour-plus match. Right when one seemed to grasp the match by the throat, the other came back with another trick from up their sleeve. Quite a remarkable display from both. Unfortunately, the four-time gold medalist Venus Williams disappointingly crashed out of the singles competition sooner than she, or anyone else, would have thought. Although she struggled in stages during the match, she held a 4-1 lead in the third set and remarkably gave the lead up. Williams Eventually faced a 6-5 deficit but with her back against the wall she grinded out a point to level the set at six a piece and send the match to a tiebreaker. Flipkens prevailed and took the tiebreaker to send Williams crashing out of the competition.
Along with Williams, number four seed Agnieszka Radwanska and number six seed Roberta Vinci were eliminated from the singles competition. Saisai Zheng got the best of Radwanska as she was able to wrap up the match in straight sets. Likewise, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova put the match against Vinci away after two sets of play.
On the men’s side, there were no major upsets, Taro Daniel was able to advance to the second round after ousting number 14 seed Jack Sock in straight sets. Sock was one of three Americans to be eliminated in the first round. The rest of the field of ranked players did not encounter much trouble with their matches as most were able to finish in straight sets. Having said that, number five seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had to go to a third and final set after struggling early on, but was able to get himself going to close the match out.
Sunday will bring out the stars, with the likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal set to compete in their first round matches.
Saisai Zheng def. No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-4, 7-5
Kirsten Flipkens def. No. 5 Venus Williams, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5)
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova def. No. 6 Roberta Vinci, 7-5, 6-4
No. 7 Madison Keys def. Danka Kovinic, 6-3, 6-3
No. 9 Carla Suarez Navarro def. Ana Ivanovic, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2
Shuai Zhang def. No. 12 Timea Bacsinszky, 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(7)
No. 14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova def. Magda Linette, 6-0, 6-3
No. 15 Elina Svitolina def. Andrea Petkovic, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3
No. 16 Barbora Strycova def. Yanina Wickmayer, 7-6(6), 6-1
Sara Errani def. Kiki Bertens, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
Heather Watson def. Shuai Peng, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3
Eugenie Bouchard def. Sloane Stephens, 6-3, 6-3
Lucie Safarova def. Karin Knapp, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
Ana Konjuh def. Annika Beck, 7-6(5), 6-1
Daria Kasatkina def. Ons Jabeur, 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-1
Kristina Mladenovic def. Aleksandra Krunic, 6-1, 6-4
Monica Niculescu def. Veronica Cepede Royg, 6-2, 6-3
No. 4 Kei Nishikori def. Alberto Ramos-Vinolas, 6-2, 6-4
No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Malek Jaziri, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
No. 9 Marin Cilic def. Grigor Dimitrov, 6-1, 6-4
No. 12 Steve Johnson def. Darian King, 6-3, 6-2
No. 13 Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Guido Pella, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
Taro Daniel def. No. 14 Jack Sock, 6-4, 6-4
No. 15 Gilles Simon def. Borna Coric, 6-4, 7-6(1)
John Millman def. Ricardas Berankis, 6-0, 6-0
Yuichi Sugita def. Brian Baker, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4
Dudi Sela def. Damir Dzumhur, 6-4, 6-4
Gastao Elias def. Thanasi Kokkinakis, 7-6(4), 7-6(3)
Andrej Martin def. Denis Kudla, 6-0, 6-3
Juan Monaco def. Mirza Basic, 6-2, 6-2
Kyle Edmund def. Jordan Thompson, 6-4, 6-2
Andreas Seppi def. Illya Marchenko, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6)
Evgeny Donskoy def. Jan-Lennard Struff, 6-3, 6-4