World number two Agnieszka Radwanska suffered a miserable return to Wimbledon on Sunday as Olympic Games tennis was played indoors for the first time in 100 years.
Second seeded Radwanska, defeated by Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final three weeks ago, suffered more Centre Court disappointment as she was beaten 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4 by Germany’s Julia Goerges in the first round. Hail and heavy rain had drenched the All England Club in south-west London just as play was set to get underway with organisers deciding to shut the Centre Court roof.
It was the first time Olympic tennis has been played indoors since the Stockholm Games of 1912.
Radwanska, 23, was the first Pole to reach a Grand Slam singles final since 1939 when she got to this year’s Wimbledon title match, an achievement which lifted her to a career-high second place in the world rankings. But she was unable to recapture that magic under the Olympic banner and stumbled to a lacklustre first- round defeat.
Goerges, who hit 56 winners, will play Varvara Lepchenko of the US or Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg in the last-32.
India’s Vardhan handed late place in singles
India’s Vishnu Vardhan will play in the Olympic men’s singles tournament at Wimbledon on Sunday as a last-minute replacement for Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Vardhan was selected as the highest ranked male alternate on site at the All England Club following Kohlschreiber’s withdrawal with a right hamstring injury. Vardhan, 25, has won three Futures events this year and is projected to reach a career-high ranking as a result of his inclusion in the Games.
He was already due to compete in the Olympic men’s doubles with compatriot Leander Paes.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2012.