Canadians Rolling On Grass
LONDON--It's early. But promising, and at least it's not all about Daniel Nestor at the All England Club this year.
Five Canadians have played singles matches at 2011 Wimbledon so far, and three have come out winners, including a victory today by the country's top female player, Rebecca Marino of Vancouver.
Marino, No. 44 in the world and rising, defeated Patricia Mayr-Achleitner of Austria in two sets this morning, making it four Grand Slam events in a row the 20-year-old has made it to at least the second round. She made it to the second round last year at the U.S. Open, losing in a highly-publicized match to Venus Williams, repeated that in Australia in January and then made it to the third round of the French Open earlier this month.
Powered by her dominant serve and forehand today in her debut on the famed lawns here, Marino fired eight aces en route to the win and fought off two sets points in the second set before winning in a tiebreak. Next, she faces Italian veteran Roberta Vinci, the 29th seed here.
"I had my serve going pretty well," said Marino, who has been timed as high a 200 kilometres per hour on serve. "It helped me out on some tough points."
Stephane Dubois of Montreal was also a surprise winner, beating Irina Falconi of the U.S. in two easy sets. Dubois only made it into the main draw as a "lucky loser" after being beaten in the qualifying, but then randomly selected to replace the injured Kim Clijsters.
Including Milos Raonic of Thornhill, who won on Monday, that's three Canadians into the third round. Alexandra Wozniak, meanwhile, was beaten in two sets today and eliminated. Frank Dancevic led Ricardo Mello of Brazil two sets to none, but ended up losing a five-setter 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6), 6-2. Dancevic had two match points in the fourth set but couldn't convert.
Marino and Raonic - R.M. and M.R. - are both rocketing up the rankings this year, both with similar big serve games.
"It's neat that we've both come along at the same time," said Marino.
Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls plays Brazil's Ricardo Mello later today.