Sam Querrey, an American seeded 21st, lost 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 to 59th-ranked Australian Bernard Tomic in a match most noteworthy for what was said afterward.
Tomic ripped the ATP for barring his father, who is also his coach, from attending tournaments for 12 months because of pending assault charges and said he'll ask Wimbledon to let Dad attend his next match. Querrey, meanwhile, was miffed that Tomic got a chance to collect himself while being checked by trainers after saying he felt lightheaded in the fourth set.
"I knew he was kind of dizzy, but let's go; it's a physical game," Querrey said. "That's part of it. If you're dizzy or hurt, you've got to play through it. You can't just take breaks. That's not why I lost. But I felt I had some momentum there and that leveled the playing field for the fifth set."
It's been difficult for any opponent to things close against Williams lately, even if she claimed Tuesday, "I never feel invincible."
Her practice-makes-perfect pledge might give future opponents pause, starting with Caroline Garcia, who will face Williams in the second round for the second Grand Slam tournament in a row. After losing to Williams 6-1, 6-2 at the French Open last month, Garcia made these observations: "I need to work on my game to pose more problems for her next time" and "She hits hard."
You don't say.
Dealing with serves that came in at up to 121 mph (195 kph) — that readout on the speed clock prompted murmuring among impressed spectators — Minella managed to put only half of her returns in play.
"When I stood right in front of her, I looked at her and not at the ball at the beginning. Because it's just unreal; because I've never played against this type of player. It's a lot of stuff you have to deal with," Minella said.
"The strength and the heavy spin of her serve is definitely better than anyone else, I would say," Minella added. "It is different from what I've seen. But it's also because it's too good. ... Many other players wouldn't reach the ball today."
Still, for a brief moment, Minella appeared to be getting into the match. A double-fault by Williams handed over a break that gave Minella a 2-0 lead in the second set. Serving at 40-30 in the next game, Minella was a point from a 3-0 edge.
That's when Williams got her act together, producing a cross-court backhand winner to get to deuce while taking 15 of 18 points to go ahead 4-2.
"In these moments," Minella observed, "she can raise her level."