They played on Court 14 — a court near a busy walkway that more fans breeze past than pay attention to. The match all the makings of a typical Monday showdown at the All England Club. The first Monday, that is, not the second.
Couldn't blame the schedulers for that.
Mannarino was ranked 111 and Kubot 130.
Kubot's career record before Monday's match was 90-106 and he hadn't been past the round of 16 in any tournament this year.
But things are changing quickly. After getting a walkover over Steve Darcis, the man who beat Rafael Nadal in the first round, Kubot won in straight sets over 25th-seeded Benoit Paire. He had 26 aces against Mannarino — 10 more than his big-serving countryman had in his five-setter — including 11 in the fifth set.
The 31-year-old Kubot said playing doubles, where he's enjoyed more consistent success, has put him on the court with a lot of the best players and prepared him for something like this.
"So I didn't feel surprised," he said of the feelings of being in a big match.
Next up, a meeting with Janowicz, his Davis Cup teammate who, back in 2006, was approached by the Qatari government, asking if he'd play for that oil-rich country.
"I actually said, straightaway, 'No,'" Janowicz said.
Why not? "Because."
Turns out, playing for Poland has served him quite well.
"You should go to Poland and see what's going to happen," Kubot said. "I think that tennis is getting very popular in Poland, and I'm happy and proud we can represent our country in these kinds of tournaments."