cinch Championships: DAY ONE!

cinch Championships: DAY ONE!

Despite the threat of some winter-like weather, day one of the 2024 cinch Championships was glorious as we opened our gates to players and spectators alike for what was expected to be another fantastic year of tennis action.

An exciting line up for Day One, including fan favourite Milos Raonic, and young star Holger Rune.

After the Fan Day yesterday, the court was played in and ready to welcome third seed and 2014 Champion Grigor Dimitrov who would face Adrian Mannarino for the first match on Centre of this year’s Championships.

Grigor Dimitrov came out firing going 3-0 up within half an hour and it was looking like the first set might have been over before fans had even settled into their seats. Mannarino, however, dug deep and grabbed one back just at the right time to get his first game on the board. The Bulgarian wasn’t messing around, and charged to a first set victory, 6-1. The Frenchman would need a miracle as Dimitrov charged into the second set with all the momentum. Not to be on the first day for Mannarino who, despite bagging himself two games in the second set, could not hold off the previous Champion. A first round exit for Adrian Mannarino as Grigor Dimitrov books his place in round two with a 6-1, 6-2 victory.

Up next, talented star Holger Rune taking on Australia’s Jordan Thompson. Neck and neck for the majority of the first set with some fierce rallies leaving it tough to tell who would break first. It was Rune who held his nerve got that all-important break to take the first set 6-4. With the crowd sufficiently warmed up, could Thompson use that energy to take it to a third set? Game for game ahead, leaving it 5-4 Rune, with Thompson serving in the tenth game to stay in the match. The Aussie dug in to take it to 5-5, earning himself two break points on the Rune serve. Escaping, by the skin of his teeth, Rune fought back with a powerful serve to take it to 6-5. Thompson’s opportunity unseized. Despite that, with some really gritty tennis, Thompson fought his way back into the match and the tables looked as though they were beginning to turn as he levelled the score card with a 7-4 win in the second set tie break. Rune’s back was suddenly up against the wall leaving Thompson primed and ready to pounce. The Aussie didn’t falter at the second time of asking and grabbed his opportunity to book his place in the next round, orchestrating the first upset of this year’s Championships, knocking seventh seed Holger Rune out of the tournament with a 6-3 win in the third and final set.

It was unfortunate to see American star Frances Tiafoe having to retire from his battle against qualifier Rinky Hijikata on Court One after sustaining a right hip injury. We wish him a speedy recovery, and look forward to seeing Hijikata in the next round.

Centre Court was treated to a thriller of a third match which saw Brit, Cam Norrie take on Canada’s Milos Raonic. Tennis fans would be thrilled to see Raonic back on court after a tough few years plagued with injury. Could this be the year he would stamp his authority back on the ATP tour scene? Only a fool would bet early on this match, which went to a tie break in the very first set with Cameron Norrie clinching it, just. Milos Raonic wouldn’t be giving up without a fight however, as he levelled the match with a 6-3 win in the second. Into a tie break we went…

Neck and neck, with nothing in it and Cam Norrie facing off the powerhouse Raonic serve to force the third set to another tie break. You really couldn’t call this one. Raonic would end firing 47, yes you heard right, 47 aces past Norrie which proved to be the edge that the Canadian needed to take the final 11-9 in the tie break. What a fighter Cam Norrie is, and a testament to the extremely competitive level that British tennis players are displaying. Fantastic to see Milos Raonic advancing to the next stage. Can’t wait to see what he has in store!

Last but not least on Centre for Day One, was the battle of the Alejandros. Tabilo of Chile taking on Davidovich Fokina of Spain. Another tie break treat for today which saw Tabilo narrowly clinching it 8-6. Davidovich Fokina wasn’t going to hand over a second round place that easily though, fighting back to take the second set 6-3. Even stevens going into yet another third set of the day. Unfortunately, the conclusion of this match will take place tomorrow with the rest of the match being suspended due to the court surface becoming too slippy.

Looking forward to another day of action at the cinch Championships tomorrow!

Click here for tomorrow’s order of play…