The first day of Wimbledon 2017 saw no major upsets in the ladies’ singles draw, but what stunned me the most in is that Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella played her first-round match being as much as four and a half months pregnant!
We’ve had players come back shortly after giving birth and recording spectacular results, then Serena Williams pushed the boundaries in this WTA supermom era by winning the 2017 Australian Open in early pregnancy, while the 31-year-old Minella is now further merging pregnancy and tennis career, playing a Grand Slam while being halfway through her nine-month term! The world No.82 Minella, who is expecting a baby with her husband Tim Sommer whom she married in 2014, lost to French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-1 6-1 and now she’ll finally start her pregnancy leave. By the way, Minella chose a perfect tennis dress for a pregnant lady, the famous baby doll NikeCourt Premier Slam Dress from last year’s Wimbledon.
In other news, tenth seed Venus Williams won her rain-interrupted first-round match against Elise Mertens 7-6(7) 6-4, despite being in distress over killing a man in a Florida car accident less than a month ago. At the post-match press conference, the five-time Wimbledon champion broke down in tears when asked about the fatal car crash by the media. By the way, we can now confirm that there are no new EleVen designs for Wimbledon 2017, as Williams played her match in the EleVen Core Love Tank and Core Flutter Skirt.
Playing just her second event since becoming a mom to son Leo, Victoria Azarenka came from a set behind to beat Catherine Bellis 3-6 6-2 6-1 in the first round, while eleventh seed Petra Kvitova, fresh off her Birmingham title, progressed past Johanna Larsson 6-3 6-4 in her third tournament since December’s stabbing.
The highest seed in action on Day 1, No.2 seed Simona Halep, comfortably defeated Marina Erakovic 6-4 6-1, while the 2014 Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard lost to seed No.25 Carla Suarez Navarro 1-6 6-1 6-1. (photo: Getty Images)