Nonetheless, let the matches begin!
The defending champion and World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has already advanced to the second round in defense of his title. Also advancing today, 2010 runner-up and World No. 6 Tomas Berdych, No. 4 Andy Murray, No. 9 Gael Monfils and No. 10 Mardy Fish. So there haven't been any stunners so far in Day 1.
The storyline on the men's side is simple-- if World No. 2 Novak Djokovic advances to the Final, he will take over the No. 1 ranking from Nadal even if Rafa wins the tournament. As the defending champion Rafa has to defend all 2000 points, so even if he wins the title, he'll remain with 12070 total points. Djokovic, who was a semi-finalist last year, has to defend 720 points. So if he reaches the Final, he will add 480 points (1200-720) to his overall total of 12005 points, which are enough to overtake Rafa. In other words, Djokovic controls his own destiny in his quest for the No. 1 ranking.
HOWEVER! The rejuvenated World No. 3 Roger Federer sent the world a message at the French which basically said, 'I'm still in the conversation". Indeed you still are, Roger. That's why I included this quick paragraph.
On the women's side, the huge storyline is, of course, the return of Venus and Serena Williams. Both sisters have returned to action after long layoffs due to injuries. They both started their comebacks by playing at the AEGON International in Eastbourne, England, which is a Wimbledon warmup tournament. At Eastbourne, a rusty Serena was unable to get passed the second round while Venus fared much better by making it to the quarter-finals. Wimbledon, however, is a much bigger fish with a heavy-dose of ranking points involved. Serena, rusty or not, has a huge mountain to climb. As the defending champion she has to defend all 2000 championship points, which is pretty much her entire points total at this moment. By virtue of her year-long absence, Serena lost a ton of points and as of today only has 2060 total points. So if she doesn't go deep in the tournament she will lose almost all her total points and fall completely out of the rankings. Venus, on the other hand, has to only defend 500 points and she already has 100 in the bag by advancing to the second round today.
With the lack of any true dominant players on the women's side, I think it's just a matter of time before the two sisters start winning tournaments and working their way back into the Top 10. They'll just need a little time to get the rust out, that's all. Or maybe not--
To be continued....