Roger Federer (above), holds his head during his too close for comfort first round match with Alejandro Falla.

Roger Federer, the defending champion, six time champion, and top seed, wasn’t the only top male to find himself on the brink of elimination today in the first round on the first day of Wimbledon, 2010.  Third seed Novak Djokovic, desperate for a good result here, was also down 2 sets to 1 and a break to Belgian one hander, Olivier Rocchus, and was able to climb out of the hole, to win 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in 3 hours and 51 minutes.  The match was completed under the roof on centre court, and ended near 11 pm local time, the latest ever ending Wimbledon match.

Nikolay Davydenko, the 7th seed who missed the last few months due to injury, also had to come back from down 2 sets to 1 against South African 6’7 shot maker and University of Illinois product, Kevin Anderson, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-7 (3), 7-5, 9-7, needing an extended 5th set.  Anderson played amazing tennis, striking 116 winners along with 36 aces, and 41/66 net approaches.  The error count was low on both sides, and Davydenko also played excellent tennis as well, as the edge may have come down to experience.  Davydenko also did an amazing job at net, winning an astounding 85 % of his approaches (30/35).

The rest of today’s first round matches were a bit more predictable on the men’s side, and a few Americans notched wins.

Mardy Fish over Australian prodigy Bernard Tomic, 6-3, 7-6 (8), 6-2.

Dandy Andy over American Rajeev Ram, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Terrible Taylor Dent takes out Juan Ignacio Chela, 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 7-5.

American Jesse Witten fell to talented one handed Frenchman, Michael Llodra, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3.

Seventeeth seeded Ivan Ljubicic fell in straights to Michal Przysiezny of Poland, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-3.

Ilija Bozoljac, who will meet Federer in round 2, got by in a tight 4th setter, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7) over Nicolas Massu.

Gael Monfils took out Argentine Leonardo Mayer, 6-1, 7-6 (9), 6-2 in Monfils first match at SW-19 since 2007.

In a shocker, 11th seed Marin Cilic lost in straights to Florian Mayer, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (1).

Other victors included former champ Lleyton Hewitt, Feliciano Lopez over American Jessie Levine, Philipp Kolschreiber, Tomas Berdych, Yen-Hsun Lu, Rainer Schuettler, Daniel Brands, Evgeny Korolev, Teimuraz Gabashvili, Karol Beck, Victor Troicki, Peter Luczak, Ben Becker, Arnaud Clement, American teenager Brendan Evans, Lithuanian prodigy Ricardas Barankis, Marsel Ilhan, Jurgen Melzer, Denis Istomin, who upset Stan Wawrinka, and who famously played Nadal to a 4 hour, 3 set match at Queen’s Club 2 weeks ago, and Victor Hanescu.

–Crack (