Tag Archives: Wimbledon

Wimble-done!

Finally, the kingdom has a champion they can call their own.

Image

The 7th of July 2013 shall forever be remembered as one of the greatest moments in Her Majesty’s entire Kingdom. Andy Murray has done it, with over a million fans at his side a dream that was merely a whisper a year ago has reached it full realization, and how.

On a bright Sunday evening at Wimbledon, quite unusual weather for greater London at this time of the year, history was in the making for the dangly young Scot from Glasgow. Following in the footsteps of other eminent sporting personalities from the region, Sir Andy Murray as he is being referred to by the British media, ensured that Fred Perry would not be the only name to be remembered in tennis history as the only Brit to win the Wimbledon.

Having come so close last year only to fall at the final hurdle, Murray picked himself up immediately to go on and win the Olympic gold and the last grand slam of the year at the US Open.

Even with these victories to boost, Murray was never looked at as a favourite to win this year’s Wimbledon.  You couldn’t blame anyone for thinking it was going to be a three horse race between Nadal, Federer and Djokovic. The sporting gods had other plans though with both Nadal and Federer falling at the first and second hurdle respectively. The powerful Serbian looked like noting could stop him from claiming his second Wimbledon title and proving without a shadow of a doubt that he deserved his spot at the top of the ATP rankings. A grueling semifinal seemed to have taken its toll on the world No .1 and Murray made light work of him in the final. The first final to be decided in straight sets in the recent past was one of the highlights of the win for Murray.

The Scotsman at first did appear nervous mucking up a few serves but soon settled down into a rhythm that rattled the cages of the world No.1, and suddenly Novak Djokovic was under the gun and on the back foot, berating the chair and looking at the skies in disbelief. Perhaps this was inevitable.  From a shaky start Murray soon moved on to knock Novak off his serve in the first set and there was no turning around from that point.

Murray looked in top form and forced many errors from his Serbian compatriot, making the world’s No.1 look like an unseeded outsider. The buildup to the year’s most eagerly awaited slam featured the best players in the world with similar styles of play, if the head to head stats were to form the basis of any predictions then clearly Djokovic held the advantage, with a record of 11-7 over Murray heading into the Sunday’s Final.  However as is often the case with sport, statistics can be quite misleading sometimes downright wrong.

Murray was unstoppable playing the ball in behind Djokovic, and often out-classing the Serbian with his mighty forearm. Djokovic however did put up a worthy fight and salvaged the second set only to fall in the third. It was a high pressure match and while Murray seemed to soak up the adulation of the crowd and keep his composure, Djokovic on the other hand seemed frustrated and off his usual best.

One needs to have only watch Murray collapse on the historical pitch to understand what this really meant to him and the million voices behind him.

Advertisements

Wimbledon 2013, a tournament of upsets and causalities

 

Image

Wimbledon has a unique place in the heart of almost every tennis player and lover alike. As opposed to the other three Slams, it is the only Grand Slam that is played on the original surface of the sport – grass. Tennis players and fans around the world look forward to the action at Wimbledon, owing to its traditions and history that complements the tournament.

Image 

Just as tournament began, in a record in the open era, six seeded players have been knocked out. The first causality, echoing the sound of heartbreaks around the world, was of course Rafael Nadal. Visibly fit for the clay court season, he curiously injured his knee just two weeks later and bowed out in the first round to Steve Darcis who’s ranked more than 100 places below him. Unbelievable, isn’t it? But here’s the irony, Steve Darcis, the same guy who ousted Rafa, withdrew from a shoulder injury soon after causing one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. If Rafa’s ouster was not enough of an upset, defending champion Roger Federer lost to Sergiy Stakhovsky, again a player ranked more than 100 places below him. But Roger was not the only victim of that fateful day, as the day went on, Sharapova, Isner, Wozniacki, Azarenka, Tsonga all left the court with injured bodies and heavier hearts.

The courts at the All England club have been maintained the same way for many years, but this year, in particular it seems to be a wee bit slippery, enough to cause injuries and upsets that put a question mark on its upkeep. Sharapova slipped several times before she lost her match to a qualifier, Michelle Larcher de Brito, who had never beaten a player in the top-5.

Remember John Isner, the man who played the 11-hour marathon match at Wimbledon 2010? According to him, this year, it’s a risk to even step on grass. Many players withdrew and some conceded their match after multiple falls on-court. Isner conceded his match in just 15 minutes after start of play and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga withdrew after post three sets. However, on the bright side, for the ground maintenance staff at least, Roger Federer and Andy Murray said they didn’t have any problems with the courts at Wimbledon.

Image 

However for us Indians, Wimbledon has been a great hunting ground. With the Indian trio of Mahesh Bhupathi, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna, with their respective partners advancing to the third rounds of the Gentleman’s doubles, things look bright for us here on. For Bopanna and Paes, Mixed Doubles has also been something to look forward to, as they get set for the second round of the same. Our tennis diva Sania Mirza has also been making waves on entering the third round of the Women’s Doubles at Wimbledon along with her American partner Liezel Huber.  

Though the tricolor has been flying high at Wimbledon this year, with so many big names out of the tournament so early, a lot of tennis seem to have wavered in their interest in the slam. But, they say the grass is always greener on the other side, and maybe this year’s Wimbledon won’t crow a champion for the eighth time but build a Champion for the first?

Here is hoping new legends are born on the grass of history.