Archive for June, 2009
Two shock exits in the women’s tournament could mean a number of things. Has the competition been blown wide open? Or is it going to be a straightforward Williams vs. Williams final as it has been on a number of occasions.
The shock exits in question were Jelena Jankovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova – two very strong favourites from the word go – who were beaten by considerable lesser foes. Kuznetsova received an unwanted birthday present by 19 year old unseeded German Sabine Lisicki. Jankovic’s match against Oudin appeared to be going business as usual until suddenly things started to take a turn for the worst for the Serb. Melanie Oudin, 17 years old and appearing for the very first time in Wimbledon, took control of the match as Jankovic weakened. The teenager handled the pressure incredibly considerably for the circumstances and closed out the match with a cool head.
Jankovic’s main reason for her sudden dip in form was illness; she claimed to feel dizzy and close to collapse in the second set
Mauresmo and Dinara Safina look l more »
Wimbledon is starting to pick up pace on Day Four as the sun shines. Tickets were numbered in the 9000s; even a BBC sports journalist lamented that he had a ticket numbered 9586. But still, he persevered, and who wouldn’t when a shot at watching some live Wimbledon action was up for grabs?
Not only is the weather treating the tournament well, but the players are starting to make an impact on the grass. Already, one of the big names of the French Open has fallen. Juan Martin del Potro lost today against Lleyton Hewitt 6-3 7-5 7-5. The 5th seed Argentine found himself floundering agains the 56th seed Australian who moved obviously felt more comfortable on the grass. Considering that Hewitt has not been much of a threat at Grand Slams as of late and del Potro helped to blast open the more »
Ironically, at the only tournament where the nation has got bountiful vim and vigour when it comes to their tennis, six Brits go out on the second day. And how does a journalist respond to this sting? Well one of them, at Anne Keothavong’s press conference, asked: “Do you feel like you have let people down?”
Give that journalist a prize for being the most tactless one at Wimbledon so far.
But this is the pitfall of Wimbledon for a British player; it should be a pride, an honour to play in a tournament so deeply embedded in your own country’s history, in something that has long brightened the summers of the UK and made strawberries and cream renowned.
It seems, however, that the British public enjoy heaping on the pressure to such a degree it’s rare to see a British player flourish at Wimbledon.
The six players who were defeated today – Josh Goodall, Katie O’Brien, Anne Keothavong, Georgie Stoop, Alex Bogdanovic and Dan Evans – are under an immense spotlight in the UK. Keothavong’s press conference just proves that.
Tim Henman is another case in point. Every year the country whipped itself into a frenzy of Henman worship, the hopes of the nation built day after day that this year would be the year he won Wimbledon. Not to say that Henman didn’t do well. He reached the semi-finals in Wimbledon in 2001 – losing to Ivanisevic. Henm more »
I’m not sure about anyone else, but it feels as though Wimbledon has really crept up on me. One minute Federer is falling to his knees on the blood red clay of Rolland Garros, the next Andy Murray is starring shirtless on the front of The Radio Times and sales of strawberries and cream are starting to pick up.
At least that is how we celebrate the start of Wimbledon over here in England. In the summer, British sport comes to life: there’s the Ashes for cricket, the Grand Prix for racing (this year its last year at the historic Silverstone), and then there’s Wimbledon. And so when the summer comes, we celebrate in style.
Even those who don’t follow the other Grand Slams have barely been able to catch their breath after Rafael Nadal beat Federer in that epic Wimbledon final last year. And those of us that have been following the last twelve months of tennis are having to strap on an oxygen mask even after Day One at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon’s first day encapuslated some of the most important things about the tournament to come:
1) the absence of Nadal: it is tradition for the champion to open up on Centre Court at the start of the new Wimbledon tournament, but this year Federer had the honours as runner-up. It was a shame; the Majorcan is unable to play due to tendonitis and fluid on his kneecaps (you wouldn’t believe how much that makes me shudder), and after the epic final last year and his early exit from the French Open, he will be sorely missed.
2) a shock more »
Due to it being such a tense tournament, I’ve been compiling this best and worst dressed list as a bit of light relief. Feel free to add your own contribution or disagree; I’m hardly the world’s leading name in tennis fashion:
1) At first, I scoffed at the alarmingly bumble bee-like attire Juan Martin del Potro sported. Even now, I feel a bit ashamed at placing it in the ‘Best’ part of this list. Black and white striped top, finished off with a bright yellow headband and wristbands: the headlines screamed ‘Tall, Skinny Argentine Bumble Bee Gives an Inspired Performance at Rolland Garros’
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