After the completion of the first week of Wimbledon 2012 the tournament has thrown up numerous storylines to put a smile on every journalists face, the court conditions and the inclement weather has been talked about, the use of the roof on centre court has been up for debate, the All England Club has seen numerous upsets occur in both the men’s and women’s singles competitions with the most popular discussion point from week 1 being the shock early exit of two time former champion Rafael Nadal in the second round, I would like to take a look at Rafa’s early demise and the early exits of two other former world No.1′s in Caroline Wozniacki and Andy Roddick.
Nadal was many people’s pick to either win the men’s title this year of finish runner up, the fact he was bundled out so early in the tournament is still somewhat hard to believe but Lukas Rosol from the Czech Republic certainly made a believer out of all of us in watching him dispatch the King of Clay in five sets in one of the biggest Grand Slam upsets in recent memory, now that we have had time to digest the loss of Nadal I think if we look closely enough then we will uncover the probable reasons for the Spaniards demise.
Rafa would have expended so much mental energy on winning his record 7th title at Roland Garros that he was always going to be susceptible to an upset in the early rounds at SW19, his first match against Tomaz Bellucci was hardly convincing but nobody was prepared for what was to come against the 100th ranked Rosol in round 2, a combination of Rafa trying to come to terms with grass courts so soon after the clay court season and an opponent who had nothing to lose and swung from the hip throughout the match saw the Mallorcan in trouble right from the start, I am in no doubt that Nadal thought Rosol would eventually start making more unforced errors and that he wouldn’t have to use up too much mental energy to get across the line, we could use the 5th set roof closing as an excuse for the Spaniard losing momentum but he has won 11 Grand Slam titles so he was still expected to prevail, in the end I think it was just one of those days for Rafa, a combination of Rosol playing the tennis of his life against a mentally drained and unprepared Nadal.
Many were saying after Nadal’s loss, what happened to Rafa? What I was also asking myself after the completion of round 1 in the women’s singles was…What has happened to Caroline Wozniacki? The 21 year old Dane lost to Tamira Paszek first up and has had a remarkable fall from grace after starting the 2011 version of Wimbledon as the No.1 seed, although she is yet to win a Grand Slam title her consistency on the WTA tour over the last few season’s has been second to none, as we commenced season 2012 she was still ranked as the best women’s player in the world albeit by the slimmest of margins, that title was taken away from her by Victoria Azarenka after the Belarusian’s title run in Melbourne, Australia, since then Wozniacki has continued to fall down the world rankings and heading into The Championships at Wimbledon she was currently ranked 7th.
Wozniacki won six titles in 2011 but she has yet to win even one in season 2012, so what is going on with the young lady from Denmark I wonder, maybe she is the type of person who needs to be solely focused on her tennis career in order to perform to her best, is it only coincidence that her tennis results have deteriorated since her and golfer Rory McIlroy began their relationship? Could it be that the continued expectation of the tennis media has finally worn her down and she is now more passionate about other things in life besides tennis? Will we ever see Caroline change her game and become more aggressive so she can start to dominate some of the more powerful players in the game, does she have the drive and determination to get back to the top of the women’s game I wonder, my view is that by reaching world No.1 so early in her career it has made the young Dane reassess her place in the women’s game, time will tell whether or not she chooses to finish her career early or whether she is determined to work her way back to the top and be a true force in the women’s game.
And lastly in this blog I ponder the future of Andy Roddick, the man who was once always talked about as a genuine threat at SW19 will once again not be around for the second week of the tournament, he did make the third round however and was put out of the tournament by one of the leading players on the ATP tour this year in David Ferrer, but does that warrant a successful tournament for the brash American, in his eyes I would think not! Since his epic loss to Roger Federer in the 2009 Wimbledon Final A-Rod has not been past the round of 16 in the event where he has historically always been a genuine threat, is father time catching up with Andy I wonder, has the men’s game now evolved to the point where having a big serve will no longer guarantee you victory in matches?
The journalists were quick to jump on Roddick when he blew the Wimbledon crowd a kiss when leaving centre court with Ferrer, the question was asked whether that was a goodbye kiss to the many fans at SW19, Roddick’s answer may well mean that maybe it was, he mentioned that it was just a gesture and a different way of going about it but we have never seen that from him before and I did notice a rather longing look around the arena too before he departed. Of course he should be back at Sw19 for the 2012 Olympics very soon but that tournament is played over the best of three sets so it will not be Wimbledon as we know it, there are many what if’s in the career of A-Rod and we may not know for sure whether the Nebraska native is playing his last season until later in the year, in my opinion if the game continues to evolve with heavy groundstrokes being paramount then maybe that kiss of Andy’s to the crowd at SW19 was saying “thanks for the memories”!Written by:
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