Wimbledon is the sanctuary of tennis. The complex is the tennis version of heaven. It is the most prestigious tournament in the world with the most history. This tournament defines tennis greatness. It is the only Grand Slam played on a beautiful grass court surface. The players all are decked out in all whites. Everything is done in an extremely proper fashion. Even the fans are typically more polite and behaved than at the other tournaments.
This year though, many odd occurences have occurred. First of all, American John Isner and the Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, played an unforgettable first round match that spanned over 3 days. A match that was nearly 5 hours longer than any other match in tennis history. A match where the 5th set by itself lasted longer than any other full match in tennis history. A match for the ages. And it was just the first round between a wild card and a guy ranked right around 23rd in the world. This was just the beginning of the insanity.
Andy Roddick, a 3 time finalist on the grass court haven was upset by the 82nd ranked player in the world, Yen-Hsun Lu. A day later, another American, Venus Williams, who had made 8 of the previous 10 finals here was upset by the 82nd ranked women’s player in the world (Tsvetana Pironkova). Then perhaps the most surprising result of the tournament and probably the entire year occurred in the men’s quarterfinals.
Mr. Wimbledon himself, Roger Federer, the 6 time champion, and the man who had made 7 consecutive finals here, was defeated handily in 4 sets. Tomas Berdych, the 12th ranked player in the world, and a man with endless talent, handled the great champion with ease. Roger Federer after making 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals, has now exited 2 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments in the quarterfinals. It was getting to the point where Wimbledon should have been considering naming Centre Court, Federer Court. Similar to how Roland Garros should look into naming their Centre Court, Nadal Court. But Goliath went down.
The only sanity going on in this tournament is the continued dominance of Serena Williams solely. She heads into the finals against the 21st ranked Vera Zvonareva as a heavy favorite. Zvonareva has never been past the 4th round at Wimbledon and has never played in a Grand Slam final. She is the 2nd lowest ranked female player ever to make the finals of this most prestigious of tournaments. It is shocking to think that she will be taking on the mighty Serena Williams on the big stage. But at this year’s version of Wimbledon, there is no holds bar. Anything can happen and the little known Zvonareva could slay the mighty titan, Serena.
The men’s side still has 3 of the top 4 seeds, which seems ordinary. But a Federerless semifinal is way out of the ordinary. I guess to cap off this untraditional tourney, Andy Murray, the British native, would need to capture the crown. It would be the first time since 1936 (Fred Perry), that a Britishman captured the Wimbledon crown.
In this year’s version of Grass Court Mayhem, anything could happen.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.