I’ve fallen behind on writing in this busy week, so I’ll have to settle for posting a few links from one of my favorite sports events: Wimbledon. Anyone who’s been in the same room as me when a match is on TV can attest to how much I like to watch tennis; however, I’ve really fallen behind on keeping up with the pro tour and playing the sport itself despite the abundance of free and municipal courts in Washington. However, I’ve been looking at some updates from Wimbledon here and there, and honestly, I’m not as disappointed with myself about it anymore. It looks like the men’s final four here will look exactly as it has for so many Grand Slam tournaments in the past few years: In the semis, Roger Federer will face Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will face young Frenchman Richard Gasquet. It’s not exactly earth-shattering to say that Federer will take the final (probably in four sets). Rafa should put up a good fight, but his stamina and better overall play probably won’t be a match for Federer’s blinding power. I could go on about why I think this is an unavoidable shame, but I’ll instead stand behind my friend Jason, who has summed it up quite well.
In spite of the boredom of the tournament bracket, a lot of interesting and funny things are going on at Wimbledon, as one could expect when scads of press and pampered athletes converge in the summer. Here are a few headlines that I think should appear in this year’s coverage:
- American Tennis Is Dead: The 90’s and early 00’s were such an amazing time to be an American tennis fan. We had the perennial greatness of Sampras and Agassi and a lot of promising young guns like Taylor Dent, James Blake, Mardy Fish, and of course, Andy Roddick. Even the older guys like Todd Hamilton had an incredible amount of vitality, doing things like resurrecting a 2-sets-and-change deficits to win the match over the course of a grueling 5 hours (2 years in a row!). Now, our players have gone from beating huge leads to blowing them, as did Andy Roddick when he was up 6-4, 6-4, 4-2 against Gasquet. All that America’s last best hope had to do was win eight points, and there could have been someone from our side of the Atlantic in the semis. Sad.
- Small Ego Not A French Virtue: I’ll leave that to this great quote from Richard Gasquet after sending Roddick home:
Roddick had won 18 consecutive tiebreakers before losing the third set. Roddick and Gasquet finished with the same number of unforced errors, 29 apiece, but Gasquet complied a 93-60 edge in winners, including 18 passing shots.
“When I play good with my serve and my backhand I am really dangerous,” the 12th-seeded Frenchman said.
“Now that I’m through, I think it’s definitely a bit of an advantage,” admitted Federer, who said he spent the previous days practicing, watching movies, playing cards and going to the hairdresser.
Oh well, I’ll soon have to find something else to watch…