It was a solid Wimbledon this year. The grass is slower, the upsets fewer, the rain came but the roof was a triumph. Here are a few of my top moments and events from the tournament.
1. The arrival of Bernard Tomic
Aussie tennis was in crisis. Hewitt’s ranking is plummeting and the heir to his throne should have been Tomic, but there were many doubters. Not any more. His demolitions of Davydenko, Soderling and Malisse, showed us what he is capable of. New Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter can sleep easier now.
2. Isner vs. Mahut 2 announced as a first round match
Shock and awe was the reaction. The people or the players were not sure what to feel when it was announced. Sure enough the actual match was an anti-climax, how could it live up to the last one, but these 2 players are destined to be with each other it seems. They play doubles now even.
3. Milos Raonic withdrawal
A huge threat this year, but sadly picked up an injury first round. Next year I imagine he will be an even bigger prospect on the grass.
4. Fedrerer vs. Nalbandian for old times sake
The match was nothing special, although we saw flashes of brilliance form both players and a reminder of the kind of returns Nalbandian can come up with. But it was interesting to see how big of a difference in fitness and motivation there is between two 29 year olds. Nalbandian is all about the Davis Cup around the corner though, so he was happy to get some match practice in.
5. New court 2 unveiled, goodbye the Graveyard of seeds?
Wimbledon are doing a great job of staying modern amidst all the tradition with roofs and modifications to courts. Most players will be happy to see the back of the Graveyard of seeds, the old number 2 court, as it is now number 3. Will the curse be lifted finally?
6. William and Kate pitch up to watch
We know by now that Kate is a tennis fan, so expect more Royal glamor than ever before for the next few years. I wonder who her favorite player is. Federer probably. Will they attend Challengers and Futures? Unlikely.
7. ‘Deliciano’ Lopez puts all the pieces together for a good showing
Also known as F-lo and in the words of Vince Spadea, ‘never met a mirror he didn’t like’, Lopez put his head on straight and showed us all what damage he can do on the grass. He has had a good year on clay no less and his big lefty serve, backhand slice and good volleys was tailor-made for a good run.
8. Tsonga makes his mark
The Federer record breaking had to come to an end and in many ways it was good it was against an attacking, Federeresque game that is Tsonga’s. The Frenchman has always looked a champion and perhaps he’s ready to join the big boys. A top 5 player for sure.
9. US Tennis
A real transition period with Fish and Roddick sitting atop but for how long. On the next tier, Querry and Isner are struggling for that major breakthrough while young Ryan(s) Harrison and Sweeting look good but need some steady results. Veteran tennis is strong with 10% of the top 100 American, but that could change quickly. Interesting times.
10. Federer’s Swansong?
The loss to Tsonga is a blow. It’s not just Murray, Nadal and Djokovic that threaten it’s expanding, so you have to wonder if this was his last, best chance to win another one. Personally I hope he’s back for another couple of years, so long as he can still issue some beat-downs throughout the year, otherwise no one wants to see a great champion cling on to the top 5.