After two weeks of almost non-stop rain and two singles Champions so familiar, that they’re almost a cliché, the Wimbledon’s ground crew now begins scrambling to get the grass ready for the Olympic Games due to begin in just three weeks, giving us a little time to look back over what we learned from one of the best fortnight’s of tennis drama in recent memory.
1. Nadal is susceptible to distraction
Swinging his racket from side to side like a bad Pete Sampras impersonator, Lukáš Rosol managed to rattle the normally stone faced Rafael Nadal, at one point causing his to break his own personal protocol in crossing the net before his opponent and shoulder barging his way to his bench.
And it worked. Rosol managed the impossible, eliminating Nadal in the early rounds, opening up the draw for Murray to make the final, and Federer to claim his 7th title.
So, for future reference, to beat Nadal, all you have to do is mess around like a goalkeeper in a penalty shootout while he’s trying to serve.
Also, when serving for the match, hitting three aces is a good idea.
2. Being #9 in the WTA Rankings is pointless
Sara Errani may well be one of the top 10 female players in the world according to the increasingly discredited WTA Rankings, but she was unable to win a single point in the first set of her third round matchup against Yaroslava Shvedova.
You would think with so many thousands of sets being played every year, that Golden Sets would be common place, however while similar in many respects, winning a Golden Set is far rarer that other perfect scores, such as pitching a perfect game in Baseball (an event which is recently seemingly happening on a daily basis) as according to the tennis officials, it has only happened once in over four decades.
No player in the top 10 should ever succumb to such a humiliating defeat, especially at the hands of someone who needed a wildcard to enter the tournament.
Just like landing on a snake in Snakes a Ladders, losing a Golden Set should slide you all the way to at least 100 in the World.
Just a thought.
3. Getting Hit at Point Blank Range in the Balls can now be refereed to as being “Murray’d”
When Andy Murray decided to rip Jo-Wilfried’s weak drop shot straight back at him, striking the Frenchman right in the Tsonga’s and seemingly delivering a killer blow that brought the 6’2, 200 lbs behemoth to his knees, the Scot immediately and for all time associated himself with deliberately hitting an opponent in the balls.
Not a reputation one thinks of favorably.
4. The Roof Makes a Difference
Over the years Roger Federer has proved time and again that he is far and away better than his contemporaries indoors.
His flatter strokes and smaller margins for errors has shown to make him vulnerable in the wind, shanking an alarming amount of forehands for such a great player.
So when Wimbledon closed it’s roof, it was a game changer that nobody could ignore. Federer player as though he was indoors at the O2 Arena in the year-end Championships, flawless tennis striking the sweet spot with every swing.
If it keeps raining every summer (and it definitely will), the roof could prolong Federer’s Wimbledon dominance for a few years longer than it would have without.
5. Andy Murray can deliver a Runner’s Up Speech
Andy Murray has not made a habit of ingratiating himself to tennis fans over the years, but on occasion, he has hit a cord that few other players have managed to.
Back at the 2010 Australian Open, Murray proclaimed in his post-match speech, “I can Cry Like Roger, it’s a shame I can’t play like him”, which cynics could interpret as self-pitying, but in all reality was a sincere expression of respect to the great man.
Once again, after losing in his fourth Grand Slam final, Murray was funny, open, endearing, and various other adjectives to the affirmative.
Joking, “I’m getting closer”, and that, “he’s not bad for a 30-year old”, Murray managed to connect with a crowd that has a reputation for turning on their home-grown favorites the moment they lose.
Even the most ardent of Murray critics were left hoping he does one day win a major, and perhaps even Wimbledon.
6. Serena Williams makes the WTA Rankings Meaningless
While she will likely never play a full enough schedule to ever top the rankings again, Serena Williams has proven than when she wants it, she is the best player in the World.
And while her decision to play only when she chooses is fine, that does inevitably take away from the title of Wold Number One in the women’s game.
Perhaps a new moniker for such an achievement should be the “Statistical Number One Player in the World”.
This is nothing new in the women’s game.
Over the last few years, the WTA Tour has seen more second-rate number one’s than the UK Pop Charts of the 1980′s, and that is not good for the game.
Someone needs to step up and take the reins.
7. Roger Federer is the Greatest Player of All Time
With 17 Grand Slams and 7 Wimbledon singles titles, and more weeks at number one than any man in history, Roger Federer has finally drilled the final nail in the coffin on the debate on who is the Greatest of All Time. End of story.
Well, at least in the men’s game.