Thursday, June 17, 2010
Sports movies are often blamed for being far fetched and the same may have been said about Wibledon-the movie as who would have believed the story of a player ranked 119 in the world to win Wimbledon but then Goran Ivanisevic did it ranked 125 so 119 seems to have better odds. The story of a Briton, Peter Colt, on the verge of retirement lifting the trophy at Centre Court and winning the most talented and beautiful girl on the circuit as a bonus does make for a good fairytale. But this article is not on the movie, its about the Championships and what I expect from Wimbledon 2010.
"The Championships" or Wimbledon, as it is popularly known is back. An event, which most of the tennis fans across the world consider be the ultimate test for any tennis professional, Wimbledon has been played at the All England Club for more than 130 years now. Wimbledon is the oldest Grand Slam but now the only one to have stuck to the original surface the game was meant to be played on-Grass. Ivan Lendl might have immortalised the phrase, "Grass is for Cows" but Wimbledon is testimony that if grass is for cows, then all true champions must be cows.
Wimbledon has over the years been the ultimate battleground for all tennis players around the globe. The coveted title is the dream for any youngster aiming to make it big in tennis. But for some time now, that dream seemed to have been blurred by a phenomenon named Roger Federer. Federer, who burst on to the scene by eliminating Pete Sampras, a name synchronous with Wimbledon, in the 4th round of the championships in 2001, went on to win the tournament five years in row from 2003 to 2007. It took "the king of clay" to push Federer off the grass in 2008. But an injury to Nadal was all Federer needed to win back the throne. Andy Roddick took Federer to the limits but lost despite being the better player on the day. Nadal's injury also played a huge role in Federer being able to complete the grand slam of tennis by winning the French Open in 2009.
There has been a lot of debate around whether or not Roger Federer is the best tennis player ever to set foot. Frankly, I don’t think that question can ever be answered. But, I do feel the competition was much greater when the Sampras battled Agassi or Courier or Rafter and when Borg, McEnroe & Connors were busy outwitting each other. After the sheer dominance of Federer for almost half a decade, there finally seems to be a competitive spirit returning to the game with the challenge posed by Nadal & the rise of Djokovic, Soderling, Tsonga among others. The unpredictable Andy Roddick is always a threat on his day. Also, Great Britain has finally got a major challenger for the title in Andy Murray after the retirement of Tim Henman, who somehow just couldn't overcome the semifinal curse he seemed to have had. Thus I feel, Wimbledon this year might be much more interesting than some of the championships in the recent past. So what will happen;
Will Nadal do it again?
Can Soderling repeat what he did at Roland Garros on grass?
Can Roddick finally get the better of Roger?
Can Murray be the real life Peter Colt(albeit the age)?
I maybe wrong and Federer may again sail through, but I will keep my hopes alive and hope for a surprise.