Jul 8, 2013


Wimbleweird. Wimblegeddon. Wimble-done. These were just some of the puns that were  used by die hard and casual tennis fans alike to describe the recently concluded Wimbledon Championships. Who could blame them, really, after the tournament lost former champion Rafael Nadal in the first day (!) of the tournament? Who would have thought that Nadal would go out in straight sets to 135th-ranked Steve Darcis? Who also would have thought that Roger Federer would follow him out of Wimbledon by the third day of the tournament, losing to 116th-ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky? The leading women were also not exempt themselves as Victoria Azarenka (retiring due to a knee injury sustained while in the competition), Maria Sharapova (losing to young ace Michelle Larcher De Brito), Ana Ivanovic (bowing out to former Junior Wimbledon champ Eugenie Bouchard), Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic were all out of the competition by the time Federer and his orange-soled shoes said their goodbye. 

By the second week, things seemed back to normal. Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray (Britain's Great Hope), David Ferrer and Juan Martin del Potro were still in. So were Serena Williams (the heavy favorite to win), Petra Kvitova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na

As the top seeds, Djokovic and Serena were now the overwhelming favorites to win. Djokovic stuck to the script and defeated a resurgent del Potro in an epic semifinal to forge a date with Murray, who many is expecting to finally extinguish the ghost of Fred Perry after 77 years. Murray's campaign last year, while so close, still ended in tears and heartbreak.  

Serena, on the other hand, bowed to the grass loving German Sabine Lisicki. Unfortunately for Serena, Lisicki's main specialty since 2009 has been to upset the current Roland Garros champion at Wimbledon.  When the dust finally settled on the women's side, Lisicki and quirky Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli (she of the comedic serve and hilarious practice swings in between points) were the only ones left. Thus, the Ladies Final featured two players that have never won a Grand Slam trophy before. In the end, it was second time Wimbledon finalist Bartoli who hoisted the trophy after Lisicki was rattled by a severe case of stage fright.

On the men's side, destiny seemed to be smiling on Murray's side. He almost never made it to the finals after being pushed to the brink by Fernando Verdasco (he of the perfectly gelled hair that never moves) in the quarterfinals and Polish up-and-comer Jerzy Janowicz in the semis. 

The whole Murray-Djokovic final was, sorry for the word, dreadful in the sense that there were lots of looooong rallies and not a lot of taking chances and hitting winners from both sides. Djokovic seemed not himself as he was missing a lot on his favored backhand down the line shots. I guess losing last year's final endeared Murray to a lot of hometown fans since one can feel how immensely invested they were in every Murray point. (In the past, Britons seemed to cheer for Murray out of duty because they had no other British guy to cheer for.) Fans were totally behind him, even cheering belatedly (and mistakenly) for points that did not go their countryman's way. You can also feel how Murray was soaking all the love and adoration in as he seemed very positive and happy to be out there. Murray finally defeats Djokovic after a dramatic final game (which, if Djokovic had won, could've led to a momentum shift) to become the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years. Tears of joy and goosebumps everywhere! 

In the end, this year's Wimbledon was a tournament for dreamers and believers. A tournament that will be remembered for the crazy ones who believed that they could defeat the Rafas, Rogers, Serenas and Marias of the world. It showed that everyone, no matter what their rank is or no matter the amount of struggle that they had to endure in the past, has an equal chance at Grand Slam glory. So, yeah, I think this video somewhat sums up this year's Wimbledon perfectly:

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