Wimbledon excitement mounting….

Jun 19, 2010

Who needs the World Cup, vuvuzelas and incomprehensible off-side rules? For the tennis fans of the world, there’s a special marking on the calendar: it’s the Wimbledon season once again. Strawberries and cream, cardigans, the all-white uniforms for the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club’s biggest two weeks of the year. All of these things get tennis fans and fans of the summer (and cardigans) tingling with excitement. As a biased Brit myself, I have to say I have a glow of pride and exhilaration at the idea of Wimbledon beginning again. Of course it’s helped by the fact it is wedged so close to the end of the French Open. It must be an exhausting schedule for the players, but a bonus for the fans.

So what has been happening whilst we’ve been coming down from a French Open high? Queens conjured a raft of surprises and unexpected defeats, starting with Andy Roddick’s exit to Israeli Dudi Sela. With Roddick being considered a King amongst Kings at this event, the upset was a truly shocking one, at 6-4 7-6 (10-8). Roddick will be disappointed going into Wimbledon with a poor warm up at Queens, particularly at a tournament he dominated at for so many years.

Another Andy went awol at the AEGON Championships: Andy Murray was defeated by American Mardy Fish 6-4 1-6 7-6 (7-2). This was a blow for the top British player; Wimbledon is the one tournament where even Murray doubters have to admit he is dangerous, and yet he is going into it with a frankly awful run that started when he lost in the finals at the Australian Open. Of course Murray fever is bound to sweep the nation, but even the most stalwart fan has to admit the going hasn’t been good for the Scot since the end of the first Grand Slam. But if he finds his groove, picks up his self confidence and doesn’t listen to the constant calls to be more aggressive, he could be a real threat.

Novak Djokovic was a big surprise at the tournament in more ways than way; he was one of the top names that bombed out early at Queens, losing 6-3 4-6 6-2 to Xavier Malisse. But, in a surprise and rather odd coupling, he went boldly into the doubles tournament with friend Erlich. And guess what, they won. This first-time doubles pair beat Beck and Skoch in the finals 6-7 (6), 6-2,10-3, and celebrated in true classy style; a high five with all of the ball boys/girls and some rather odd poses with the trophy. Well done to them, maybe we have a doubles match made in heaven?

In the end, Sam Querrey was victorious in the final against Mardy Fish, and they look keen as anything to continue a good grass run into Wimbledon and chase the higher seeds for the top prize.

Kim Clijsters will make an emotional return to SW19 this year. The last time she stepped out on court her life was completely different; since then she has had a baby, married, and sadly lost her father to lung cancer. She’s also won a grand slam as an unseeded player, and is now the most exciting player to look out for. She was absent for the French Open with a torn muscle and so will be eager to get back onto a new Grand Slam surface and make her mark.

Still, there are the Williams sisters to contend with. Can anyone really shift these two away from the top spot, either in singles or in doubles? We hope so; the final at French Open was surprising but ultimately uplifting, and led to the making of more high profile names in the women’s tournament that aren’t, say, Sharapova or Williams. One can only hope this continues at Wimbledon.

There’s not much left to say but to look forward to an exciting tournament coming up, and hope that the weather behaves itself. This will be the second year with the centre court roof; how will it be utilised this time? Will there finally be a British champion at Wimbledon? Or are the likes of Rafa and Federer just too all-imposing? Will we have another completely unpredictable women’s final? Guess we’ll be finding out soon.

- SophieG

Written by: SophieG

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