Men’s semi finals

Jul 3, 2011

The two men’s semi finals matches caught the world’s attention, as the four men faced up to muscle their way into Wimbledon’s finals. The first to be successful was Novak Djokovic, who was beaming from ear to ear in post match interviews, citing this tournament as his dream to win. He has only lost one of the last 50 matches he has played, and so it was little surprise that once he got into his
rhythm, Tsonga was merely a bump in the road. Still, a tricky bump that certainly put Nole through his paces. Despite some moments of purely brilliant, athletic and downright circus-acrobatic tennis, Tsonga made some howlers and awful unforced errors that completely undid his good work. He was playing in the last four for the first time, and with Djokovic able to smell a position as number one in the world, he just wasn’t going to let go of his dream.

The next pairing up brought slightly more attention, particularly over here in Britain. Fans of ‘Muzza’ packed out Henman hill and the stadium, although of course Nadal’s loyal supporters were there too. The ever watchful Uncle Tony was as stoic as ever, until the match got under way and then that passion that Nadal shares came to the fore. It was a spirited first set, the advantages jumping from one player to another. Britain squealed as Murray took the first set, and pundits blew forth with pride that their predictions had been so spot on. And then the second set came, and Murray could only wave over his shoulder at his good game plan. He cites high risk tennis as the reason. I’m not sure it was the high risk tennis that was the issue, more that he felt in a position to put on high risk tennis. An arrogance and overconfidence, if you will, that because he took the first set he was on the march to victory. He should have stuck to the way he normally plays, the way that had seen him beat Nadal in the first set and in the past.

Murray isn’t going to go anywhere without a grand slam title soon. I have no idea what is left in terms of mental and physical well being. But if he doesn’t find something that ignite his spark soon, he will fade away as another British pretender. There is only so long you can stay at the top but without a grand slam, before the mental exhaustion gets to you and age catches up on you. Murray fans say he is still young, but with the other players in the top four having achieved better feats at a younger age, there is only so long that that excuse will hold. As for Nadal, well now he faces the Djoker. But it has been a while since the Serb has been called that. Djokovic is a new man, a confident headstrong player who has found his game. He’s skinnier – in a healthy, non-gluten way – fitter and happier. All of this appears to be a potent combination for him. Nadal is his usual, awe inspiring self. Injury is a thing of the past, with his foot forgotten. He is playing great tennis, maybe not the best tennis of his life, but fantastic tennis nonetheless.

This final is set to be a good one, a combination we haven’t seen much of in the past, but one that may become ‘the new’ rivalry.

-          SophieG

Written by: SophieG

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