Archive for the ‘Wimbledon’ Category

 

Day Four

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

 

Wimbledon is starting to pick up pace on Day Four as the sun shines. Tickets were numbered in the 9000s; even a BBC sports journalist lamented that he had a ticket numbered 9586. But still, he persevered, and who wouldn’t when a shot at watching some live Wimbledon action was up for grabs?

 

Not only is the weather treating the tournament well, but the players are starting to make an impact on the grass. Already, one of the big names of the French Open has fallen. Juan Martin del Potro lost today against Lleyton Hewitt 6-3 7-5 7-5. The 5th seed Argentine found himself floundering agains the 56th seed Australian who moved obviously felt more comfortable on the grass. Considering that Hewitt has not been much of a threat at Grand Slams as of late and del Potro helped to blast open the more »

 

A Country’s Pressure

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Ironically, at the only tournament where the nation has got bountiful vim and vigour when it comes to their tennis, six Brits go out on the second day. And how does a journalist respond to this sting? Well one of them, at Anne Keothavong’s press conference, asked: “Do you feel like you have let people down?”

Give that journalist a prize for being the most tactless one at Wimbledon so far.

But this is the pitfall of Wimbledon for a British player; it should be a pride, an honour to play in a tournament so deeply embedded in your own country’s history, in something that has long brightened the summers of the UK and made strawberries and cream renowned.

It seems, however, that the British public enjoy heaping on the pressure to such a degree it’s rare to see a British player flourish at Wimbledon.

The six players who were defeated today – Josh Goodall, Katie O’Brien, Anne Keothavong, Georgie Stoop, Alex Bogdanovic and Dan Evans – are under an immense spotlight in the UK. Keothavong’s press conference just proves that.

Tim Henman is another case in point. Every year the country whipped itself into a frenzy of Henman worship, the hopes of the nation built day after day that this year would be the year he won Wimbledon. Not to say that Henman didn’t do well. He reached the semi-finals in Wimbledon in 2001 – losing to Ivanisevic. Henm more »

 

Good day Wimbledon

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

I’m not sure about anyone else, but it feels as though Wimbledon has really crept up on me. One minute Federer is falling to his knees on the blood red clay of Rolland Garros, the next Andy Murray is starring shirtless on the front of The Radio Times and sales of strawberries and cream are starting to pick up.

At least that is how we celebrate the start of Wimbledon over here in England. In the summer, British sport comes to life: there’s the Ashes for cricket, the Grand Prix for racing (this year its last year at the historic Silverstone), and then there’s Wimbledon. And so when the summer comes, we celebrate in style.

Even those who don’t follow the other Grand Slams have barely been able to catch their breath after Rafael Nadal beat Federer in that epic Wimbledon final last year. And those of us that have been following the last twelve months of tennis are having to strap on an oxygen mask even after Day One at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon’s first day encapuslated some of the most important things about the tournament to come:

1) the absence of Nadal: it is tradition for the champion to open up on Centre Court at the start of the new Wimbledon tournament, but this year Federer had the honours as runner-up. It was a shame; the Majorcan is unable to play due to tendonitis and fluid on his kneecaps (you wouldn’t believe how much that makes me shudder), and after the epic final last year and his early exit from the French Open, he will be sorely missed.

2) a shock more »

 

Wimbledon History, Trivia & Stats

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

The oldest and most prestigious of the world’s tennis tournaments was played for the first time in 1877, at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London where it has remained throughout it esteemed history.

The All England was originally formed as a croquet club, only adding the ‘tennis’ in the year that the first tennis championships were held. While croquet is obviously no longer a focus at the club, for sentimental reasons it has remained part of the title…although there was a short lived attempt to have it removed in the early 1880′s.

It didn’t take long for the tournament to garner attention from overseas competitors, with the first foreigner to claim a title being American May Sutton who won the women’s singles in 1905. Norman Brookes of Australia soon after won the men’s title in 1907 and its fate was assured as it went on to become one of the world’s premiere sporting events.

As with the other majors, Wimbledon opened its doors to professional players in 1968 when the Open era began and has remained as the only major to be played on the traditional grass surface.

This has created a stark contrast in particular with the major that proceeds it – The French Open, which is played on clay. These two surfaces can almost be seen as the exact opposite of each other. Grass is very slick with the ball skidding much more and has tradtionally been seen as a serve-volleyers surface. The clay at Rolland Garros is much slower and is more suited to more »

 
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