Archive for July, 2010


Looking forward to the finals

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

There doesn’t seem a worse way to be knocked from a tournament, than when you play your absolute best and yet your opponent manages to beat you in straight sets. Unfortunately for Andy Murray, this was the case yesterday in the semi-finals. Rafael Nadal beat Murray 6-4 7-6 (8-6) 6-4, bringing out those big guns of his to knock back Britain’s hopes for another year. The crowd were split in their loyalties; many of course had paid good money to see Murray, but Nadal isn’t a stranger to the Wimbledon audience and although his winning points weren’t greeted with quite such raucous enthusiasm, there were nonetheless a great number of Rafa fans to spur him on.

Murray didn’t play badly; he seemed so relaxed and focused he was almost Federer-esque. The occasion of the moment didn’t, at least obviously, be affecting his game. The pair were both into a rhythm from the word go, showing off their respective talents in serving, forehands and backhands. Murray’s serve was particularly good, undoubtedly an asset when you have a man like Nadal prowling at the other end of the court. The first break  was at 4-4, with Murray pushing a forehand out of the tramlines and giving Nadal the chance to seal the first set. The second set remained very similar to the first; Murray’s serve kept himself out of trouble and Rafa continued to play groundstrokes at a speed that seemed humanly impossible.

You had to wonder whether any of those balls had offended Nadal during the tournament, because he se more »


Men’s Quarter Finals

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

As if the women’s quarter finals weren’t enough, the men’s singles quarter finals have managed to give me palpitations. Novak Djokovic started off the first quarter final match and although it wasn’t a shocker for him to beat Yen-Hsun Lu 6-3 6-2 6-2, he played with a vitality, emotion and deftness that made him look like the Djokovic from two or three years ago, the one that won the Australian Open. The stilted, unhappy, out of form Djokovic of the last few years has disappeared; the Djoker has returned. And he will go on to play Tomas Berdych, the culmination of the biggest shock of the day.

Once again, Roger Federer won’t be in a Grand Slam final. At the French Open we could put that down to an anomaly; this time it was just plain freaky. All the credit has to go to his competitor, Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who beat Federer 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-4. After such a fantastic year at the French Open, Berdych could have disappeared into obscurity in the changeover to grass court. Except of course, this being the wonderful game we know and love, quite the opposite has occurred. Berdych beat Federer Mind-blowing chaos broke out in Centre Court, with barely a handful of people staying on to watch the opening games of Andy Murray’s match, probably needing to dowse themselves with cold water and drink something sugary to help recover from the shock they had just seen.

Fortunately for those of unsound nerves, t more »

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