Monday, June 20, 2011

Pre-Wimby Thoughts: Sensing a legendary Wimbledon

Wimbledon starts today and I could have sworn that Isner-Mahut three-day match took place a month ago not a whole freakin' year?! And just to make things more confusing for me, the irony of the tennis gods has pit John Isner and Nicolas Mahut against one another in the first round at SW19 this year.

My first reaction when I saw the draw was just what Isner said he thought: that the draw was definitely rigged! But then I realized how silly that sounded and instead took a moment to appreciate those small delicious coincidences life throws at us from time to time.

Too bad for "Isnut" though. Both players have been trying to shake off that marathon match shadow all year and just like that, the shadow is back to haunt them for perhaps a whole other year to come.

Moving along to the serious stuff... How awesome is it that we come to this Wimbledon with the top four at a level of strength never maintained before heading into the Championships?

Picture this: Rafael Nadal arrives to Wimbledon having won a sixth French Open where he defeated both Andy Murray and Roger Federer en route to the title.

Federer arrives to Wimbledon having outclassed Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros semis, ending the Serb's unbeaten run. Djokovic built that streak over 6 months and it came to a tumbling end at the hands of the master himself!

Djokovic arrives to Wimbledon having won 7 out of his first 7 tournaments in 2011. In his own words, the 24-year-old has never had such a strong build-up to the third Slam of the year. His confidence is through the roof, irrespective of his loss to Federer, who is a 16-Slam champion after all!

Murray arrives to Wimbledon off a very strong clay court season. The Scot took Rafa to three sets in Monte Carlo, almost beat Djokovic in Rome, and overcame some tough mishaps in Paris to make the semis before an imminent fall to "Roi Rafa". I don't know about you but this Murray is a different Murray from the mopey one we know.

Forget the clay, Murray on grass is my favorite kind of Murray. His performances at Queen's Club were as poetic as they were brutal. While his form against Roddick was certainly the most devastating of the week, the way he deconstructed Tsonga is just as admirable.

Indeed never have the top four been this hot coming to the All England Club.

Djokovic said in his press conference that he still places Nadal and Federer ahead of the pack when it comes to Wimbledon, and I don't blame him.

The facts are: Federer has won a record 5 straight Wimbledons, six in total. Nadal has not lost at Wimbledon since his final loss to Federer in 2007 (missed 2009 with injury). His winning streak is currently at 14 at SW19. Federer and Nadal have shared the last eight titles at Wimbledon (Fed 6, Rafa 2).

So yes, it's only human that one would place Rafa and Fed ahead of the pack but this year is unlike any other year and I think it's time experience and stats are tossed out the window.

This is a year Britain can have its first male Wimby champion since 1936. It's a year Djokovic could win his first major on grass. It's a year Murray could not only silence the British media, but earn himself a much-deserved Slam. It's a year Nadal can make the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double for a third time - only Borg has done that. It's a year Federer can equal Pete Sampras' record of 7 Wimbledon titles.

Too many possibilities, none are far-fetched! One thing we take from this is that this will be a legendary Wimbledon!


van said...

Hey Reem! There are a lot of opportunities for great things to happen: A Murray title would be timeless!

Reem said...

You know it's strange, Van.
You know how massive of a Rafa fan I am, but I don't know why I would love it if Murray won Wimbledon this year. It's just about time he's done it...and to win his first at home would be... like you said TIMELESS!