Tuesday, July 10, 2012

WIMBLEDON: The highs and lows of the 2012 Championships - Federer, Nadal, Sue Barker, Troicki and more...

Player of the tournament 
Roger Federer’s genius in navigating a Grand Slam draw was on full display throughout the fortnight. He phenomenally handled his third round match against Julien Benneateau, who led the Swiss by two sets before Federer came back to win in five, coming through a daunting fourth-set tiebreak 8-6. He also knows how to peak at the right time and after ousting Djokovic in the semis, the King of Grass was in complete magician form against Murray in the final, hitting inconceivable shots that saw him amass 62 winners, twice as much as he hit against Djokovic.

Biggest surprise 

Rafael Nadal had made the final on his last five trips to Wimbledon, winning the title twice in 2008 and 2010, so when he lost to Czech Republic’s Lukas Rosol, ranked 100 in the world, only a few weeks after capturing a record-breaking seventh Roland Garros crown, millions of eyebrows were collectively raised in shock. Hats off to Rosol whose impeccable serving allowed Nadal only 4 break point opportunities in the entire five-set encounter.

When former player and current BBC presenter Sue Barker finished her emotional interview with Murray after his final defeat, her first words to Federer were basically a continued consolation session for the defeated Scot. Instead of congratulating Federer for a historic 17th Major, record-equaling seventh Wimbledon and his return to the No1 spot, she felt Murray needed more attention first. She may have been addressing a home crowd and touched by Murray’s tears but still she should know better than that.

Wimbledon officials were troubled by one main factor during the Championships and that was whether to close or not to close the the $125 million Centre Court roof. A decision that caused much controversy on each rainy day at the All England Club and was met by lots of scepticism from players, pundits and spectators. Officials were constantly faced with the dilemma of trying to keep Wimbledon an outdoor tournament while still getting matches played and broadcasted when the rain is trying to mess with the schedule. Closing it for Murray’s match against Baghdatis was met with consent while closing it for Nadal’s match against Rosol was criticised. Keeping it open for Wozniacki’s first round was scrutinised while Piers Morgan tweeted “The world’s most expensive non-used roof” before organisers finally closed the roof for the men’s singles final.

Unsung hero 
Angelique Kerber may not be the most well-known of the new generation of German ladies taking on the WTA but the world No7 had an incredible fortnight at Wimbledon before she lost to Agnieszka Radwanska in the semis. She took out four-time Major champion Kim Clijsters and withstood 10 aces and 57 winners from countrywoman and Sharapova-conqueror Sabine Lisicki to prove that her semi-final showing at last year’s US Open was no fluke. Expect more good things from Angie!

Best match
Serena Williams v Petra Kvitova 
That quarter-final between the defending champion and the eventual champion was a thrilling contest even though Williams won in straights. Both players were hitting big, setting up points with massive serves and decent approaches and hanging on in points any other player in the WTA would have totally abandoned much earlier. Williams deserved to win but Kvitova left Wimbledon with her head held high.

Funny moment 

When Viktor Troicki was getting thumped by his friend and fellow Serb Novak Djokovic in the quarters, a fan in the crowd decided to offer him some advice by yelling “go to his backhand” right before Troicki served. The world No31 jokingly offered his racquet to the fan implying he should play Djokovic himself, before he hit a service winner to the Djokovic backhand. The crowd roared as Troicki laughed and gave a thumbs-up to the mystery fan.
Also a shoutout must go out to the spectator who yelled "new balls please" when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was hit in his private parts by a shot from Andy Murray in their semi-final

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