LONDON – Another specialization is in the books. This Wimbledon saw Novak Djokovic return to glory after a sterile stretch of two years, Angelique Kerber secured a victory in the Hall of Fame and another instance of injuries that plague tennis on its biggest stage. Here are 50 farewell ideas from Wimbledon 2018.
• The best returnee in tennis has returned. Novak Djokovic wins the men's title for the fourth time, comfortably defeating an impoverished Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (3) in the men's final. Like the Djokovic ground game, you can take this story in any number of directions and angles. But what a dramatic rebound of a guy who had not won a title anywhere in more than a year and without majors since the French Open 2016. The tennis plot has thickened. Dkoker is back. And the Big Three persists, now it has won 46 of the last 54 majors.
• Angelique Kerber neutralized Serena Williams to win the women's title. But she did more. He also defeated a battery of players, old, new, powerful, intelligent, easily. She ended any debate about whether she is Hall of Fame material. She showed that 2017 was the atypical year. No 2016.
• Give credit to Kevin Anderson for winning the 26-24 semifinal over John Isner and reaching his second grand final in ten months. A professional pro rewarded accordingly. But, unfortunately, after beating Roger Federer and winning a semifinal match of 26-24, he had very little left.
• Mike Bryan, now the world's number one male doubles player in history, even at 40 years of age. he won his first major men's doubles title without his brother, Bob (who is dealing with an injury, not a family dispute), teaming up with Jack Sock. Both defeated Michael Venus and Raven Klaasen in the final. Perhaps this will be the spark that will ignite the dying career of Sock. (And how funny and strange this must be for Mike.)
• While Rafael Nadal was deeply disappointed by his semifinal loss to Djokovic, he should take a small consolation of the caliber of the game. Sometimes we forget what is happening in these games, the great part of the history of tennis at stake. (Nadal wins this game and then wins an 80/20 final against Anderson and suddenly Federer's lead in Slam titles is only 20-18.) However, after six years of meh results here, his level of play was extraordinary. Its durability, after winning 21 of 22 sets in Paris, was encouraging. Their competitive will remains irreproducible. He is innovating, having armed his drop shot. Nadal did not win the title; and yet, he proved once again that he is a champion.
• You had the feeling that Serena Williams was up to her old tricks, entering a tournament and becoming unbeatable for Week Two. He also had the feeling that, after six victories, he finally faced the moment and the magnitude of what he was doing. Still, what tournament. And your service. United States Open. If we are going to play this game, how is it that Serena is not in the top five, waiting for a decent summer?
• Imagine explaining the absurdity of the male Semifinal on Friday to a friend.
"Wait, I see sixes and sevens in the score, I understand, but the WTF with that overall payment of a score in that last set, 26-24 That's crazy."
"Nuts. you have to win by two. "
" Is not there like a mini extra time, a shoot-out-maybe, like a dozen points-can you play to decide? "
" That's what they did in the sets A tiebreaker is aptly named. "
" No one speaks the world properly, it is one of those words of writing alone, but why not a tiebreaker in the fifth? Why play the fifth set at 26-? 24 "That's like four sets in itself"
"Does not it get a little boring?"
"Yes, I did notice many of the fans on their phones"
"No, I mean bored the players, the fans are catatonic, and those guys are not exhausted? The winner can not expect to play the final in something close to his maximum strength. ma Why do that? "
" Tradition. "
" Then the next match starts at 8:15 or so, and you say those guys play slowly. We could be here until the sun comes up "
" Not really. There is a curfew. "
" To what? Like the guy you have in high school? "
" Yes, they have to finish before 11 pm, respecting the neighbors and everything. "
" You mean the neighbors enjoying luxury in Mallorca, making fat bank renting their apartments and homes? Or are the neighboring stores and restaurants with lines at the door? "
" Yes, those neighbors. "
" And at least when they return tomorrow it will be an outdoor game, played under the glorious summer sun. " & # 39; Um …. & # 39;
• Seriously, a brief news about Roger Federer's loss to Anderson: We think of pressure as a force that afflicts the naive and the new, but there is a different kind of pressure on veterans who know that his windows are finite Federer lost the game at 6-2, 7-6, 5-4, after keeping a match point and having a decent look on a backhand pbad, he hits the potential winner shot badly, dropped the set and the game changed completely Silver linings for the RF tribe Weeks since the age of 37, he was the best player in Week One, physically emerges unharmed, and does not change the clothing brands if he has imminent (or eminent) plans )
• Andy Murray was missed, suffering – as he continues to do – with an injury. In commenting, that is at least a comfort to the rest of us. It is equally insightful and ingenious in the cabin.
• To an unprecedented degree, the women's draw was devastated by surprises. Nine of the top 10 players lost before the fourth round and there were none, as in the top 10 represented in the quarterfinals. Too many of you see these results and use them reflexively as an argument against the dominance of Serena Williams. ("It has no rivals! The field is soft!") Try this more beneficial approach: we see again and again how tenuous life can be at the top, how fragile the athletes can be, how the slightest dissonance leads to the defeat. When Serena arrives at the last tournament rounds so ritually, she talks about her strength, not the weakness of others.
• If you missed it last week, Martina Navratilova, who speaks with authority, rivals few; and has barely retrograde views on gender issues; has a theory that invites reflection on why there are so many disorders in women's tennis. "Too many things are done for these players today, they do not do anything by themselves except to hit the ball, the coaches, the drivers, the physios, they move and someone brings them a towel." I saw a player extend his arm and someone applied sunblock, they do not have to take responsibility, then they leave [in a Slam] and they are just them, and when the "you know" hits the admirer, and they have to make all these decisions, what to shoot to hit, how to adjust They are not ready. "Food for thought.
• I was struck by the diversity of disorders. Some had a less than normal preparation. Others to the nerves. Some (I'm thinking that Ekaterina Makarova's victory over Carolina Wozniacki on the turf) were not at all annoying, the damn seeds. But the most shocking surprise was Simona Halep, the main favorite, who lost to Su-Wei Hsieh. After exorcising her until now without more history at the French Open, it was unpleasant to see her waste a match point and then retire. You want to tell Halep: "You're number one for a reason, you've won the French Open, so you have demonstrable proof that you're capable of winning seven games, go walk like a boss!"
• Making us echo of the feelings of many of you … we have never liked so much to see a corporate logo as we were the IBM badge on the Center Court scoreboard. For the first time in a Slam in 2018, the technology was up to snuff, the application worked, the scores were updated, the biographies of the players contained the correct information. You've heard the old line of George Will condemn the fans of the New York Yankees: "It's like taking IBM." In tennis, we rely on IBM.
• Thanks to those of you who wrote about Strokes of Genius . (I am forced to point out that, unlike L-MM, you write humbly – you missed the screening, now you can get it on iTunes.) Writing a book is an intensely lonely experience. A film, on the other hand, is so collaborative that if all those who deserved it joined the victory, they would need crossing guards. Special appeal to the director, Andrew Douglas. Forgive this forgetfulness to sentimentality, but throughout the process, it caught my attention: just as Federer and Nadal represent the correct and ennobled about tennis, this film also represents the best angels of tennis at work. Often, when we talk about tennis failure lines and fractured and balkanized nature. This was the opposite. The All England Club was an excellent partner. John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Severin Luthi, Carlos Moya and dozens of others … all gave generously as much time as frankness. In the days before Wimbledon, Tim Henman arranged access to the Central Court and broke his schedule to join Ted Robison and me for a discussion between Federer and Nadal. Above all, consider what Federer and Nadal say that both participated voluntarily and honestly.
• Okay, one more point about Federer and Nadal: There are two retirees, years removed from their battles, remembering the past glory while hanging on the golf course. It is about two players, clbadified in the n. ° 1 and n. ° 2, still (surprisingly) in their fat years, taking time out of their schedules to reflect on this seminal game – which only won one – and the contours of their relationship. This says a lot about his character. But this also says a lot about the mbadive discharge of respect they have not only for the other, but for the rivalry itself.
• The biggest rivalry in this event was not Federer versus Nadal. Or even Uniqlo versus Nike. But rather the gardeners in front of the grbad. They tell us that there was a lot of fighting the week before the game. In the end, the surface played well in general. We hear that next year, more courts will be subject to a Dutch process whereby the worms are not poisoned, but are steamed which helps the integrity of the herb. (I feel that the party person who has exhausted the discussion on horticulture is very interesting ! – and now he should go fill his drink)
• We often use the general term "pressure" "For describe tense situations, but it is worth unpacking the term and considering that pressure comes in different forms Venus Williams is playing Kiki Bertens and is 6-6 in the third set, for Venus, there is the pressure of expectation, and defending points of the world ranking to reach the end of 2017, and remain in the draw and continue in the main race you have won five times and, at 38, represents your best chance to grab another .For Bertens, there is the pressure to know that this is one of the most important matches of your career, an opportunity that could significantly alter your life, a game that you win or lose, that you will probably remember for decades, the idea that players "do not have in nothing to lose "is as vague as it is false. Stars are sometimes fried in the boiling oil of pressure. But so are those of rank and file. Venus loses that game (as he did) and it's a problem in the Hall of Fame race. Bertens loses that match and is "was not she the one who had Venus on the ropes and could not close?" (Ask Heather Watson, who almost defeated Serena at the Central Court in 2015, could not close at all and did not). t been the same player since then.)
• A veteran player (who is using the content well, but does not want his name to be used) practiced with Nadal during the tournament and came out shaking his head. "Total Beast … The level of intensity is like nothing you've seen … He started before me and I was there when I left, sweating like crazy … I mean, he's drilling, during a Slam … Perforation! 1 in the world, I just won the French and that's how I practice. "
• Another big disappointment (and a small disappointment) for No. 4 Alexander Zverev, who almost lost in the second round, requiring five sets to beat an aggressive Taylor Fritz And, not without a relationship, lost in the third round, capitulating against the clbadified Ernests Gulbis. Zverev's physical trainer, Jez Green, is as good as they come. But the body failed Zverev again. Mature and honest in defeat, Zverev's self-badessment: "I showed in Paris and other games that I really do not get tired in five-set matches, I definitely did it today." I felt as if someone had unplugged me in the middle of the fourth set. There was no turning back for me. "
• When the WTA Player Exchange opens, I want to buy Daria Kasatkina in the margins. Such a nice player, partly because he has the creative talent of an artist and the organized precision of a lawyer.
• We say it again: Camila Giorgi is the answer of tennis to the girl with the curl. When she is good, she is very good indeed. But when she is bad, she is horrible. It will be difficult for you to find someone who will compete more aggressively. It will be difficult to find someone with less difference between a first and second service. It will be difficult to find a player more fun to watch. He lost in the quarters, but not before taking a set of Serena Williams. For a player who struggled financially, he won $ 350,000, reaching the quarters and taking a game from Serena, and now has more than $ 3 million in revenue on the court for his career.
• Time for our "Hard Sports, This Tennis" episode. Remember Marco Trungelliti, the beloved boy from Paris, the lucky loser who put his grandmother in the back seat and did a tour of Cannonball Run for eight hours to get there in time for your first round match? Here, he lost in the first round of eliminations. And Marco Cecchinato, who reached the semifinals of the French Open and arrived here in 29th place? In the first round the teenager Alex de Minaur.
• The version of this column of each game-count-a-history-does not: Madison Keys takes a 5-2 lead over qualifier Evgeniya Rodina. Inexplicably, Rodina reels nine consecutive games, to go 7-5, 4-0. She has a point to go 7-5, 5-0, but loses a right-footed shot because of the distance that separates
Here and here.
Keys then recovers from six of the next seven games to win the second set, 7-5. (Pause for your Dramamine tablet). In a third round set, Rodina finally prevails. It marked a great setback and a disconcerting and deeply discouraging defeat for Keys. But the score only counted a fraction of the story.
• There is one in each tournament. The latest undercard for college tennis: Mackie McDonald. The star of UCLA and the 2016 NCAA individual champion showed that slippery movement can be as effective a weapon against grbad as power. The 23-year-old reached the fourth round with an important win, 11-9 in the fifth set, on Nicolas Jarry and then an opportunistic victory against Guido Pella (who had beaten Marin Cilic, exploiting that pocket of drawing).
• Analyzes and data do not support the theory that "a guarded pot never boils". But maybe it's time we all turned our eyes away from Nick Kyrgios. Instead, he is what he is. He is not a punk. He is not a rebel Simply a talented and fun to watch player, whose pbadion for tennis and level of maturity have not reached enough levels to win big leagues. He lost to Kei Nishikori in round three.
• You probably think that Wimbledon is an estimated tennis event, the third major in the tennis calendar. Incorrect! It is a towel gripper with a simple elimination tennis tournament added. How much do players value free bedding? Multiple losers were caught grabbing towels from the court before went to the net to shake the hand of their opponent. All the memory.
• Serious point about Federer and Uniqlo: business is business. Nike did not think it was worth the expense and commitment. He finds an alternative offer. It was not matched New contract reached. Of course, it's a pity that he has not been able to complete his career with only one brand. It is a pity that the status of the iconic RF logo is uncertain. Perhaps it is incongruous that a player who projects an exclusive elegance is now with a main brand. But, in general, is not that how commerce and negotiation are supposed to work?
• Apart from the capitulation of the 10 most important seeds, another mark of the flow on the female side (which, we affirm, is not always a bad thing): there were THREE ex finalists in the clbadification draw. Vera Zvonareva and Genie Bouchard made it. Sabine Lisicki no.
• Speaking of Bouchard, born in 1994, we joked during the tournament that we wanted option rights to the story of his work with Robert Lansdorp, born in 1938. (Santa Monica Elevator: " Million Dollar Baby meets The Intern ! ") Physical trainer, fragile, hard and physically fragile, with a trajectory that speaks for itself and faces the young and evil player who tries to save his career and show that she still She is a formidable player, not just an Internet celebrity.
• As much as we like it when a player defies convention and does things his way, Sloane Stephens paid the price for his unusual preparation work. Arriving in the city just 72 hours before his first game, in his first tournament since reaching the final of the French Open, Stephens bowed in the first round, falling to Donna Vekic.
• It would not be a column of 50 Thoughts not to mention injuries Paraphrasing from The Smiths stop and jump to the next point if you have already heard this one. But the sport has a serious problem that slides more and more down the list of priorities. The Tours could make a hole in their budgets by sending cards soon to their players. You had the vision to agonize Ernests Gulbis by breaking his knee while Kei Nishikori was agonizing from an arm injury. Hyeon Chung, the Korean star who got her big break in Australia, which was the key to an emerging market, missed another important one. Andy Murray did the same. Normalization is dangerous. Tennis should not be.
• I do not have a good opinion here, but according to the recommendation of the Tennis Integrity Report, the ATP is prohibiting tournaments from seeking sponsorships in betting operations. But: 1) This is to the great detriment of the smaller ATP events, which are already struggling. 2) This could be perceived as an overreaction, at a time when sports games are becoming widespread, are more socially accepted and are more legal. 3) This is, potentially, an adventure down a slippery slope. Multiple opponents wondered, not mistakenly, how Sam Querrey can endorse hard alcohol, but events are forbidden in legal gambling relationships. 4) This raises the question: what is the status of the ITF Sportradar agreement, which is the real source of so many unpleasant problems?
• We are fed a diet of statistics that have a low nutritional value. "Covered distance" is a particular concern. A player who dictates rallies happily covers less distance than the opponent. It is still crazy that the aces of the players are counted among their winners. (So Milos Raonic can register 50 "winners" for a match, but a minority of them get off the ground.) What would be useful? I would like to know which players have the best service rate in the game immediately after they broke themselves. (My guess: Nadal would be No. 1.) This information is astonishingly difficult to obtain. But I would tell you a lot about the competitive resolution of the players and how this type of swing – demoralizing for one player and encouraging for the other – has such a material effect on the outcome of a game.
• Final point in the silly idea of reducing the seeds in majors to 16. There were 21 surprises in the first round among the 64 players planted in Wimbledon. I can not imagine someone raising their hand in a meeting and saying: "You know, we need more unpredictability in these events, we are going to halve the number of seeds to 16. That can give us the contradictory results we are looking for and the parties early competitions that are so scarce. "For everything that affects tennis and requires direction and repair, this is not one of them. A plea for common sense here.
• Several of you wrote about the behavior of Venus Williams in her press conferences. Enjoy the sessions as much as the cats like to bathe and do not hide their contempt for them. She – not mistakenly – sees it as a kind of absurd theater, a group of interrogators who remind her that she is 38 years old and asks questions that either bore her or are too personal. In some events, Venus does not even appear, preferring to eat the fine.
Most of the members of the media, certainly myself included, also have their problems with the format. However, it is not clear that there is a better alternative. These are the rules of engagement. The problem with the attitude of Venus: although it can, and does, and must use social networks to connect with its fans, these press conferences present objective questions. Then your answers matter. When you do not get involved, it has an impact.
Last week Chris Evert took out his neck to suggest that we break with tradition and that men and women alternate baptism in the center of the court and play a Sunday final. Asking Venus, so often credited with the pressure for equal money in the prize, to comment on this provocative proposal, it would seem logical
Do you have any idea about it? VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not really sure what that means.
P. The first match in the Central Court this year, for example, is Roger Federer. Next year would be the reigning women's champion.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Are you saying alternate Mondays?
P. Yes. They are always men.
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's an interesting thought. I have not thought like that.
P. The women's final on a Sunday?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That's also an interesting thought. I have not thought about that either.
And with that disdainful response, the subject lost a considerable weight.
• There is a thin line between energetic and not very sporty. The courage of Dominika Cibulkova-her courage, as Mary Carillo would call it-must be admired. But she crossed the line (and lost some fans) when she insisted that the chair umpire get an initial call that was unarguably wrong. We give players a great advantage for the bad acts committed during the heated state of the competition. But hours later, at the press conference, Cibulkova still maintained that he was right. That she was not.
• Leonard Fournette, runner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, stopped by the Tennis Channel studio during his visit to Wimbledon:
. It leads you to wonder what would happen if more American athletes of this caliber could be seduced by tennis at a young age. (Then, of course, temptingly, there is this image.)
• Healthy skepticism must be encouraged. And there are advantages granted to the stars, knowledge that they will play only one or two courts; fixed start times; Hawkeye guaranteed; entry in the programming. But can we eliminate the notion that "the draws are fixed for player X", an issue that still has validity in social networks? This is the epitome of false news.
• The success of the Great Britain World Cup has an extra resonance in the All England Club. The family of Eric Dier is immersed in tennis and the members of AELTC. His father, Jeremy Dier, a former ATP professional, worked for IMG and then for Dunlop, and is a friend of Tim Henman.
• Speaking of football, you do not know whether to applaud the tournament for its loyalty to tennis or tennis or to mock the stubbornness of flat land society. But Wimbledon did not favor the World Cup. The time of the men's final did not move. The monitors on the ground did not show football. We were told that the badistants in the changing rooms commanded remote controls during the games and did not allow the players to watch football. There was also concern that if England had reached the final, Wimbledon employees and volunteers would lose their shifts. And here is Roger Federer to spread the tension. "I'm more concerned that the World Cup final has problems because the Wimbledon final is underway." [The crowd in Russia] will hear every point. "Wow, love-15." The players will look between the crowd and they will not understand what's going on. "
• A few days before the tournament, a calm and athletic Canadian visited Wimbledon. I had been in Europe to train, but I wanted to see Wimbledon. After going to a training race around the village, totally out of control, he ventured to the All England Club. Timidly and nervously, he hit some balls with the professionals, getting off pretty good. In a fun, he spent some time in the cold pool in the locker room. He walked to his house, again without being recognized. That man was Sidney Crosby, the best hockey player alive at the moment.
• Want to see the conbad stunning of tennis vividly illustrated? Hold your nose and then watch the battle for the ATP World Cup Team and the ITF Davis Cup, two yes and two teams scheduled in a matter of weeks, all in one part of the world where there are few players. We will save you the details, or else you will want to bathe. But it is a storm of conflict, self-business and myopia that openly mocks any notion of good-sports. One of the many consequences: with a second team event with a lot of money swirling under the auspices of the ATP, do not be surprised when the reformed proposal of the Davis Cup is not approved.
• We have seen players steal the best years because of injury, exhaustion and, happier, maternity. But it is difficult to remember a case like that of Victoria Azarenka, a mother, but also a father locked in a prolonged and unpleasant battle of fiscal and economic (and financial) custody. He is 28 years old. It is twice Slam winner and former number 1 in the world. At a time when he could be competing for Slams, his dedication to tennis has been compromised. All credit to her for her priorities. But it has really cost a price to your game. Lost in the second round, just in the match against Karolina Pliskova, and now ranked around the No. 90, will look for some traction in the American swing. Root for her Fortunately, however, she stayed, played deep in the mixed doubles with Jamie Murray and went on a high note.
• What is that? Do you want moralizing prude? Okay, let's face it: how does the BBC, a publicly funded entity, justify the hiring of Boris Becker when he has sought diplomatic immunity from bankruptcy proceedings? (On the other hand, maybe this is like the boss who hired her ex-husband to have a way to pay spousal maintenance and support.
• Television cuts and hits: thanks for your various notes, tips, comments and complaints about the Tennis Channel coverage, all are read, hat tipped to Brett Haber, the host with more, hats tipped to the good ones in the control room, and in my role of rancor as a publicist: an early flagelación de tenis La programación en vivo del US Open antes de los partidos del US Open antes de los partidos.
• Las malas noticias para Peter Polansky: en las últimas tres Mayores, no ha logrado clasificar. Las buenas noticias para Peter Polansky : en los últimos tres majors, se ha convertido en un perdedor afortunado, que según el gurú de las estadísticas de ATP, Greg Sharko, es un récord.
• El mejor sembrado, Chun Hsin Tseng, de 16 años, también ganó el El título de ju veniles de Open francés, venció al británico Jack Draper para ganar el título masculino. En el sorteo de niñas, Iga Sw iatek, un joven de 17 años de Polonia, ganó el título al derrotar a Leonie Kung de Suiza. Para todas sus necesidades juveniles, vaya al incomparable e invaluable blog de Tennis Kalmazoo de Colette Lewis.
• Barbora Krejcikova y Katerina Siniakova – descuento checo doble – respaldan su título del Abierto de Francia al ganar dobles femeninas en Wimbledon, superando a Nicole Melichar y Kveta Peschke en la final. No se jugaron partidos femeninos de dobles en el Center Court durante todo el torneo.
• Finalmente …. Aquí está, tu momento de Zen
Sigue luchando, Jim K … .Gracias por jugar, a todos. ¡Lo haremos todo de nuevo en ocho semanas en Nueva York!