Monday, July 02, 2007

Wimbledon: That's not a cloud, is it?!??

The saying goes, "Tune in tomorrow."
If you tried to do that for Wimbledon, there wouldn't be much tennis. What you would see are lot of spectators scattering like rats, dodging raindrops like it's acid. Like they would have never thought there'd be rain, RAIN!, at Wimbledon. Like those umbrellas they're carrying appeared magically in their hands. Like it's not in the forecast for the next four months, solid.
Ah, the forecast. What we didn't see coming at all (sarcastic eye roll):
1. Tim Henman losing in the second round to Feliciano Lopez. OMG! Everyone has the right to chase the dream. And chase. And chase. And then roll (as in, in a wheelchair). But the first thing Henman should do if he insists on chasing the dream is realizing that, dawg, you can't serve-and-volley on every point. The game, and racquet technology, is just going to continue to rip him to pieces, especially since he's not coming in on a big weapon of a serve. The other thing Henman should just deal with is the fact that "Henman Hill" would have been closed for construction if Andy Murray had shown up. Truth hurts.
2. Drama with the Williams sisters: I've seen so much of this cramping soap opera within the space of an hour that I don't even want to go there right now, although it was a nice effort from Serena. Instead, let's discuss the eldest Williams. Venus has played three rounds in this tournament so far. She's needed three sets in two of them. It's not like she's playing Alicia Molik over here. It's nice that's she's been able to come back from that, but Akiko Morigami isn't Maria Sharapova.
3. The Serbs representing: They're rolling deep these days, those Serbs, with Jelena Jankovic, Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic still alive, along with another tagalong. Janko Tipsarevic, 23, has been plugging away on the pro tour since 2002, and slowly improving, until BAM! He beats Fernando Gonzalez in the fourth round of Wimbledon, showing off a big game, multiple tatts and a hell of a personality. When a reporter asked him about the seeming sudden boom in Serbian tennis, he had an explanation: "People keep asking me, `How is this possible?' What is happening in the country? Maybe some radiation from the bombing or stuff."
Quote of the week.
4. Martina Hingis losing early: Laura Granville was plugging away here in Pittsburgh last November, playing in an ITF-level tournament, trying to get her ranking up. It would probably be the dream life to travel the world as a tennis player, but maybe not so much if you actually have to pay for it. It's gotta be all worth it when Granville realizes that she beat Martina Hingis at Wimbledon. Maybe she did get lucky because Hingis isn't 100 percent back from injury, but that British qualifier Naomi Cavaday couldn't finish the job in the first round. Anyway, it's back to the drawing board for Hingis, and the question, raised quietly last year at the U.S. Open, when she caught a beatdown from Virginie Razzano, comes up again: "Can she get back to the top?" What she's done already has been spectacular, competing in her first few majors back, and threatening, sometimes beating top players. But for someone like Hingis, who used to dominate women's tennis, is that enough? To plateau at around tenth in the world, without the firepower to compete for Slams? Stay tuned.

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