I am a tennis aficionado, which means that I watch as many matches as I can, particularly of the four Grand Slams and especially Wimbledon. This year it was expected that the no. 1 seeds Novak Djokovic on the men’s side and Serena Williams on the women’s would win. However, there are many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.
One reason I love tennis is that it is an individual sport. Yes, we know the countries they come from, yes, we support those from our own country, but it really doesn’t matter. It’s all about the individual. If someone wins it is not taken to mean that his/her country is better than any other. There are a lot of Slavs in the touenament, there is Tomic a Croat from Australia, there is Raonic a Croat from Canada and there is Cilic a Croat from Croatia, as well as Djokovic from Serbia and Berdych from the Czech Republic.. But, who cares, they basically play as individuals. However, it is an interesting question why there are so many Slavs but no Russian men in sight.
The biggest upset of the tournament was American Sam Querry (seeded 16) defeating Djokovic. There is always a problem playing these over-tall men (Querry is 6ft 6 in) who have such powerful serves (Djokovic is only 6 ft. 2 in). Querry basically over-powered Djokovic, that removed Djokovic from contention. Querry defeated his next opponent Mahut, but was in turn defeated by another tall player Milos Raonic of Canada (6 ft. 5 in). Murray (2) defeated Kyrgios (15) another young player from Australia, in a great match in the fourth round. Both Federer (3) and Murray then had great matches in the quarter finals, Federer against Cilic (9) and Murray against Tsonga (12). In both cases, the favorite lost two sets but fought back to win, Federer by 6-7 4-6 6-3 7-6 6-3 and Murray by 7-6 6-1 3-6 4-6 6-1. But, then Federer was removed by Raonic in the semis. Is this a passing of the torch from the old guard (Federer is 34) to the new (Raonic is 25) as many think? Then Murray defeated Berdych in straight sets in the semis.
So the final was Murray vs. Raonic, the first time a Canadian has appeared in a Grand Slam final. Raonic’s powerful serve was not enough to over-power Murray. Murray was too good for him, his defensive moves, that he turned into offense at the drop of a hat (or a tennis ball), were impressive. Murray managed the whole match with only 12 unforced errors compared to 29 for Raonic, and this made the difference. So Murray won Wimbledon for the second time (after 2013) and showed that he is not a “flash in the pan.”
It made me proud to watch a match in which a blonde-haired, blue-eyed German, Angelique Kerber, played a Black American, Serena Williams, in the women’s final and no- one cared. May the best woman win! Serena won in a good match. And in the end they embraced effusively, complimented each other nicely and enjoyed the moment. No racial aspects, no political comments, the crowd applauded enthusiastically. I am glad to live in this world. Now we must wait patiently for the US Open.