Wimbledon 2013 Week 2 Round Up
Magnificent Murray wins Wimbledon
We can’t help it, we just have to start the round up of week 2 of Wimbledon with the biggest headline for us Brits, Murray does it and finally ends the 77 year wait for a British man to win Wimbledon.
And didn’t he do it in style! A straight sets victory over the World Number 1, Novak Djokovic. That might sound like an easy win being straight sets but it was in fact far from it. It took Murray over 3 hours to despatch the Serb with both players producing high quality tennis and displaying the never say die attitude that marks out the top players from all the rest. There wasn’t much to choose between the 2 players on the whole apart from it looked like Murray wanted it more and seemed able to produce the great shots more than his opponent.
In what turned out to be the final game of the match, Murray was serving for victory and quickly got the score to 40 – 0. That was it, just one more point and it will all be over, but oh no, Murray must have remembered that us British sports fans love a cliff-hanger and before we knew it, Djokovic was back in the match at deuce. Surely not, was Murray going to hand the game to the Serb, would his form collapse? Next thing we knew, it was advantage to Djokovic. You could hear the groans from the crowd, you could feel the agitation, a hot day suddenly seemed to get even hotter and energy sapping. But the Andy Murray of today is a fighter and there was no way he was going to hand anything over to his opponent. Back to deuce and a short time later the magic moment arrives. Game, Set and Match Murray, the crowd roared, Murray’s nearest and dearest are in tears, Murray himself can hardly dare to believe he’d done it. Even Ivan Lendl looked like he wanted to show emotion, but his shades hid whatever was going on there.
So there we were, Murray the Champion, holding the trophy aloft to the adoring crowd. Savouring the moment and surely realising that his life has changed forever. Murray now has 2 Grand Slam titles, both of which he holds simultaneously and an Olympic Gold Medal to add to that. He is no longer a very good player lagging slightly behind the big three, he is now the real deal. He has gained the respect of all his fellow players, the media is now fully behind him and even the sceptical section of the British public are having a rethink, and so they should.
As for the runner-up, Djokovic was very gracious in defeat offering warm congratulations to his old pal and thanking the fans for all the support and warmth that has been shown to him.
Bartoli wins the Ladies Title
Amidst all the Murray mania, we mustn’t forget that Marion Bartoli of France won the ladies singles tile by seeing off the crowd favourite Sabine Lisicki of Germany.
This was Bartolis’s first Grand Slam title and she completely controlled the match with Lisicki not offering much in return and was finally defeated 6-1, 6-4. Bartoli put her opponent out of her misery with an ace and collapsed to the ground in tears, hardly daring to believe the title was hers. She also became only the 6th player in the open era to win the title without dropping a set.
We can now all look forward to next years’ tournament. It will feel different because as fans we usually hope for a Brit to do well knowing we’ll end up disappointed. Next year, our man will have the honour of being the first game on Centre Court as Wimbledon Champion.
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Wimbledon 2013 Week 1 Round Up
All tennis fans (and many non-tennis fans) always look forward to Wimbledon with the expectation of seeing great tennis, heroic victories, shock defeats and at least some controversies. Wimbledon 2013 has delivered on all these fronts!
Let’s start with the victories particularly the British. Gone are the days when us Brits would hope without expectation that at least 1 player from these shores would reach week 2. Now that we have Andy Murray we expect and also now we have Laura Robson we can begin to expect in the women’s game too.
Andy Murray has so far cruised into the last 16 with straight set victories over Benjamin Becker, Y H Lu and Tommy Robredo. Robredo did give Murray something to think about towards the latter stages of the match but Murray proved to strong and has shown over the first week that he is a worthy number 2 seed. Monday’s match against Youzhny of Russia, the number 20 seed. should see Murray tested a bit more. This would be a good thing for Murray because he’ll want to sharpen his game up even more now the only players left in the competition are all high calibre.
As for Robson, well it’s been a bit harder for her but she’s still only young and is showing some very promising form and talent. A Wimbledon champion of the future? She wasn’t expected to get past the first round as her opponent was the number 10 seed Maria Kirilenko, however, Robson had other ideas. She put on a superb display of tennis to earn a thoroughly deserved 6-3 6-4 victory and carried on her 2013 record of upsetting some of the best players in the game. In round 2 she met the lesser known Mariana Duque-Marino and despatched in her in straight sets 6-4 6-1. Robson herself said after the match that the victory has been a ‘big deal’ for her, underlining her determination to do well in this tournament. Round 3 was different, very different. She was up against the New Zealander Marina Erakovic and made a terrible start to the match where it seemed all departments of her game failed to turn up and she duly lost the first set 6-1. Things started in a similar fashion in the second set and Robson was just 3 points away from defeat at one point when Erakovic began to show some nervousness and Robson’s game finally turned up. A fairly gruelling battle ensued with Robson eventually coming through 7-5. Now it was all about who could hold their nerve and that’s exactly what Robson did, showing us all that she can play superb tennis under high pressure by winning the final set 6-3. A fantastic performance from the 19 year old and we wish her and Andy Murray all the best for the rest of the tournament.
So what of the heroic victories and unbelievable shocks. We can probably rope these 2 in together. Before the tournament began, most of the talk for the men’s singles was about the draw and who would avoid Raphael Nadal as he came into Wimbledon on the back of a fantastic clay season winning 7 of the 9 tournaments he entered and of course captured yet another French Open title. In the end, the top seeds didn’t have to worry as amazingly Nadal was beaten in the first round by the world number 135 (and unknown over here) German, Steve Darcis. This was down to a combination of great play from Darcis who didn’t seem to miss anything and a poor performance from nadal who just didn’t look fit. Nadal was very gracious in defeat and refused to blame his problematic knee for his shock defeat and asked us all to focus more on how well his opponent played. Great player, great man.
So now over to Djokovic and Federer. These are the 2 players now expected to get in the way of Andy Murray. The Serb hasn’t let us down by cruising through his first 3 games with no trouble and looks on course to reach the final and possibly Wimbledon title number 2. Federer? Oh dear, a shock defeat in round 2 has put paid to any plans of an 8th Wimbledon title. This was his earliest Wimbledon exit since 2002 and happened against the world number 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky from Russia. Federer was beaten 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 7-6 (7-5) on a day when no fewer than 7 other players retired from the tournament through injury. This included Jo-Wilfried Tsonga meaning that most people will now expect the title to go to either Murray or Djokovic. However, this has been a bit of a surreal Wimbledon so don’t be surprised if more shocks occur.
You could say the women’s single’s hasn’t provided too many shocks because in recent years the number 1 position in the world has changed hands numerous times and no player has really emerged as the dominant force until very recently when Serena Williams has come back into the reckoning. The biggest shock though came in round 2 when 2nd seed Maria Sharapova was beaten by the Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito 6-3, 6-4.
As for controversies, there has been the usual sight of players arguing with Umpires but probably the main talking point has been the surfaces of some of the courts. Quite a few players have complained about the surface being slippery while officials at Wimbledon have refuted these allegations and claimed that there’s no difference to any other years. Maybe week 2 will give us more answers to these questions.
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