Monday, June 20, 2011

Not even Fabio Fognini can save Wimbledon Preview

Onto the third Slam of the year, it's a mix of the traditional, annoying and hyperbolic. As much as they have homogonised the surface speeds and nuances required to play on the surfaces. It's still good that each Slam has its own characteristics.

There are a few things to rant about when it comes to Wimbledon. The grass itself is a lot different than it used to be, whether this is a good thing or not depends on your viewpoint. How it came about is very important, in the 80s it was serve/volley tennis the grass bounced low, the areas which received wear and tear was at the net and not the baseline. This started to change after Agassi's title which was his best ever Slam win, winning it from the baseline against massive servers and solid volleyers when it was fast. What happened with Sampras, Ivanisevic, Krajicek, Todd Martin these guys on the grass were just the serve players, that were no points being played at all, it was just serve tennis where they might as well have played tiebreakers. The contrast to this was the fact that watching guys who had no clue how to play on grass (aka grasscourt gimps) is as amusing as the claycourt clowns.

After these developments at Wimbledon, they changed the composition of the grass which made it more durable not a bad thing, but it changed the way the game was played on grass. It became a lot slower and less of a challenge to adjust to the surface than previously, lets say Ivan Lendl would have had a hardon seeing the grass as it is currently. Pretty much the only thing that can't be adjusted is the movement on surface which is something say Davydenko and del Potro will always struggle with. You know it has changed when Marat Safin was thankful for the organisers in slowing it down so he could make the semis there one year. Personally it's better from the horrible days of just serving bombs, but like anything fixing that problem by using heavier balls, changing the composition, it takes away in other areas. They could easily quicken it up a bit, though with the weather there's only so much that can be done

Weather forecast for London isn't looking very good, but this is England and summer so this is to be expected. Fortunately they have a roof, so some play will happen. This will provide plenty of mental challenges to the players and fans. Hopefully the weather is shit, so they can play on Sunday it's not the 10th century anymore. It's only for two weeks of the year that the locals have to put up with the tournament, they have another 50 weeks where it's not an issue.

Wimbledon will be the focus for most of the sporting world, nearly most functionally literate people whether they have an interest or not in the sport knows Wimbledon. Because of this we have the massive rise in comparison to Zimbabwean inflation rates of the instant experts. They only watch tennis for 2 weeks of the year, forget the rest of the tennis season exists and know everything about anything when it comes to the sport, these kinds of people exist everywhere just like idiots. This where the English press want to claim Andy Murray as British and the quality of articles surrounding him become even more banal than usual. I'd like Andy Murray to win a Slam, just not at Wimbledon, but we all know as soon as he loses he becomes Scottish.

Onto the tournament itself, it will be between the usual suspects. Which grass court gimp will win the most matches is of greater interest. Best thing about this draw is that Mikey Russell and Daniel Gimeno-Traver will be on TV. Perhaps Kavčič can win a match then play Murray in the 2nd round, he has never won on grass before and no time like the present. His countryman Žemlja plays Slovak pretty boy Lacko who qualified, not the easiest one. Bolelli once again lucked out as a Lucky Loser, only way he can make Slams these days, at least he is a good guy and has a pretty wife. Too bad there won't be streams to see Ramirez-Hidalgo on grass because that's something that needs to be seen.

Isner-Mahut again, hehehehehehe. Lucky I'm not a conspiracy theorist as this match came about again. There isn't a way that they'll equal the drama of 70-68 from last year, it will be interesting to see whether they put it on court 18 or not.

It won't take long for commentators to say Wimbledon is the title that all players want to win. Thomas Muster, Yannick Noah, Gaston Gaudio, Vilas they don't want to return their Slam titles just for a Wimbledon, sure maybe for Lendl this might be the case but doesn't cover the whole tennis world.

As for who will win the event, the FC Basel supporter with the Super Mario lookalike for a father. But there will be rain.


Hewitt=Legend said...

The Fog withdrew.. no point in watching for the next fortnight now..

Good read, its funny that the people who complain about the grass being clay would also have a whinge if it was how it was 20 years ago. Can't win with some people.

Martine said...

Great read!

Just enjoyed Lopez taking out my "fav" player.
Lopez not my favorite but seeing Duckie lose never is a bad thing!