Tuesday, June 22, 2004

My Wimbledon Ramble


Ok, its that time of year again, where Henmania will rear its ugly head, where there is always an upset in the first round on Court 1, and where Sue Barker is on air for seemingly hours-on-end (I am convinced that she is indeed a very well designed robot). Yes it Wimbledon time, and I absolutely love it. So what of this year’s tournament, here is my take on the whole thing.

The Year of the Russian Invasion :

Forget about Anna Kornikova, she was just the preview. With an all-Russian finale at the French Open and no dominant Belgian in sight, could the Russian women be the new force to be reckoned with. You bet, with Sharipova taking over the role of teenage pin-up queen, Demenitva as the talented veteran who hasn’t yet to earn her first major and French Open Champion Myskina; the highest ranked player in the tournament and it is indeed Russia that looks to dominate in the women’s game. Myskina’s varied game and amazing speed makes her one of the most exciting players to watch and puts her in good standing to get to her second consecutive Grand Slam final, all she has to do now is beat a Williams or two. I am betting that she will get to the semi-finals and then we will see fireworks.

The Williams Factor

Speaking of the Williams sisters, it is hard to think of the women’s game without thinking of the once seemingly invincible Serena and big sister Venus. The two of them have held the title for the past four years and defending champion Serena seems to be in good form. Of course the sisters have had injuries that have sidelined for most of the year, and their recent Grand Slam performances has taken the shine off their game. Nonetheless, there record here speaks for itself and they should not be discounted. And in a strange way, now that they are no longer the invincible force they once were, I find myself rooting for them, wanting them to win. The Williams’ sisters no longer bore me.

Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Roger Federer

Ok, so these names don’t have the same bite as Edberg or Sampras, YET. But soon they will be. If Hewitt or Federer win this year, then they will be two-time champions, a feat not even Andre Agassi has ever achieved. This is the new crop of players in the post-Sampras world, and one of them will emerge as the elite Men’s player of his time. I am not sure yet who it will be, but my bet is on Roddick to come storming in the next few years, who knows if I am right.


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