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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Kyrgios jumps to fame - Rafa, Sharapova crash out following Serena, Li Na and .....

‘Grass is for cows’ ….. from the time I started following Wimbledon, I have had some idols (my favourite known for that opening remark was never able to lift the title is a different story altogether) … the names of winners have been : Bjorn Borg; John McEnroe; Jimmy Connors; Boris Becker; Pat Cash; Stefan Edberg; Michael Stich; Andre Agassi; Pete Samparas; Richard Krajicek; Goran Ivanisevic; Lleyton Hewitt; Roger Federer; Rafael Nadal; Novak Djokovic &  Andy Murray……….

Some were big servers – McEnroe; Pat Cash; Stich; Krajicke; Ivanisevic ….. the man who is dominating French Open generally plays an aggressive, behind-the-baseline game founded on heavy topspin groundstrokes, consistency, speedy footwork and tenacious court coverage, thus making him an aggressive counterpuncher.  Known for his athleticism and speed around the court,  he  is an excellent defender  who hits well on the run, plays very fine dropshots,  and has got a great temperament of winning – it is  Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera, a Spanish professional tennis player and the current world No. 1, nicknamed "King of Clay".  Not getting knitted to clay alone,  Nadal has won 14 Grand Slam singles titles, the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles, a record 27 ATP World Tour Masters – and that includes wins at Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open too.  Nadal and Mats Wilander are the only two players in history who have won at least two Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces—hard court, grass, and clay. By winning the 2014 French Open, Nadal became the only male player to win a single Grand Slam tournament nine times and the first to win at least one Grand Slam tournament for ten consecutive years, breaking the record of eight consecutive years previously shared by Bj√∂rn Borg, Pete Sampras, and Roger Federer.

Wimbledon is a different surface – he knows – and his opponent little known Nick Kyrgios never doubted that he had the talent to do it.  At Wimbledon,  when Rafa Nadal dropped his serve to go 3-1 down in the fourth set, he had a nagging fear that had no way of stopping him doing it.  On a day when title contenders Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal were beaten back-to-back on Centre Court, their  unexpected upsets  sent  respective draws into complete disarray. The score card reads : Nick Kyrgios d  Rafael Nadal 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3 – a shocker as a 19-year-old wild card, Kyrgios who had made headlines for saving nine match points in a second-round win over Richard Gasquet last week, had a day to remember at Centre Court ousting Rafael Nadal. In another match Federer breathed past Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 - not dropping a set and never being broken en route to the quarter-finals. Federer gets countryman Stan Wawrinka in the last eight, Roger owning a 13-2 head-to-head edge, though Wawrinka won their last meeting in the Monte Carlo Masters final in April.

With Serena Williams and Li Na out of the singles draw, all eyes were on Sharapova as the odds-on favourite to win the title. Angelique Kerber, the German had other ideas battling out Sharapova - 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4. The loss means that Sharapova continues her search for a second Wimbledon, now over a decade old. Kerber, meanwhile, moves into the quarter-finals against No.13 seed Genie Bouchard.

Stat of the Day:  The first set of the Wawrinka-Lopez saw the 100th tie-break of the men’s tournament at The Championships this year, marking the first time in history that the number of tie-breaks at a Grand Slam has reached triple figures in either the men’s or the women’s event. Kyrgios is the first player ranked outside the Top 100 to defeat a world No.1 at a Grand Slam since No.193 Andrei Olhovskiy defeated Jim Courier in the third round at Wimbledon in 1992. Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked player to defeat Nadal since No.690 Joachim Johansson at Stockholm in 2006.

For William fans – it was sad as  Serena Williams walked onto No.1 Court on Tuesday appearing ready for her second-round doubles match alongside sister Venus, but certainly was not. The No.1 player in the world began her warm-up with stumbles and mis-hits, unable to catch balls thrown to her from the ball kids in the backcourt. After sitting down and being consulted by the tournament doctor for a matter of minutes, Williams began play, eventually serving at 0-2 down. It was then that she woefully double-faulted four times in a row, her serves hitting the bottom of the net. She and Venus retired for the match, and it was later confirmed that Williams had a viral illness after being dizzy and visibly out of sorts.

The mother of the tennis’s new superstar Norlalia, meanwhile, must have been wording her congratulatory text carefully. She had given an interview to Australian TV the night before the match and had predicted that her son might not be able to win; that man Nadal was just a bit too good. “That made me a little bit angry the night before,” Kyrgios said. “I don’t know what she’s thinking. She can think what she wants.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
2nd July 2014


PS: photo and inputs credit – official web – wimbledon.com 

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