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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova crash out - Wimbledon that Ivan Lendl never won !!!

Heard of ~ Roscoe Tanner – a left hander from America, known for his big serve.   In 1979 he reached the Finals of Wimbledon, eventually losing to the ice-cool Bjorn Borg in five sets.   Wimbledon, the grass court tournament is most famous among the Grandslam events.  Britain is known for adherence to past customs and Wimbledon traditions include a strict dress code for competitors, the eating of strawberries and cream by the spectators, and Royal patronage. The tournament is also notable for the absence of sponsor advertising around the courts.

Not sure whether Tanner – Borg  match was telecast but in the next year, we did see a new angry leftie throwing tantrums but stretching Borg no ends – that was John McEnroe; next year in 1981 he lifted the title – many of us, by now getting addicted to Borg’s winning ways, could not digest that win.  In the following years, it was Jimmy Connors; John McEnroe; McEnroe; young Boris Becker in 1985; again Becker, Pat Cash, Stefan Edberg, Becker, Edberg, Michael Stitch …………. and slowly we started losing track… when Agassi, Samparas and others started winning… in between, I craved to see Ivan Lendl winning [which never happened]; those were the days, when I would not even read the newspaper on the day next when Lendl lost…….

Among these big names later came another growing to become a legend ~ Roger Federer, a Swiss who took the Tennis fraternity by storm.  He held No. 1 position for 302 weeks overall – with 237 consecutive weet stretch at top from 2004 – 2008 – winning 17 Grand slam titles; reaching finals in Wimbledon 8 times and winning 7 out of them. Federer was in news as he was called foul by the  Wimbledon fashion police. Wimbledon’s all-white rule can be loosely enforced at times. Other players wear bursts of color on their socks and shoes and raise no objection from officials. (Serena Williams’ arguably had more color than Federer’s). But the orange soles crossed the line, apparently.

The stunning beauty - Maria Sharapova suffered a shock defeat in the second round at Wimbledon Wednesday after being beaten by Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher De Brito. Third seed Sharapova, who won the tournament in 2004, was brushed aside 6-3 6-4 by a player ranked 131 in the world.  Michelle Caroline Larcher de Brito is from Portugal  and has a career-high ranking of 76 on 6 July 2009. She is the first Portuguese female player to enter the main draw of a grand slam, which occurred at the 2009 French Open. She is known for her loud grunts while executing shots, being noted for surpassing in decibels the likes of Maria Sharapova, Monica Seles, Victoria Azarenka and Venus and Serena Williams, other famous "grunters".

There was more shock – after Nadal’s shock first round exit, defending champion Roger Federer‘s remarkable run of reaching 36 consecutive grand slam quarter-finals or better was ended in a shock second-round Wimbledon defeat by unheralded lowly ranked  Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky on Wednesday.  Federer’s 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 7-5 7-6(5) loss in exactly three hours rocked Wimbledon to its core on a day that already seemed surreal after seven players withdrew or retired injured. The last time Federer, who has won a record 17 grand slam titles, including seven gilded Challenge Cups, failed to reach at least the last eight was in the 2004 French Open. Facing an opponent who had never beaten a top 15 player would have rung few alarm bells but at 8.15 pm local time shock waves reverberated around the grounds when he slapped a backhand wide to leave Stakhovsky rolling in the grass in triumph.

Federer is everywhere, on the cover of Wimbledon, on the results board, on the official Wimbledon book, on the roll of honour plaque, on official merchandise – but no longer in the Court ousted by the man from Kiev. Records do not matter - Federer’s Wimbledon win-loss record stood at 67-7, Stakhovsky’ 2-4. Federer’s world ranking was third, Stakhovsky’s 116.

Probably Wimbledon in the few more days could unlock more surprises

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

27th June 2013.

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