9 1/2 weeks …of tennis in North America (and a bit of clay in Europe)

Wimbledon might’ve wrapped up today but there’s a lot of tennis left in this year’s calendar. After a clay-stint in Europe  (featuring only 4 WTA and ATP Top10 players combined), both tours are going to move on to the US hard courts at the end of July and stay in North America until the final slam of the year will have concluded in 9 1/2 weeks’ time. Here are 9 1/2 questions/storylines on the WTA/ATP tour worth keeping an eye on.

 

- 1: What will Serena do?

This situation better never get a repeat. (sport1.de)

A lot of eyes will rather certainly be on Ms. Serena Williams (and mine will also be on Coach Patrick “Mastermind” Mouratoglou). Even though she won half of the non-slam tournaments she appeared in this year (Brisbane, Miami and Rome), her slam results have been sub-par and her most recent appearance at Wimbledon has raised more question marks surrounding the phenom that is Serena than there have been in a long while. Serena hasn’t looked like the all-conquering champion she was throughout 2013 and has complained about hitting a wall physically and mentally on various occasions but her doubles performance on the second Tuesday at Wimbledon was a real cause for concern not just regarding the tennis player but Serena the human. Several naysayers claim it was all show, officials stated it was a viral illness but most reactions were somewhere inbetween perplexion and worry.

Serena is one of the few Top10 players to have committed to a clay event in July and she’ll look to defend her title in Swedish Båstad in a week. It’s fair to assume that more people will pay attention to the otherwise relatively low-key event than in previous year. And lest we forget - Serena has a whopping 3520 points to defend in North America. Serena doesn’t have anything left to prove to anymore - but unless she stockpiles another title or two and makes a deep run (that is SF or better) media and public alike will brand her 2014 a let-down.

 

- 2: Will Novak Djokovic start rolling?

Fresh off of his first Grand Slam since the 2013 Australian Open and reclaiming the #1 in the rankings, Djokovic will be eager to carry the momentum over to his cherished hard courts. If he has a decent sense of self-awareness, he’ll know he won Wimbledon 2014 without having played his absolute best tennis – and on the surface where has the least footing. Djokovic as well as Nadal and Federer won’t return to competition before August – but he will get married to his fiancé Jelena Ristic this month. Considering how well Djokovic performed in Indian Wells and Miami earlier this year, he’ll have an awful lot going for himself going into US Open Hardcourt swing. No one should be surprised if he ends up with another Masters 1000 title and another Slam in his pocket.

Djokovic with the 2nd Ananas of his career (newindianexpress.com)

 

- 3: To which lengths will the US press and media go to semi-adopt Bouchard and Raonic as their own?

Bouchard has had a breakout year, particularly with her consistency at slams, and Raonic has made it into his first Slam QF at Roland Garros and improved on that by making it to the SFs in Wimbledon. What with no US man or woman having made it beyond the 4th round at a slam this year, e.g. ESPN’s Chris McKendry has already declared that Canada is close enough to the US to adopt Bouchard and to a lesser extent Raonic as one of their own.

It will be interesting to see how the broader US mediascape will react to the 2 young Canadians if the results of their own countrymen and -women remain somewhat underwhelming throughout August (*) and it’ll be equally fascinating to witness how the WTA will continue to try and ride the wave of Geniemania.

(*) as pointed out to me by @jokelley_tennis on twitter I’ve been a little short on words here: I don’t think the US women had a particularly *bad* grass season, in fact Vandeweghe and Keys had a pretty good one, Duval did great at the French and Venus played the match of the tournament against Kvitova last fortnight but the general expectation from public and media alike will be that at least one woman makes a deep run at the US Open – and that hasn’t happened all that often this year.

- 4: Will Azarenka have an encouraging end to a frustrating year?

2014 has been difficult for Azarenka. She already looked out of sorts at the end of 2013, going 1-4 after her loss to Serena in the US Open finals but the man with the hammer truly hit home with a niggling foot injury that basically made her miss the five months between Australia and the grass season. Azarenka has since come back and lost a tight three set match in the 1st round of Eastbourne and the 2nd round of Wimbledon (to Giorgi and Jovanovski respectively) but considering her lengthy absence she competed well in both of those matches. However, her ranking has slipped down to #10 and during the US Open Hard Court swing she’ll have finals in Carlsbad, New York and the title in Cincy to defend (2620 of her 3812 points). We’ve had a similar “Top10-watch” with Sharapova during the clay season and Azarenka faces an even more difficult task. If Azarenka comes out of this inside the Top15 (and if she feels healthy I’m convinced that’s within her reach) she’ll have done well and I wouldn’t put it past her to power her way though #WTAsia and finish the year in the Top10. But this summer – going to be a tough one for the Belarussian.

 

 

- 5: Can the young guys back it up? 

Raonic might’ve lost to Federer in straight sets in the semis but will climb to a career high of #6 in the rankings. (thestar.com)

Kyrgios had a breakthrough performance at Wimbledon and Dimitrov as well as Raonic had career best performances at slams at Wimbledon. The question is – will they be able to back it up and will others such as Vesely (who also had a solid Wimbledon) and Thiem (who looked rather lost on the grass) be able to surge up the rankings further and manage to move in closer on the more established names on tour? Will Jack Sock be able to transfer any of his doubles success into singles? Can Donald *sleeper pick* Young pick up where he left of in Paris rather than where he slowed down in London? Questions over questions but personally think that Raonic and Thiem will have the most convincing results and I expect Thiem to come close to entering the Top40 by August. But it will probably be newest member of the Top10 Dimitrov who’ll receive the most attention from the press and media (outside of Canada) in their quest to transform him into a “pop culture figure” (I see you LZ) *insert eyeroll*.

 

- 6: Kvitova wins Wimbledon again – but will she be able to carry the momentum across the pond unlike in 2011?

Petra Kvitova won Wimbledon 2014. And pretty emphatically at that. Pam Shriver was absolutely on the money that Kvitova’s victory and the manner in which she blazed through the finals was reminiscent of current and former grass court greats such as Serena, Venus, Steffi and Martina. It was a 55 minute masterclass from the Czech. The question is – will she be able to take it in her stride and not consider it a “duty” to win every match and tournament she competes in (2011 Kvitova thoughts) but rather acknowledge it as the confidence boost that she has the weapons to win against anyone if she produces her best tennis?

 

I’m a little bit on the fence but that’s because with Kvitova a solid US Open series with QFs and maybe a SF in all three big events (Montreal, Cincy and the US Open) should be considered as a good result for her – expecting her to romp home multiple titles in the next 2 months would be overly optimistic. The loud and “crowdy” events in North America are at the opposite spectrum from where the Czech feels at home but the quiet yet steely confidence she displayed throughout this fortnight were a good sign that Kvitova won’t be as rattled and overwhelmed by the success as 3 years ago. With her Wimbledon title she has effectively neutralised most of the points she has to defend for the rest of the season and can just give it a good swing (hopefully not into the stands). And should she remain healthy, that’s a dangerous prospect for the rest of the WTA.

 

- 7: Which players deserve the “You in danger, girl!” gifs?

Yep: Serena and Vika have a lot of points to defend and some question marks next to them but let’s focus on some other people.

I’m looking at you, Richard Gasquet, John Isner, Vasek Pospisil and Sorana Cirstea. Until the US Open Isner will be facing a serious crunch-time week in Cincy. He’s currently sitting at #12 with 2690 points. 650 points will come off before Cincy. 600 points will come off IN Cincy. If Isner doesn’t come up with the goods during the next 6 weeks he’ll have a nasty little eye opening moment when he finds himself outside the Top20 for the US Open seedings.

Richard Gasquet has had a rotten year with back issues until he hit the grass in Eastbourne and made his first finals. He then outgasquet himself by failing to convert one of 9 match points against Kyrgios and has semi-finals points to defend in New York. Fortunately for him, he didn’t do a lot between Wimbledon and US Open 2013 and considering he is going to play Bogota/Atlanta/Washington/Montreal on the trot, there’s a chance he might be able to cushion the blow in advance.

Where the wild Richies live. #tenfeetbehindthebaseline

Pospisil has had a similar year to Gasquet with a bad back and has almost half of his points to defend with his Challenger win in Vancouver and SF appearance in Montreal last year (460 in total) - hence it only makes sense that he’s playing the exact same schedule as Gasquet. Maybe his Wimbledon doubles titles will give him a bit of a confidence boost in advance.

Cirstea had a banner week in Canada last year, thumping her way through the draw and it wasn’t until she met Serena in the final that her run came to an end. Unfortunately, other than a good Fed Cup weekend this year hasn’t been a lot to write home about for her. Cirstea’s ranking in the Top30 is currently kept afloat mostly by her 620 points from her finals in Toronto. But boy oh boy, things won’t be pretty if the next few weeks are turning out to be as sour as the rest of the year.

 

- 8: Will the WTA continue its 2014 theme of “The draw will implode - somewhere!”

It has been a slightly weird year on the WTA-Tour since Wimblegeddon 2013 threw the tennis world somewhat off-axis. All of the last four slam winners make perfect sense (Serena in New York, Li Na in Melbourne, Sharapova in Paris and Kvitova this weekend) – all these players won on surfaces/at Slams where they feel at home. And yet… Azarenka’s highest ranked opponents on her way to the finals were (2013)-Ivanovic and Cornet. Kvitova and Li won their slams without having to play a single woman ranked inside the Top10 and haven’t notched up a Top10 win this entire season and Sharapova’s only Top10 opponent was Simona Halep in a spectacular Roland Garros final. It’s certainly true when people say “you only have to beat the player infront of you and if the draw around crumbles, so be it!” – and yet the WTA has felt a little weird at slams lately where the draws *have* always busted. Some of the bigger premier events have help up pretty well (e.g. Miami/Madrid) whereas others have been slightly chaotic:

I was happy for Pennetta (who played a great tournament and defeated the top and 2nd seed!) but Indian Wells, you felt like a wacky one this year. (espn.go.com)

It’s going to be interesting to see how the WTA plays out during the course of the US Open series and whether the current Top10 women will be able to bring back some order or whether we’ll see more of the same in the next few weeks. A fatigued Serena and a hot-and-cold-blowing Li as top seeds might not bode that well for the order-option tho. It says something when the greatest beacon of stability in the Top5 might be recent arrival Simona Halep.

 

- 9: Can the rest of the ATP tour close the gap to the Top2?

Let’s put the Top4 myth at rest for the next few weeks. This isn’t because I’m so disrespectful (…) but rather because the #2 in the rankings (Nadal) has twice as many points next to his name as Federer, who’s number three. Federer had a fantastic fortnight at Wimbledon but his return of serve let him down time and time again against Djokovic, only being allowed 1 breakpoint throughout the first 3 matches. Murray has slipped down to #10 in the rankings after his QF exit in London after a bad day against Dimitov but he doesn’t have many points to defend throughout this summer, much like Federer who won’t do the European clay court swing after the experiment went decidedly awry in 2013. The only *other* two slam champions of the last 9 years being Del Potro who’s still out with his wrist injury and Wawrinka, who has performed reasonably well given how grass is his worst surface but he has still gone big or gone home relatively often this year. I’d be surprised if any of the other guys in the Top10 made a leap big enough to endager Djokovic and Nadal at the top or vice versa if the two of them played bad enough to allow it to happen. Both guys are just the two most consistent performers across the year and I’d be shocked if it was any different over the course of the next two months or so. However, Nadal has a ton of points to defend over the course of the next few months (4000, he won Montreal, Cincy and New York back to back to back in 2013) and there might be a window of opportunity for Federer to close the gap a little if he makes use of being seeded better again. Will Federer overtake either? No – but he can set himself up nicely for the rest of the year at the very least.

 

- 9 1/2: Li Na and Carlos Rodriguez split:

It’ll be interesting to see how Li does without having Rodriguez in her corner who has been asked back to the academy in Beijing (where they’ll still train when she is in China according to Eisenbud). Li has it in her to produce great tennis but Rodriguez has certainly help shape her game over the past 2 years. Eisenbud and Rodriguez are apparently looking into finding a new coach and I’ll be damned if it’s not one of the reasons for one of Ben Rothenberg’s last tweets from Wimbledon today:

 

Hope you all recover well from Wimbledon and enjoy the journey through the clay in Europe, the hard courts in Merica and – of course – the BAKU SLAM.

Making sense of Wimbleweird

“Wimbledon Sunday,

Remnants and heralds of cray,

Come on grass downtime!”

 

It’s been a difficult past day or 2 on the Wimbledon grounds. Whilst during the first few days dry conditions and occasional sunshine prevailed, the courts were covered up at the end of Thursday and throughout most of Saturday. It’s certainly not the first time Wimbledon has had to deal with some dire weather, it’s a common occurence but it’s hardly the worst conditions ever (anyone remember 2004 or 2007?).

The bigger issue than the weather itself is how things have been handled from the organisational and referee point of view, what with the Berdych-Cilic match being the prime example of that on Friday night. Hellbent on finishing a third set and possibly the match considering Cilic was up two sets to love, Berdych and Cilic were kept out on the courts until well after hawkeye had run its course due to darkness and visibility was feasible for play in any way or form. I’m surprised ESPN didn’t make Aunt Pammy sit courtside to illuminate the the place with a flashlight cause there STILL AREN’T LIGHTS ON OUTER COURTS. IN THE 21ST CENTURY.

Peak Wimbledon lighting – and they played for another 10 minutes after that.

Looking at how Saturday turned out, I’m sure Marin Cilic will be glad he navigated through the dusk rather than sitting in the locker room all day and even though he was the better played one can’t help but think the match was robbed of being played on fair terms with a number of difficult line calls late into the third set. Considering the way he went out, Berdych was very much the bigger man in his presser and fairly congratulated Cilic rather than having a good old rant. I doubt anyone would’ve begrudged him if he had gone in on the AELTC - there’s just too much on the line for the players for these sort of referee charades.

 

Then came the Saturday. Forecasts weren’t great, the schedule was pretty crammed and it turned out to be everything people hoped it wouldn’t be (except for the cherished, unique way of ESPN doing tennis broadcasts but that’s for another time). Play didn’t *really* get underway until well past 5.30pm local time which left four hours of play at best (yes, I know, players got out on court at 12.30pm for a bit you might’ve just as well missed if you had just taken the trash outside).

Wimbledon, on Saturday at 11.30am.

Wimbledon, on Saturday at 11.30am.

The result? Brackets of unfinished and not even started Round 3 matches on the men’s and women’s side of the draw which is going to make proceedings for several players very difficult and exhausting.

There were massive complaints on twitter about Lisicki and Ivanovic not being moved to Centre Court or one of the men’s matches being started on there after Federer concluded his 3rd round match at 7pm but this is where I am on the AELTC’s and the referee’s side, weirdly enough. You cannot move one match from a bracket (that bracket being Lisicki-Ivanovic / Shvedova-Keys on the women’s side and Lopez-Isner/Wawrinka-Istomin on the men’s side) underneath the roof starting it at 7.30pm with a definite shot at finishing the match whilst leaving the other pair on the outer courts to start at the same time, hoping and praying they will finish within 2 hours.

What could’ve been done here under the restriction the AELTC puts upon itself is cancelling the juniors (have them all start on the Monday, rather than just a dozen on the Saturday) and spread the singles matches across the outer courts (4,5,7,9 etc.). I’m sure if you had asked the players they’d have preferred playing the matches on the outer courts with a chance of keeping the draws at a level playing field they’d have picked it over getting a stadium court. Yes, those matches wouldn’t have been televised much to the chagrin of many people (just start producing all courts already by the way, promote your slam, make it the best it can be) but at least it would’ve given everyone a legitimate chance to finish their 3rd round matches – if it hadn’t worked out (see Bolelli-Nishikori) – so be it but at least you’d have tried.

The real marmite in this entire scheduling malarkey is the famed Middle Sunday though. A tradition that has lived longer than all of us in order to grant the people and neighbourhood of Wimbledon village, players and staff their day of rest , only broken in very extreme cases: 1991, 1997 and 2004. In these years Wimbledon staged a so called “People’s Sunday”, providing readily available tickets with unreserved seating for the show courts at a low price. It will whole-heartedly refer to the tennis-buzz article on the first People’s Sunday in 1991  which cites several quotes from former AELTC’s chief executive Chris Gorringe’s book “Holding Court” on the day and going by all of that it sounded like an utter triumph – I remember some of 2004′s middle Sunday and that was good fun, too.

Centre Court about right now. (thewritingnut.com)

But I also see the other side of it. I understand why all people working at Wimbledon (journalists, umpires, hospitality, security and so) as well as people in the Merton Borough relish the day off and even most fans have a weird love-hate relationship with it. Look at me doing household chores, going to the gym and not shouting my head off because of a botched overhead. On the other hand, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t want to watch Ivanovic-Lisicki or make jokes about how many sets out of 4 between Isner and Lopez will end in tiebreaks.

Hence the logical suggestion would be: keep the tradition of the middle Sunday when you can and when it doesn’t put players under the thumb for the business end of the tournament. If the Friday or Saturday looks likely to be washed out though – do another People’s Sunday. They could’ve easily done it this year when it’s mainly dry on the Sunday (expect for a shower at about 1pm/2pm), taken the madness out of the Saturday and early 2nd week and put Wawrinka-Istomin along with Lisicki-Ivanovic on Centre rather than cancelling the matches entirely or starting them at 8pm.

What we ended up with though is a situation which could possibly see one of Isner, Lopez, Wawrinka and Istomin play 3 days of best of five matches in succession to play for a spot in the semi-finals. Not to forget that e.g. Lopez is still in the doubles. That man has got his work cut out.

The main question the AELTC will have to ask itself in the future is: Is it more important to respect tradition at all cost or is it more important to respect the players with fair scheduling and sensible match suspension decisions? I think the answer to that should be pretty obvious but the AELTC and the referees still seem to have a different idea regarding all of this as shown during the baloney at the end of the Berdych-Cilic (and Keys-Shvedova) matches and the way the scheduling was handled during the Saturday wash out. They demonstrated they’re able to make steps into the 21st century in some departments what with the women’s matches finally closing in on being featured in equal measure on show courts as the men’s matches. Here’s hoping they’ll manage to do it in other areas as well.

Throwback Thursday: Svetlana Kuznetsova has NO REGRETS!!1

DEAM!

I can’t believe it’s been a WORLD CUP since notorious Nastia Rodionova defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in Round 2 of Wimbledon. This match had everything, injury time outs, shotmaking, Lynn Welch’s eyebrows being raised at all the antics, Rodionova shooting looks at the line judges and Kuznetsova refusing the handshake at the very end. The entire thing is up on youtube:

 

But the final game of the match sums it all up quite NICELY:

 

The Aljaz Bedene and Dan Evans conundrum

It hasn’t been the most eventful first day at Wimbledon. In comparison to what happened on almost a daily basis last year, one might even use the word dull. Most seeds got through their matches fairly easily, Fabio Fognini put on his usual spectacle, Samantha Stosur is still allergic to the grass, Andy Murray got a standing ovation upon homecoming and Dan Evans’ run of bleak results in both qualifying and main draws at Wimbledon continued.

Taking a big cut. Not just at the ball. (theguardian.co.uk)

Whereas Murray’s presser included the expected heralding and the usual goofball questions from people who - if I had to make an educated guess - don’t bother with tennis for more than a fortnight or two per year, Dan Evans’ post match conference included the slightly meatier subject that is Slovenian Aljaz Bedene’s request to represent Great Britain in the future after having spent most of his adulthood living in the UK.

In today’s press conference the topic was raised once again, Evans once again stated his disapproval of the situation and felt that although Bedene was “a nice chap, it just doesn’t feel it’s right [if he played Davis Cup for the UK] and Bedene doesn’t speak in an English accent” anyways. (See Ben Rothenberg’s tweet of that part of the press conference). I do have a fairly British accent, does that qualify me, then?

The whole story reminds me of something I witnessed when I was 15 or 16 and playing league tennis for my local club back home. We had a tie with another club in said league and their second seed had just switched over from another club a few weeks in advance to the beginning of the season. During the whole day, he was essentially cut from all conversation by his team mates and upon asking what the issue was one of the guys stated “Well, I don’t want anything to do with someone who just marches in here and thinks he can push other people off the team or down the club ranking” – over the rest of the course it was pretty obvious that the guy was at the very least the second best in their team and had every right to be just there on the list.

Bedene played Davis Cup for Slovenia but never in a tie-relevant rubber. (bluedragontennis.com)

For me the Evans situation is not entirely dissimilar. It’s just a very adolescent and rather narrow-minded attempt by Evans to mark his territory. The main issue with all of this is that his comments can almost be viewed as borderline xenophobic just plain off of the print. “He doesn’t even speak in an English accent!” and “I’m the better player anyways” is the culmination of a series of comments Evans has made throughout his career when his tongue returned before his brain finished a serve. Similar moments include him saying he wasted his money throughout much of his career and didn’t train hard enough after Davis Cup in April 2013 or him thinking that “knowing the name of the runner up of the Wimbledon finals 2013 on the women’s side is more embarrassing than not to know it”.

Sure, if you witness Evans in an interview you’ll quickly realise he says a lot of things with his tongue in his cheek – but that doesn’t take away from the fact that his own truth and opinion is probably to a large extend integrated in these little “quips” and “jokes”.

Although the comments from today’s press conference might seem borderline xenophobic to some, these remarks are probably born out of ignorance and just carelessness rather than them being his conviction. Still, it doesn’t set the greatest of examples to kids and adolescents (Tennis players don’t have to be role models all the time but they often are just that to many young kids) playing in clubs and it sends out (small) headlines during the most busy tennis months in the UK that aren’t doing him, the LTA or tennis in a country as multicultural and diverse (and all the better for it) as the UK any favours, particularly just a month or so after the woeful results of the European elections.

Evans has made some steady progress since admitting “he doesn’t work hard enough” 15 months ago and climbed about 200 places in the rankings. There probably wouldn’t even be any need for this discussion or for him to constantly give his two cents on Bedene’s planned switch if he had acquitted himself to giving this tennis thing a proper go a little earlier. Instead he decided to wait until the LTA cut his fundings and now he resorts to statements that can easily be warped into “a foreigner tries to steal my job” headlines by some of the less classy newspapers around. Keeping his head down and working continuously might do him more favours. That way he can prove he is indeed “the better player anyways” rather than just barking loudly.

Mind, the whole issue will remain a very minor headline amidst Murray’s attempt to defend his title and the continous work many folks are doing with Rally4Bally but it’s rather certain that it’s going to at least rumble on throughout the next weeks and months. It certainly would be nice to see Evans be a little bit more thoughtful with his words in the future. If the US players were alright with Navratilova and Seles switching over, one should think a certain Dan Evans has it in him to get over this non-issue one day.

 

p.s.: - doesn’t Rally4Bally include supporting Baltacha’s Academy, which has its main focus on welcoming and supporting everyone regardless of the background in the tennis family? Just a thought.

The 2014 Wimbledon DRINKING GAME!

Dear heavens, I’m looking forward to 2015 because coming up with two drinking games within a month is draining, let me tell you. But anyways, it’s the most green-white time of the year, so I hope you’ve got your Pimms ready, your strawberries creamed and dressed up accordingly for the tennis as you do when in London.

Without much further ado I present you The 2014 tennisandtunes Wimbledon DRINKING GAME!

Wrong BBC crowd puller. I apologise.

Wrong BBC crowd puller. Wrong Sue. I apologise.

So ON YOUR MARKS. GET SET. BAKE. DRINK!

- Novak Djokovic SLIPS/FALLS on the grass. TAKE A SWIG.

- Last year’s “Wacky Wednesday” is mentioned in any shape or form. TAKE A SWIG. “Terror Tuesday” or “Terror Thursday” are coined because another abundance of former number ones and top-seeds lose on one and the same day. CHUG.

- The camera zooms in on a celebrity. TAKE A SWIG. You have no idea who that person is and wouldn’t know they’re famous unless your twitterfeed suggested it was the case. TAKE ANOTHER SWIG.

#whewareyou? (instyle.com)

#whewareyou? (instyle.com)

- Someone with a particularly funny streak shouts “COME ON TIM!” during a random match. TAKE A SWIG. Tim Henman is asked whether he is disappointed that “Henman Hill” is slowly being renamed “Murray Mound” in recent years. TAKE ANOTHER SWIG.

- Someone wonders whether 2013 Wimbledon could be Roger Federer’s “last roll of the dice”. TAKE A SWIG.

- Andrew Castle says something utterly cringeworthy. TAKE A SWIG. Andrew Castle searches his own name on twitter and blasts someone for calling him out. CHUG.

Well.

Well…

- Conversation turns to Scotland possibly seceding from the United Kingdom and what it would mean for British tennis. TAKE A SWIG.

- Virginia Wade says something that makes you believe she’s already had more swigs than you’ve had. TAKE SWIGS UNTIL YOU BELIEVE YOU’RE AT EQUAL LEVEL.

- The BBC show an over the top montage. TAKE A SWIG. Sue Barker introduces said montage with dramatic aplomb. TAKE ANOTHER SWIG. “The Day We Won Wimbledon” gets a re-run. CHUG.

Never forget etc.

This is not a photoshop. They really aired it again today. DRINK.

- Andy Murray loses before the 2nd week. TAKE A SWIG. Amelie Mauresmo is blamed for whatever went wrong. TAKE ANOTHER SWIG. Amelie Mauresmo is barely mentioned as Murray defends his title. CHUG.

- A Serbian player (male or female) bottles an overhead. TAKE A SWIG.

(belfasttelegraph.co.uk)

Another all too familiar sight (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)

- Someone mentions Isner and Mahut in the same sentence. TAKE A SWIG. John Isner plays a non-tiebreak set. TAKE ANOTHER SWIG.

- ESPN mentions the possibility of an all-Williams final. TAKE A SWIG.

- Sabine Lisicki sheds a tear on centre court. TAKE A SWIG.

lisicki

A common sight over the course of the past few years. (thenorthernecho.co.uk)

- Jelena Jankovic falls down on grass and/or explains her disdain for it. TAKE A SWIG.

- Kim Sears is on camera and her hair is shining in all its silky glow basked in the British sun. TAKE A SWIG.

A shampoo contract surely must be around the corner. (telegraph.co.uk)

A shampoo contract must be around the corner, surely. (telegraph.co.uk)

- Dimitrov sticks around longer in the draw than Sharapova. TAKE A SWIG. Someone likens the situation to “Wimbledon”. #sigh TAKE ANOTHER SWIG.

Just.. no.

Just.. no.

- The cynic in you believes the women’s match on centre court is picked for its visual appeal rather than being fascinating match up. TAKE A SWIG.

- ESPN bemoan the state of American tennis on the men’s side. TAKE A SWIG. During a women’s QF or SF ESPN cut to a men’s doubles QF/SF for a prolonged amount of time. CHUG.

- Li Na manages to not self-implode and makes it through the soft draw she’s been handed to the QFs. TAKE A SWIG.

StaceyAllasterWTAsia

- Ana Ivanovic catches a ball toss. TAKE A SWIG.

- Pam Shriver gets sent out to Murray Mound/Henman Hill and struggles with foreign languages a.k.a. SCOTTISH. TAKE A SWIG.

PeakPammentary.

PeakPammentary.

- Chris Evert or Pam Shriver refer to a player younger than 25 as a “tour veteran”/a player older than 25 as a “young newcomer”. TAKE A SWIG. Chris Evert mentions “grass court mentality”. TAKE ANOTHER SWIG.

- Pascal Maria umpires a match involving Fabio Fognini. TAKE A SWIG.

- Fabio Fognini does something like this. TAKE ANOTHER SWIG.

- Someone bemoans the “one-dimensional game” in women’s tennis and how serve-and-volleying has died. TAKE A SWIG.

- You spot Vera Zvonareva during a change-over. TAKE A SWIG.

Welcome back, Casper. (bbc.co.uk)

Please stick around a bit longer than in Australia, Bepa. (bbc.co.uk)

- Nadal And Rosol meet in the 2nd round and expectations are high across the board. TAKE A SWIG. The match turns out to be another enthralling 5 setter and Nadal crashes out again. CHUG ONCE AFTER EVERY SET.

- Janowicz, Flipkens and Lisicki manage to roughly defend their SF/F points from 2013 and stay inside the Top30 post Wimbledon. CHUG WHATEVER YOU HAVE AND ASK YOUR NEIGHBOURS TO GIVE YOU WHATEVER THEY HAVE LEFT.

 

If you went ahead and only picked maybe four or five of these for the entire tournament I wouldn’t be mad with you. JUST DON’T SUE ME.
Enjoy the next fortnight!