Merrily Along the Way to Wimbledon

In Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Sports Blog, Tennis, Wimbledon on June 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Today, much of the talk would be or has been the square off between the US and England for their first match at the 2010 World Cup. However, two Americans have already stake claims in Jolly ole London as they are tearing up the grasscourts. Sam “The Grinch” Querry and Mardy “The Whale” Fish are in the finals of the Aegon Championships. Now this tournament has already seen enough drama as the 1-6 seeds were bounced in throughly convincing fashion before they even got to the semi-finals; most of them falling before the quarterfinals. Nonetheless, one really has to commend the Americans.

This Grinch is about to steal Christmas again

I am so proud of my boy Sammie

The Grinch avenged his first round Australian Open 2010 lost when he took out Rainer Schuttler of Germany 6-7 7-5 6-3 where as his compatriot, the Whale took out Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-3 6-4. American men in particular and their tennis federation have endured much abuse from critics and I am not ashamed or afraid to say that I have been leading that charge. America’s current tennis system is not doing much for finding and developing new talents. They seem to be working on the notion that the likes of Andy Roddick, James Blake et al can inspire the new generation who can simply get themselves to tennis greatness. They have the job half done already: someone else develop the talent and they would turn that person into a star. Apparently they have not noticed that tennis coverage is waning and that they have stiff competition from other more accessible and more lucrative sports. Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Michael Chang, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier are no longer playing and their replacements are not likely to turn up tomorrow. Go out into the highways, byways, valleys and mountains, into the cities and suburbs as well as the country sides to find willing bodies and give them the skills. Don’t wait for talent to show up at your doors. Take a look at how basketball, baseball, football and hockey operates. They go looking for bodies. They never seem to have a problem finding the next stars. Nonetheless, today we can celebrate the vindication of sorts for the American way of doing things.

Give us Americans a run of applause

The Grinch has had a stellar year as he has for the year already won two titles and made it to 4 finals including this one. The Grinch even won a European clay court title. That’s impressive. That’s really really impressive. Interestingly enough, his two titles for the year were over another American John Isner and if he were to win tomorrow, he would beat yet another American. The Whale is having an up and down year (well truth be told he is ranked 90 in the world right now so he is having a down year) but this is first final for the year. He also played 5 matches at this tournament as the Grinch, being a seeded player got a first round bye. As to who I favor tomorrow in the final, well…it’s a toss up: The Grinch has a really hot hand this year and definitely coming into form so far but the Whale might be wanting to show his prowess and his goes have a nice game having taken out Andy “Lochness Monster” Murray. Nonetheless it is great to see two Americans not named Andy Roddick and James Blake doing nice things. I should mention that James got to finals here either last year or 2008. James Blake is currently recovering from injuries.

Anyway across the Channel and several countries away in Halle, Germany, the Gerry Weber Open has set their finals as Mr. Federer will face his regular whipping boy Lleyton “Dingo Dog” Hewitt. Now Mr. Federer enjoys a 17-7 head to head with the Aussie but it is important to note that in their first 9 meetings 1999-2003, Hewitt was 7-2 against the Fed. However, since 2004, Mr. Federer has enjoyed a 15-0 run on the Aussie and at times, he has been merciless in his beatdowns dropping bagel sets (6-0) indiscriminately. I would have to caution Mr. Federer that he has been looking very shaky and vulnerable all year. He is coming across at times like a middle age man playing with teenagers. On his favorite surface, he has not been looking really stellar at the championships, dropping serve frequently but he made it to the finals. He is 29-0 at these championships as a 5-time winner. So he knows the grounds very very well but we shall see if Hewitt can get one up on the Faulting Federer tomorrow.

Cool, Calm, Collected...and also at times Conceited as well....

Mr. Federer made some off-handish comment about how Nadal, Murray, Djokovic and Roddick would have liked to have had more time on the grass as there is so few little opportunities for one to prepare for Wimbledon. Meanwhile his going for his 6 straight title in Halle. Interestingly enough Nadal won Queens in 2008, the same year he beat Federer in the Wimbledon finals. In the press confidence Nadal, Murray, Djokovic and Roddick all played off their lost as if it were nothing but a “chicken wing.” However, they lost to significantly inferior players (Lopez is ranked 31, Sela 63, Malisse is 74 and Fish is 90) Their losses were inexplicable for the other two lost in straight sets. Now this may not mean much particularly for Nadal (he is after all Nadal) and Djokovic (he is the doubles finals so he is getting grass practice) but for Murray and Roddick, Wimbledon is the one major that favors them tremendously. Roddick lost a heartbreaker last year and he and Murray are not going to create much fear in their opponents come next week when you lost to Sela and Fish. Anyway, we would see what happens at Wimbledon. And if there is one thing that we know with sports, it is that “The game is won and lost on the field.”

Shrieking her way to the finals

Anyway, despite all this talk about the menz, women are also playing tennis and Maria Shriekapova, 2004 Wimbledon champion is the in the final of the Aegon Classic (played in Birmingham) women’s event not be confused with the Aegon Championships, currently being played in London men’s event also not to be confused with the Aegon International, a joint event, to be played next week. I mean seriously, England, either stop the monopolistic/mercantilistic behavior or name the bloody tournament something else because all this Aegon business is quite Asinine in case you missed how confusing it can be. I mean can’t you get BP to sponsor one of these events. Anyway, Shriekapova would be facing Na Li of China in the final tomorrow. One would be foolish to bet against Shriekapova but Na Li is reeling from her Australian Open 2010 semi-finals appearance and the fact that Jie Zheng got to the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2008. Therefore, expect her to put up some strong resistance. Do not be surprise if there is an upset.


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