Sunday, July 14, 2019

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Well, I predicted Roger Federer and Serena Williams would win this year's Wimbledon crowns ... and I was darn-near right. In what has to be the most devastating loss in his career -- for his fans and Roger alike -- the Swiss legend squandered two match points on his own serve, after charging back from down two sets to one and 4-2 in the fifth against an unflappable Novak Djokovic, 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3). 

“I thought most of the match I was on the back foot,” said Djokovic, who now has five Wimbledon titles. “I was defending. He was dictating the play. I just tried to fight and find a way when it mattered the most, which is what happened.”

Although John McEnroe didn't want to hear it, this loss hurts Federer's legacy more than meets the eye. After losing six Grand Slam matches in a row to Rafael Nadal-- including four finals -- Fed has finally gotten the Spanish monkey off his GOAT back. And, sure, it's impressive that a 37-year-old was one point from winning the longest Wimbledon final in history.

But this win guarantees that Novak will end the year No. 1 for the sixth time, allowing him to overtake Fed in the last remaining area besides total majors he still has an advantage. And having lost from match point up to Djokovic -- what, three times in majors? Yikes. All this time we've argued Federer or Nadal as greatest of all time. But assuming he wins four more majors -- don't forget he's the only one of three contenders to hold all four at once -- it now looks like Djokovic is the actual answer. No other player has dominated this many times against this strong a field. (Sorry, Bill, wherever you are.)

As for the women, what can I say? Serena Williams (again) waltzed into the final of yet another major. But shockingly (again!), her opponent didn't curl up into the fetal position, exploiting the GOAT's utter lack of match play. While I was not surprised that people like Kerber, Osaka and Pliskova were able to capitalize on Serena's rustiness, I have to give all the credit in the world to Simona Halep, who played one of the most perfect matches I have ever seen. So stunned was I by the result, I rewatched it in its entirety two more times Saturday -- it was such a thing of beauty. All the respect in the world to the Romanian pipsqueak for rising to this huge occasion. (And can we talk about all the beef in her box?!) 

I'm so tired of the constant bullshit drama surrounding Serena Williams -- almost always started by people who know nothing about tennis -- that I refuse to even click through. But I know from the headlines that Billie Jean King is right that Serena is again at a crossroads. She definitely has one more major in her -- and god know I'd love to see Margaret Court taken down a peg. But if she wants to make history again, she can't simply phone it in like she could before. 

Couldn't take my eyes of the epic men's doubles final, and not just because Robert Farah was wearing extra-clingy shorts and what appeared to be no underwear. 

He and Juan Cabal made history, narrowly edging Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 7-6(6) 6-7(5) 6-3, to become the first Colombian men's doubles champions at a major. (The loss seemed to hit Christophe Roger-Vasselin's son really hard, reducing him to tears for several minutes after the match.) 

Well-earned by the social-media savvy duo!

And in women's doubles, some history was also made. A former WTA Doubles World No.1 and the next WTA Doubles World No.1 triumphed in the final.  Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic and Hsieh Su-wei of Chinese Taipei claimed the title, as the No.3 seeds eased past No.4 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Xu Yifan of China, 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and six minutes. "Oh, my God, there is no word to describe the feeling," Strycova said, in their post-match press conference. "It's kind of like unreal. But in the same time it's amazing." It is the first Grand Slam title in women’s doubles for Strycova, who will rise to WTA Doubles World No.1 in the WTA doubles rankings for the first time in her career as a result. Not bad for a women who had just reached her first major seminal at age 33.

Earlier, Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan claimed the mixed doubles title. Croat Dodig, 34, and Taiwanese Chan, 29, prevailed 6-2 6-3 against Sweden's Robert Lindstedt and Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko in one hour and 10 minutes

And while I was rooting for Team Tracy Austin/Andrea Jaeger(!), Cara Black and Martina Navratilova ended up winning the Ladies' Invitation Doubles, defeating Marion Bartoli and Daniela Hantuchova in the final, 6–0, 3–6, [10–8]. Martina is about to turn 63!

And last but not least, apparently I have a type. Gustavo Fernandez won the men's wheelchair singles, and of course he's Argentinian. Have you seen him posing NAKED?

Around the net ...

Vacation (with Matteo Berrettini), all I ever wanted. More HERE.

Was hard to say which tennis legend was more happy about Simona's win: Martina Navratilova, who probably doesn't have to worry about Serena breaking that record too, or Chrissie, who still seems heartbroken by her pal Darren Cahill's separation from his star pupil. The correct answer is, of course, Margaret Court!

If Michael Venus is a "loser," I don't want to win.

Studly Martin Nosko has the HOTTEST STUDENTS.


demc7 said...

sorry- Serena will never be the GOAT in my eyes! People put too much emphasis on slams these days...for decades, pros couldn't play the slams, then in the new Open era- people skipped the Aus and French religiously. Evert skipped 8-9 Aussies and 7-8 French, 3 of them to play World Team Tennis during her most dominant era- 76-78- Chris could easily have 5-6 more majors if the emphasis was on them back then as it is today. Martina skipped 8-9 French and 7-8 Aussies- and that used to be played on grass- Martina could have 4-5 more majors. Connors only played the Australian twice in a 20 year career. Serena's been on tour 22 season- she's won around 71 or 72 tournaments- Martina played 21 seasons and won 167, Chris played 18 seasons for 156- outside the majors, Serena only has about 48/49 titles- a little more than 2 a year on average- hardly GOAT credentials! Yes- she's been hurt a lot, but most of her injuries are from half assing it and not being ready.

Henry North London 2.0 said...

What you might not have noticed was in the Mens Doubles Final. One ballboy had an obvious erection standing next to the French players. I found it hilarious.