CATEGORIES: Sport | Tennis DATE:
The headlines keep coming and the sun keeps shining at this year’s Wimbledon. Week two kicks off tonight (today UK time), so to make sure you’re up to date we’ve rounded up the best of last week’s action, and what to look for amongst this week’s draw.
Despite failing to make it past the first round, Australia’s Bernard Tomic has been a media goldmine over the last week. After his 6-4 6-3 6-4 loss to Mischa Zverev he stated that he was “a little bit bored”, and that he no longer respected the game of tennis or cared about Grand Slams. His comments, and the revelation that he feigned injury to take a strategic medical time out in the loss, earned him a $US15,000 fine and a torn up contract from racquet sponsor Head.
The 24 year old created headlines again yesterday, stating that he deserves everything he earns. “I worked 10 hours a day with my father, having no money in our life from the age of eight to 15,” Tomic said. “We were driving a $500 car to now having millions and earning millions at 24, having houses all over the world. He then went on to say “You probably don’t like me but, at only 24, you guys can only dream about having what I have at 24.”
John Tomic, father of the now world No.59, added his point of view; “He’s my son, I love him, but I’m ashamed at how he’s approaching his business — it’s not good what he’s doing”. Having coached his son for the majority of Bernard’s career, he’s probably the best person to understand what’s going through the Australian prodigies head right now, but stated “I do not support such behaviour, especially at a unique grand slam like Wimbledon. “You have to have respect and follow the rules. You have to work hard. You have to put in 100 per cent and challenge yourself.” John Tomic then suggested his son had become “a little bit” too comfortable with his “easy life”.
Neither father time nor an English cold have slowed the tennis grand master. Federer is back for the second week of Wimbledon, and is likely to face off against one of his big four compatriots for the title. Saturday’s victory was vintage Federer, albeit not at his best, but good enough to take care of Zverev, who displayed a fine touch. He consistently put the ball just out of Zverev’s reach, and having previously proved old dogs can learn new tricks after he came back from a six month layoff to win the Australian Open, you wouldn’t bet against him reaching the final here.
Federer’s Wimbledon record now tallies 87 wins from 98 singles matches, more than any other man has achieved in the open era. Federer also has a chance to break his record tie with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw by winning an eighth singles title, and at the age of 35 with four kids no less!
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have all lifted the Wimbledon Cup since 2002, but despite their recent dominance over the game, have surprisingly never all been in the semis at the same time. They all looked good throughout week one, so this could be the year it happens. You’ll count yourself lucky if you hold a Centre Court ticket for Friday and that draw comes up! In terms of possible challengers, Milos Raonic probably has the best chance after coming close in 2016. He was only three sets away from winning the title last year before he lost to Murray, and with his injuries apparently behind him, this might be the Canadian’s year.
Another possible threat to the big four is young German Alexander Zverev. He lost well to Federer with a sleek looking shot, and being only 20 you should keep an eye on him. He’s already broken into the top 10, and oozes confidence, ambition and remarkable talent. You shouldn’t be surprised to see his first Grand Slam come sooner rather than later. He faces last year’s runner-up Raonic today (tonight AEST).
The woman’s draw at this year’s Wimbledon really is wide open. Serena Williams is pregnant and until further notice, out of the game, and that appears to have boosted the confidence of most vying for the woman’s title. This has been without a doubt Johanna Konta’s best Wimbledon, but critics are wondering if she can live up to the favourite tag.Caroline Garcia will present a stern test this week, after which she will likely play one of Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep, or Venus Williams. With the potential to become the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon quarter finals since 1984, the pressure is on. But so far the 26 year old has shown no signs she’ll buckle under it.