The grass has been trimmed, the courts have been opened, the strawberries have been collected, Rufus is up, flying and looking over the famed SW19, the draw has been made; a fortnight of tennis extravaganza has begun. With players gracing the court in all whites, they have begun their journey to reach the pinnacle of this great sport. Wimbledon is here.
Its day 3 today, most players have already completed their 1st round matches. I am watching all the action with intense pleasure. There have been many amazing matches so far, but the best one was yet to come.
Why is Wimbledon so special? Well, tennis was born here, it came into being in 1877; it is the Mecca of tennis. It is revered as the greatest of the Slams, everyone wants to win at least one Wimbledon title. It is a measure of their caliber, the one that welcomes them to the group of the elites of the sport. It has its own set of traditions and rules, that give it a unique feel. It creates an aura of wizardry, where inspiration and determination rule, where beautiful stories are woven and legends are born. Today there are very few grass court tournaments and just one grand slam on grass court; which is why it is even more special.
I love to watch the Wimbledon films that are shown on the sports channels; they showcase the historic triumphs of the past champions. It is a beautiful way to connect with the legends that I did not have the privilege of watching. Legends like Arthur Ashe, Rod Laver, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Bjorn Borg, etc.; I have watched all of their films and reveled in the stories of their triumphs. It is heartening to see how they achieved their glories and made it into the history books. Of course I enjoy the films on Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, whose triumphs I have seen.
As a die-hard Federer fan, I am hoping he creates history again!
One memorable match that really inspires me, is the match played in 2010 between the Frenchman Nicholas Mahut and The American John Isner; it has the record of longest match ever played in the history of tennis. They have a commemorative plaque in their name at Wimbledon.
The Isner–Mahut match at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships is the longest match in tennis history, measured both by time and number of games. In the Men’s Singles tournament first round, John Isner defeated the French qualifier Nicolas Mahut after 11 hours, 5 minutes of play over three days, with a final score of 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68 for a total of 183 games.
I remember it for the fighting spirit both of them had. It took a lot out of both to finish it; their grit and determination was unbelievable. To hold on and keep fighting for so long is inspiring. Teaches you that you need to hold on in your life too… win or lose… its what you do during and after, that really matters. It was an amazing match and I am really glad I got to watch it.
This year at Wimbledon, there is a beautiful love story brewing; a story that is sure to melt hearts. It is the story of Marcus Willis; The Briton who made it into the final draw after 6 qualifying rounds and beating World No. 52 in the first round. With this win, he set up a dreamy 2nd round clash with Roger Federer. Marcus Willis earns £30 an hour coaching tennis for kids and adults alike. His yearly earnings amount to 300 bucks. He was a good tennis player as a teenager but gave it up for reasons known only to him. He is World no. 772 currently. It was a match which had gotten everyone super excited; A legend versus a true underdog.
But what I witnessed today was a really remarkable match. As soon as Willis entered the court, he looked happy. He was pumped up, soaking in his very first Center Court appearance, soaking in the atmosphere where the crowd was cheering loudly for him. And he was going to play against Roger Federer, which in itself is an amazing feeling I am sure. Win or lose, it was his moment to shine. It was a dream that came true.
Willis is an amazing player, but Roger is a veteran who oozes artistry and balletic movements. He is a sheer pleasure to watch. Thus began the dream match that had gotten everyone’s imagination running.
The rallies were truly amazing. The shots that these two were hitting were unbelievable! It was a battle between the warriors of the classic and traditional tennis, replete with a lot of serve and volley and net play. Both players showed off their exemplary skills on grass.
Roger bageled in the first set, but Willis raised his game at par to win a few games in the second set. He became even more confident in the third set, but Federer tamed him and won in straight sets. At the end, Willis had become emotional, which is quite natural because he realized his fairy tale dream run had come to a halt. But I hope that he takes this experience in a positive light and keeps on making his mark on the tennis world. Federer let him enter the court first, he did not applaud the crowd so that Willis would get that chance to revel and get the crowd’s standing ovation and applause.
It was truly a beautiful match. The crowd was amazing too; it was sheer pleasure to watch these two weave magic on the greatest of courts in the world.
Oh Wimbledon gives me the goose bumps; every time I watch a match, I wish I were there, witnessing all the magic unfolding right before my eyes. I wish I could immerse myself in the Wimbledon experience. It is on my bucket list too. I would love to just walk around, camp to get in the queue, have fun with my fellow FedBuddies, watch these amazing players hitting some amazing tennis and most of all, watch Federer holding the Golden Trophy aloft and kissing it. I really hope Federer wins it this time, I am enjoying his magical, artistic and balletic tennis, like always!
Although the Euros are clashing badly with the Wimbledon, I hope to catch the action in both the events. Hopefully the Germany (the team I love and support) matches won’t clash with the Federer matches, so that I don’t face a dilemma. Though I’d always choose Federer over anything else, I just hope I get to watch both. I have been on only 4 hours of sleep every day because of the Euro championship matches though; those are the idiosyncrasies of a sports lover!
I am definitely going to enjoy this fortnight of sports, especially Wimbledon; it makes my heart melt.