Grass is much more technical a surface, so we are told, so there are only a handful of players that know how to play on it. And yet the quality of these first round matches at Wimbledon, the quality of the tennis and the drama are much more impressive than the other grand slams. At the French Open it really didn’t get interesting until the fourth round, with most matches extremely on sided. Here we have already seen Federer pushed to 5 sets by Falla, and right not I’m (we’re) watching Frenchie Mahut against the giant John Isner. They’re two sets all, and 21-21 in the 5th. The last set has been on for over 2 hrs, over 5hrs for the whole match. Poor johnny looks truly exhausted dragging his gorilla arms around the court but keeping himself in with a giant serve.
The reason IMO that we get these dramatic matches at wimby is because the grass season is short- if youre good at clay you have several tournaments to win points and get the old ranking up, then youre not gonna play another high ranked player in the first round at the French Open. But players ranked 96 in the world may really be around top ten on grass, and you can take on the big guns and win (or give them a headache at least). Sucks for them. Great to watch.
All the Brits are out apart from Andy Murray, shame for the ladies. Heather Watson, Anne Keothothong, Elena Baltachea all had winning positions in their matches but lost anyway. Seems like Anne and Elena are haunted by the baggage of all the matches they played and lost here (Anne’s played 11, won 1), and seems like giving the 18 year Heather wild cards into major events where she is unlikely to win (at this stage in her career) is only going to perpetuate this trend.
Venus Williams, you’ll be pleased to know, is wearing a more appropriate dress. Although I believe this is more to do with the white colour code at Wimbledon than anything else, as it still looks like a flapper dress to me. Jelana Jankovic is wearing a nice simple white dress with a similar wafty bottom element, and I liked the colour of Michele Larcher de Brito (or whatever her name is)- had a blue piping. Serena’s outfit has red piping but is awful, haven’t seen Sharapova or what Federer is wearing this year- everyone else is bound to be boring.
The Isner- Mahut match is at 23-23 now, broken the record for longest match here, and they have each served 17,000 aces. Mahut has something of a chance though, got to deuce so Isner aced, but Mahut lobbed (over the head) the 6ft 9” American. To which Isner Aced. Then faulted (right into Mahut’s special place if you know what I mean, not the first time Isner’s hit Mahut), but wins the next point and Isner wins the game. Ok its 28-28 now, and its just getting silly.