Wimbledon: RF for Nine or Some Other Cup of Tea?

[Ah, the All-England Club.  When the rain lifts, it is nothing less than a sun-dappled cathedral to the great game of tennis.  The question on everyone’s mind, of course, is the resurgent 36-year old Roger Federer and whether he can win his 9th Wimbledon championship.  A crop of young upstarts stand in his way, making for one of the better storylines of the calendar year.]

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As fans across the world are glued to their televisions, captivated by the fabulous display of sport that is the World Cup, the grass courts of Wimbledon beckon.  Strawberries and cream draws closer.  The afternoon tea conversation about Roger Federer and his pursuit of his ninth Wimbledon championship grows loud enough to threaten British decorum.  

Roger Federer is the clear favorite in the Gentleman’s draw. He rolled through the tournament last year, not dropping a single set.  Considering that he has won the tournament a record-breaking eight times, and that his silky-smooth game is perfectly suited for grass, it is easy to slip into the pre-tournament storyline that his success is a foregone conclusion. It is not.  

Thirty-six is ancient in the modern game, with Nadal and Federer standing out as massive historical asterisks –anomalous in both their success in the modern era and, likewise, in their ability to continue to compete at the highest level of the game . RF will undoubtedly face serious opposition from youthful contenders such as Sacha Zverev and the volatile Nick Kyrgios, who played him extremely close in the Stuttgart Open (a major Wimbledon warmup).  And lest we forget about the old blood, Nadal, Djokovic, and Wawrinka are all threats to win the title. 

On the women’s side of the tournament, Serena’s presence looms large.  She will factor heavily in this tournament, barring problems with her health. She was forced to retire from the French Open earlier this year as this iconic champion continues to work her way back into the major championship shape.

The odds-on favorite is Petra Kvitova.  Serena arguably is just a click or two behind. Jo Konta is the best British contender for the title. Although she has struggled with her play on the European red clay, she has a solid all-court game well-suited to grass. Notably, she made a semi-final run at last year’s Wimbledon.  She is the current era Tim Henman and it would be a delight to see her make another run.  

The 141st Wimbledon Championships will be a spectacular sporting event.  Like the World Cup, it has great storylines, world-class competitors and global reach that few other events can deliver.  

Powers Trigg

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