July 17th, 2017

After Wimbledon

One of the good things about the European tennis season- from the start of Roland-Garros to the close of Wimbledon- is knowing there'll always be something for my mother to watch in the afternoons that I won't have to close my ears to. Now that Wimbledon is over it's back to the quiz shows and the antique shows and the let's laugh at the proles shows like Judge Rinder...

It wasn't a classic Wimbledon. Again and again we were reminded that these are athletes working at the extreme limits of what is physically possible. Federer and Djokovic faced first round opponents who pulled out with injuries, Djokovic himself pulled out in the quarter finals with a bad elbow and Murray carried a hip injury through several rounds before it eventually did for him. Both finals- the men's and the women's- proved anticlimactic because Venus Williams was exhausted and Cilic hobbled by blisters. 

Federer was majestic. Not his fault that most of the serious competition limped off before he got a chance to have a crack at it. Never before has tennis seemed such an extreme sport, so attritional.

On the whole the women's matches were more entertaining. That's where the exciting younger players are- Ostapenko, Rybarikova, Muguruza- but what about the promising young men?  The best of the matches on the men's side was the one between Nadal (an ancient champion) and Muller (an ancient journeyman making good) and the championship was won by a man of 36. When the great era of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray closes- not quite yet but soon- who will there be to step into their shoes?