Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wimbledon Madness

Typically you don't see major upsets at a grand slam tournament until the round of 16 or the quarterfinals, but the 2013 Wimbledon fortnight has thrown us a curve ball.  In the first two rounds 7 time champion Roger Federer (seeded 3 this year), 2 time champion Rafael Nadal (seed 5 this year), and former champion Maria Sharapova (seeded 3 this year) all went down in defeat.  What is the reason for the rash of upsets?

The experts will give you all kinds of plausible excuses and explanations, but the fact of the matter is no one really knows for sure.  At that level (with the exception of commentators John McEnroe and Chris Evert) most people are merely speculating as to the cause of their early exits.  It makes for interesting reading though so here's my two cents.

I think Rafael Nadal was worn down from his clay court dominance and had a hard time adjusting to the pace of the grass.  He was hoping he could cruise through the first couple rounds and get his legs back, but he ran into someone that played the match of their life.  Either that or he kicked it too hard after winning his 8th French Open.

  Roger Federer is beginning to feel his mortality and blowing people off the court takes more effort than it used to.  There was a time when all he had to do was show up and his opponent already mentally psyched out.  Those days are gone.

 Maria Sharapova simply let the off court distractions get to her and her concentration level wasn't where it should have been.  Once a player's private life is the main topic of conversation as opposed to their performance on the court it's difficult to focus on the task at hand.

This is what makes sports so exiting though.  Even when you think you know it all the results can make idiots out of all of us.  I guarantee if someone was willing to bet me 3 of the top 5 players in the world would lose at Wimbledon before the 3rd round I would have wagered my next 20 years salary against it.  Now with the draw so wide open it will be easy for Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic to add to their collection of flossy plates.  If they don't we have to call them chokes right?

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