This year’s Wimbledon champions, Serena Williams and Roger Federer are living proof that life doesn’t have to stop at 30 in the tennis world. As for Richard Gasquet, he sees his poor run of form continue, while Benoit Paire enjoys a holiday.
History, with a capital H, never ends. It takes breaks. Yesterday, after two sets of a bitter battle between Andy Murray, the darling of the Brits, and Roger Federer, the darling of the public at large, the whole Central Court of Wimbledon that was in thrall to the shot-making of the Swiss master. An accurate and powerful forehand, an impressive backhand chip, some outstanding volleys and aerial moves: On Sunday, on British soil, it was clear that "Rodger" was back. Having some difficulty with his game at the beginning of tournament, the Swiss showed in two matches against Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray that he was entering the roaring thirties more than the ageing thirties. This is a seventeenth Grand Slam title for the Basel-native, the seventh in the gardens of Wimbledon, matching his idol, Pete Sampras. And when you see him play like that, honestly, if we were the American, we’d be worried.
Number 1. Oh yeah. After giving way to the youth for a little over two years, Roger Federer took advantage of this summery Monday to reclaim his throne and a 286th week in the top spot that allows him to draw level with Pete Sampras in the record books. Destiny's child.
I think I’m getting closer…
His passing shot, too long, had only just bounced and already the tears were coming up. Tears flowing like the rain soaking the Aorangi Terrace. Andy Murray couldn't hold them back when the time came to thank those who have transformed Henman Hill in Murray Mount. With incredible support from the British fans, the 25-year-old then said "I think I'm getting closer
" with a quavering voice. Hard to correct him, he had just won a set in a Grand Slam final for the first time in his career. The only downside is that Andy might be "close" his entire career. Between Roger Federer’s longevity, Novak Djokovic's talent and Rafael Nadal’s power, 25 and 26 years old respectively, the Scot could go down as having had the misfortune to be born at the wrong time. Tough.
Serene, like Serena
Night and day. For the fourteen years she has been hovering up Grand Slam tournaments, Serena Williams took the habit of losing without ever doubting either herself or her game. Defeated by Virginie Razzano in the first round of Roland Garros a few weeks ago, the American took advantage of her reunion with the grass of SW19 to reconnect with the victory in a Grand Slam. Like Roger Federer, Serena is thirty. Like Roger Federer, she hadn’t won a major tournament since 2010 (a victory at Wimbledon, to be exact, obtained against Vera Zvonareva, Editor's note). This success, her fourteenth in Grand Slam tournaments, in three sets against a strong Radwanska, Serena owes to her eternal weapons. She served and returned with unmatched ferocity and made the grass hers throughout the fortnight, and showed once again that apart from Justine Henin in her heyday, nobody can compete with her when she is playing her best tennis. Having also taken the doubles title with her sister, Venus, Serena is still hungry. Too bad for the others.
Twelve. The loser number. In an expected loss to Florian Mayer in the last sixteen at Wimbledon, Gasquet was defeated for the twelfth time in thirteen matches at this stage of a Grand Slam. A statistic that should earn him a prominent place in the Guinness Book of Sorrows.
After of a good first week at Wimbledon, Benoit Paire took advantage of his holiday to fully recover. On the menu, fishing and wine on the beach. However, Benoit looks better with a beach racket than with a fish hook.
By Swann Borsellino