Wimbledon takes time to chill before the fizz of Manic Monday

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Jul 2017 09:30:55


 

LONDON,

THE All England Club was strangely silent on Sunday as Wimbledon took a pause for breath before the most intense day of the tournament—Manic Monday.
While it seems odd for one of the world’s biggest sports events to take a day off in the middle of competition, there is a good rationale for the schedule and a reward for the restraint.


Just as a fine bottle of wine benefits from being given time to breathe, the Wimbledon vintage is just that little more special after a day off.
On Monday every player, men and women, remaining in the tournament, takes to the court to fight for a place in the quarter-finals.
It’s the business end of the tournament and instead of the early stages messily merging into the last 16 match-ups, the tournament presses the re-set button and the pause amplifies the sense of drama to come.


“It’s unlike other Grand Slams. Wimbledon is very unique because it’s not played on middle Sunday. So Monday is a big day for all the players, both men and women,” said Novak Djokovic who takes on France’s Adrian Mannarino.
“It is even more so for the tournament and fans. It’s one of the days where you can get probably the most quality matches, both singles and doubles, men and women, that you can have throughout the entire tournament,” said the Serb, a three-times Wimbledon winner.


Eleventh seed Tomas Berdych, beaten finalist in 2010, has an intriguing match against Austria’s rising star Dominic Thiem on Court Three and the Czech believes fans with tickets for Monday have chosen wisely.
“I would say it’s the best day of tennis that you can see,” says Berdych.
“I think if anybody asked me for a day that they want to go to the tennis, I would say the second Monday of the Wimbledon, because you see men’s, women’s, you see last 16.


“So you see a lot of matches so you can also go to the ground courts and you’re still going to see a great match up. I think it’s the best day in tennis,” he said.
indeed, away from big stadium courts, fans can see title contenders such as French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko taking on fourth-seed Elina Svitolina on Court 12.


Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov has prime billing on Centre Court against seven-times Wimbledon champion Roger Federer and while he is relishing that prospect he savoured the silence of Sunday.
“Everything is so calm. It’s just us, the players. All you can hear is the hitting of the ball. You can just hear how the ball sits on the strings. You just hear that.
“Honestly, it’s a pretty special feeling. It puts a huge smile on my face.”


Federer subdues old-school Zverev IT WAS never likely that tennis’s grand old master Roger Federer would be taken by surprise when serve-volleyer Mischa Zverev came at him with a blast from Wimbledon’s past.
Zverev was billed as an intriguing conundrum for Federer and a potential third-round banana skin with his old-school style harking back to a bygone era of the grasscourt game.
Yet, unfortunately for the German, the seven times champion has a flair for such puzzles and, after a testing opening set, swept home 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-4 in Saturday’s Centre Court clash.


That saw Federer safely into the second week at the All England Club for the 15th time and gave him a few days to recover from a head cold that has been bothering him before he takes on Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in the last 16 on Monday.


“I had more problems with my cold than my opponents,” he said after a third successive match without dropping a set.
Perhaps the only positive for Zverev was that it was not as bad as the first time he played Federer on grass four years ago when he lost without winning a game.


The result on Saturday, however, never really looked in doubt for Federer, who is seeking a record eighth Wimbledon men’s singles title. Zverev’s relentless charging of the net posed few issues for third seed Federer, who stayed on course for a record eighth Wimbledon title by using the German as a target and relentlessly picking him off.


Federer hit 61 winners to Zverev’s 20, while the German won only 55 percent of points at the net, usually a prime position of strength. With Federer seeking to become the oldest player to win Wimbledon in the professional era, this was the sort of stress-free workout he would have enjoyed.
Alexander reaches last 16 for 1st time

THE personal milestones are starting to stack up for Alexander Zverev and on Saturday he notched another one at Wimbledon by reaching the last 16 of a Grand Slam for the first time with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner.
The leader of the ATP’s NextGen pack has long been tipped as a future Grand Slam champion and he is desperate to prove that he can back up the soaring exceptions.


Hence after setting up a showdown with Canadian sharp-shooter Milos Raonic, 10th seed Zverev was not exactly jumping up and down with unbridled joy.
“Of course it’s nice to reach the fourth round but this is not the goal that somebody sets themselves, ‘Oh, I want to be there fourth round and then that’s it’,” said the 20-year-old.