There’s No Crying in Tennis

Or is there? I have never seen so many tears on Centre Court of a Wimbledon final in all of my nine lives! Let me set the scene.

Our two opponents…Roger Federer and Marin Cilic. We all know Roger…the “GOAT’, as they say. Having a resurgence this year, winning the Australian Open, and going for his record breaking 8th Wimbledon title and 19th grand slam title. And Marin Cilic, the quiet giant. He’s beaten Roger at big moments, including the semi-finals at the 2014 US Open and went on to win the title that year.

But alas, the moment was just too great for Marin. Some may say it was physical…a problem with his foot. He had it re-taped around the end of the second set. But no, I say it was more psychological, in his head, emotional. And who blames him? Not me. I mean look, he’s playing on the biggest stage in tennis against the best men’s player to play the game.

He lost the first set 6-3, and was down 3-0 in the second when he called the trainers out. But instead of the trainers attending to any body ailment, they knelt next to him while he had a meltdown. They didn’t even take his blood pressure like if he was having a panic attack. Nope, at one point, he put the towel over his head and openly cried under his make-shift shelter for one.

Photo: http://www.express.co.uk

After getting his foot re-taped at the end of the second set, he did come out with a little bit of fire. But it was too late. The match was too far gone and Roger won the third set. Final score: 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. It’s just a shame Cilic couldn’t collect himself before the third set because I think we could have had a very competitive match.

Then there’s Roger. If you’ve been watching tennis for as long as I have, you know that Roger Federer is one of the most emotional guys on tour. He’ll cry if he wins, he’ll cry if he loses, and I’ve seen both!

Photo: http://www.thesun.co.uk

And wouldn’t you, if you were him? What he has achieved and continues to achieve is nothing short of spectacular. And just as I told my human’s mom on the phone this morning, we are just lucky to be around to witness it!

I, however, did not shed a single tear this morning watching this final. I’m proud of myself for holding it together…especially when Marin Cilic seemed so helpless. Bless his little heart!

But, that’s a wrap for Wimbledon this year. Now on to the rest of the summer season and looking forward to my favorite slam, the US Open!

Have a great Sunday, everybody.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fraziersracket

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/fraziersracket

 

Blow Out at Wimbledon’s Women’s Final

The table was set for a phenomenal Women’s Final today. Or as I like to think about it…my food and water, my best treats, and my favorite comb, were all waiting for me this morning at Wimbledon today. With Serena Williams out on maternity leave, that left things wide open for big sister, Venus, to step in and take the title. And why not? At 37 years old, she has been playing some of her best, flawless tennis this entire tournament. Unfortunately, so has her opponent, Spanish player, Garbine Muguruza.

I first noticed Garbine when she made it to the Wimbledon finals in 2015. Her opponent? Serena Williams! Nothing you can do when your playing Serena except pray that you don’t look too foolish on the court. Then she won the French Open in 2016. So I knew this would be no walk in the park for Venus.

Of course I was behind Venus the whole way. It’s no secret that she’s one of my favorite female players of all time! (Venus!) But you can’t will/pray/wish someone to win a Major. They have to do it on their own, and Venus just didn’t have it today. She gave a convincing effort in the first set, but when Muguruza went up a break to win it 7-5, not was no turning back. Muguruza won the second set in a quick 22 minutes, 6-0. Bye, Venus!

Even in defeat, Venus Williams is gracious, classy, and displays all around sportsmanship! A true role model and winner in my book!

Notable Spanish presence at the Women’s Final: the King of Spain, Juan Carlos (yeah, the King of Spain came to watch Garbine play!), four time Grand Slam winner, Arahtxa Sanchez Vicario, who is almost unrecognizable with her blonde hair, but OK. And yes, I had to google her to make sure I spelled her name right. And of course, Conchita Martinez, former Wimbledon champ who is currently supporting Garbine in a coaching role.

Next grand slam is the US Open, and if there ever was a place Venus is more well-loved, it is the hallowed grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fraziersracket

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/fraziersracket

Yosemite Sam Does It Again

Today’s Wimbledon consisted of the men’s quarterfinals, and we had some purrfect match-ups.

Marin Cilic vs Gilles Muller

Andy Murray vs Sam Querrey

Roger Federer vs Milos Roanic

Novak Djokovic vs Thomas Berdych

Notice that this is three out of the “big four.” Who’s missing? Rafa Nadal. 😦 He was knocked out yesterday in a five set battle against Gilles Muller. HUGE upset yesterday.

But there’s good news, folks! Lone American, Sam Querrey, Yosemite Sam, play-it-again Sam, played it again! Last year, he knocked out, then #1, Novak Djokovic, in the third round. This year, he put the hurt on Andy Murray, current #1, to win this quarterfinal match! Something about Centre Court brings out his best tennis. This will be Sam’s first Wimbledon semifinal match on Friday. Good job Sam!

You can see more of Sam in a previous post of mine, Trophy Extravaganza.

Today also included a personal upset for me. Novak Djokovic retired after losing the first set to Thomas Berdych. You may recall the big hub bub earlier in the tournament about players retiring in the first round just to collect a paycheck. I feel like he pulled a fast one on us, and if I was Andre Agassi (yes, Agassi agreed to coach this guy), I would cut my losses and bid Novak farewell.

Tomorrow we have the women’s semifinals.

Garbine Mugaruza vs Magdelena Rybarikova

Johanna Konta vs Venus Williams

Obviously more attention will be placed on the Konta/Williams match. Konta is the hometown favorite, but Venus is the all-time favorite. Expect the crowd to be confused as to who to cheer for. Those matches are always interesting to watch. I will be meowing for Venus Williams, but you can pick your favorites and I won’t judge. (OK, I might judge a little). But in the end, at least enjoy!

 

 

Just Another Manic Monday

Manic Monday, indeed! The Monday after Middle Sunday (the day the grass rests), every Round of 16 match is played for both men and women. As you can imagine, this little kitty had a LOT of tennis to watch! So let’s get down to business.

Today’s matches were a mix of predictable and unpredictable, highlights and low lights, upsets and five-sets.

Notable women’s highlights are: Venus Williams is through the quarterfinals (yay, Venus), Svetlana Kuznetsova upset Aggie Radwanska, Coco Vandeweigh beat Caroline Wozniaki, and French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko is through to the quarterfinals.

Now let’s get to the men. There were the routine three-setters (Roger Federer beat Grigor Dimitrov, Andy Murray beat Benoit Paire, Marin Cilic took out Roberto Bautista-Agut). Then things got complicated in a way that makes sitting-on-the-edge-of-my-seat nervous to watch! The lone American, Sam Querrey, had to play five sets to beat Kevin Anderson. Milos Raonic had to play five sets to take out Sascha Sverev (both were contenders in the Battle of the Headbands from yesterday.) My new favorite player, Dominic “Sweep the Leg” Thiem lost to Thomas Berdych in five sets.

Then we get to Rafa Nadal vs Gilles Muller. At first you’re thinking, “Oh I’ll just fast forward through this match because you know Rafa will win.” Then you see that Muller wins the first set without much effort. You think “Fluke, Rafa’s got this.” Then Muller wins the second set and you’re thinking, “OK, I guess we’re taking this to five.” Which is fine, Rafa has won plenty of fifth set matches. And of course Rafa wins set three and four. Now it comes down to the fifth set.

At Grand Slam tournaments, players must win 3 out of 5 sets. In all fifth sets, except the US Open, there are no tiebreaks and players must win by two. Well, let me tell you….Rafa wasn’t giving up and Muller was calm and collective and he wasn’t giving an inch. Relentless, both of them. Just when you think Rafa’s got it, Muller comes back with a tricky point at the net. I lost count the number of points he won by serve/volley. But just when you think Rafa Nadal is invincible, Gilles Muller wins the whole darn thing! Final score: 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 15-13. Let me tell you what, I was so tired after watching the match. I just get so emotionally drained I had to go take a cat nap.

Because the Nadal/Muller match lasted so long, they ran out of daylight, so Novak Djokovic vs Adrian Mannarino will have to play tomorrow. I know you’re thinking “Adrian Who?” Yeah, me too…but maybe it’ll be a good match. If nothing else, we can enjoy tennis legend, Andre Aggasi, and former tennis pro turned lawyer/investment banker, Mario Ancic, in the Novak’s coach’s box!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fraziersracket

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/fraziersracket

Battle of the Headbands…Who Wore It Best?

As per Wimbledon tradition, the players….and the grass…get a rest on the middle Sunday of the tournament. That does not mean that the Sunday Slice, my weekly segment, gets a rest. As a matter of fact, now is the perfect time for a little fashion fun!

Battle of the Headbands!!

Who Wore It Best?

We will start with the original trendsetters and tennis legends, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg. Much has been written about this rivalry, but lets answer the question, who wore the headband best? John’s wild bird’s nest of a hair is no match for Borg’s shiny, smooth golden locks. Borg for the win!

Next up, Rafa Nadal vs Roger Federer. This is a tough one, and one, I feel, that has to be broken down to “young” Rafa/Roger and “older” more mature Rafa/Roger.

When they were both coming on the scene in the early 2000’s, I was like, “who are these jokers and what’s with the headbands?” Much to my chagrin, this trend started up again and is still the preferred method of locks control for many tennis players on tour, men and women alike. In the younger days, I have to say Roger Federer wore it best.

Then as they both matured, and still rocked the bands, Rafa Nadal really came into his own, and I now think he wears the headband best.

Now to some more recent additions to this headband craze. Here are two “breakthrough” players who are on the cusp of greatness trying out the style, Dominic Thiem vs Sascha Zverev. I have written much about “Sweep the Leg” Thiem during clay court season because he was one of the the only ones to get a win off of Nadal this year. Like his win on clay, I have to give him the win in Battle of the Headbands.

Dominic Thiem

 

Sascha Zverev

Now we have the battle between USA and Canada. First up, Jared Donaldson. Next-gen player on tour, from the US. His opponent, Canadian Milos Raonic. This is a tough one because both started sporting the headband recently, so I don’t have much to go by. But I think I will go for my countryman, Jared Donaldson, for the win.

Jared Donaldson

Milos Raonic

So, our final winners are:

Bjorn Borg – best traditional

Roger Federer – younger year’s style

Rafa Nadal – mature year’s style

Dominic Thiem – breakthrough

Jared Donaldson – USA

Let me know your thoughts. Did I get it right? Did I miss anybody? Would you have picked different winners?

Enjoy your Sunday everyone, and I will be back tomorrow for Manic Monday.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fraziersracket

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/fraziersracket

 

 

 

Around the Grounds at Wimbledon

Hello furry friends,

I could write a book today about all of the action that has happened on the courts at Wimbledon these last couple of days. Trust me, I could….I just binged on tennis all morning! But instead, I think it will be fun to purr and meow about a couple of sightings around the hallowed grounds of the All England Club!

  1. Sergio Garcia, this year’s Masters Champion (golf…yes, I watch more than just tennis), showed up in the Royal Box yesterday rocking his green jacket! He’s so smooth!

2. We had a Bradley Cooper look alike, Ernest Gulbis, play Novak Djokovic in the third round today. He didn’t win, but he sure looked good while he played! (can you tell which one is Gulbis and which one is Cooper?)

And thirdly, and probably the most important…we are back to seeing the serve speed back to “mph” instead of “kph” like you have for the Aussie and French Opens. It may sound like a little thing, but to this American house cat, it’s the little things that make the difference!

Tomorrow, the grass gets a day off to rest, so I have something fun planned for the Sunday Slice! Stay tuned…

 

Federer Aces Another Milestone

With all the hub-bub of the early retirements yesterday, I forgot to mention a pretty remarkable thing that happened! Roger Federer hit his 10,000th career ace!

Good job, Roger!!

http://www.gobarireport.com

Watch here: Federer Ace #10,000

He is only the third player to reach this achievement, so this is a pretty cool stat. And this happened moments before his opponent, Alexander Dolgopolov, retired. So at least the ticket holders on Centre Court got to see history be made!

Speaking of the outrage I expressed about the number of retirements in yesterday’s post, I got my fact wrong. I’m not always purrfect. So, I have to make a correction. I said that the paycheck for a player to attempt a first round match was $35,000. That amount is wrong…it’s actually ~$45,000. I think Dolgopolov, Tomic, Kyrgios, and a couple of others made out real good at Wimbledon this year. Good job, guys. (not)

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fraziersracket

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/fraziersracket