It’s a Wrap – Wimbledon Recap

It’s a wrap on the most well known fortnight of the year – Wimbledon. Two weeks of highs and lows from the best in the world of tennis.

There was so much action the last couple of days, I tried to keep up with all the stories. But here are the absolute facts you need to know:

The women’s final was between Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams. Yes, Serena is back and in top form. Unfortunately, she peaked in her semifinal match and didn’t have any fuel left for her final. And unfortunately for Serena, but fortunately for the rest of the women’s tennis, Angelique Kerber is back! After a stellar 2016 where she won both the Australian Open and the US Open, she fell into a slump of bad tennis. But here she is, playing and winning the Wimbledon final! Concatulations to both Mrs. Williams and Ms. Kerber.

Angelique-Kerber-FTR-GettyImage: Sporting News

The men’s final saw two unlikely, but both deserving finalists, Kevin Anderson and Novak Djokovic. The road was long for both of these two players, but Kevin drew the short straw here. Because of the rule that you have to win by two in the fifth set, Kevin was stuck playing to 13-11 in the fifth set against Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, and unprecedented 26-24 in the fifth set against John Isner in the 6+ hour semifinal match. He was depleted by the final on Sunday. I’m not taking away how pawesome Novak played, but I think it would have been a different result had Kevin didn’t have to play two marathons back to back. Novak eventually came out on top this Wimbledon Sunday!

Image: The Denver Post

On Wimbledon Eve, I made a few predictions. Let’s see how I did.

  • A David Beckham sighting! He loves Wimbledon.
    • I didn’t spy with my little eye any David Beckham. And that’s a real shame, because it’s always a good day when there is a David Beckham sighting.
  • A Royal sighting. Maybe a Harry/Meghan combo?
    • Never saw Harry, but his new wife was there with her sister in law. You know, they were just two ladies spotted out on the town supporting another Royal…Serena at the final. Oh and hey….there’s Billie Jean King! Hi there!

The Duchess of Sussex was supporting Serena Williams at WimbledonImage: Press Association

  • A bizarre injury. Not that I want this to happen, but playing tennis on an organic surface like grass, anything could happen.
    • Luckily, I don’t remember hearing of any off injuries…thank goodness!
  • A unforeseen victory, likely in the women’s draw.
    • All of the top women were out by the end of week one, so seeing Angelique in the final was quite unforeseen.
  • An upset! My prediction is it will be Federer in the quarterfinals.
    • I am not wrong. I predicted Federer was going out in the quarters and by-golly, I was right! Way to go, Kevin Anderson.

Kevin Anderson of South Africa loses a point to Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men's singles final match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Sunday July 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland, Pool)Image: Yahoo Sports

After all the tennis, I am exhausted. I’m going to go take a quick cat nap so I can get back to it real soon. Hope your Wimbledon was an enjoyable as mine.

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Tennis ESP

Meow! Just meow! I don’t even know where to start with today’s matches! Oh wait, yes I do. How about “I told you so.”

I have long said I have Tennis ESP. You know, the ability to know what’s going to happen on court before it happens. A friend once told me that, no I don’t have Tennis ESP. I have just watched enough tennis to know statistically how things are going to go.

Well, I can guarantee you that no one predicted Roger Federer would be anywhere except hoisting the winner’s trophy on Sunday, except me. In my Wimbledon preview, I predicted he would be out in the quarterfinals….and I was not wrong! Of course, I didn’t know it was going to go down in such dramatic fashion, but it did.

Image: Yahoo Sports

Roger played Kevin Anderson, and I know what you’re thinking. “Frazier, who the heck is Kevin Anderson?” Well, I’ve been a fan of this guy for a while, and last year he made it to the US Open final, where Rafa Nadal ended up winning. He played college tennis before turning pro about ten years ago, and is currently ranked #7 on the ATP tour. If you see him, you might notice that his hat always sits a little crooked on his head. I think he places with the movement of the sun for maximum protection.

There are so many things to love about Kevin Anderson. Kevin, be looking for a fan letter from me real soon!!

Well furriends, the match started out just as everyone predicted with Federer taking the first two sets pretty handily. And then in the third set, at 5-4 Federer, it was as if Kevin said to himself “Not today, Federer. Not today.” He came back to win the third set 7-5. Then he won the fourth set 6-4.

And now…the final set.

In the majors, men play the best three out of five sets, and in all majors except the US Open, the winner must win by 2 games. In the fifth set, neither player got broken. If Roger won his service game, then Kevin won his service game. This went back and forth and forth and back furrever!! The final score of the final set was 13-11! That’s practically an entire other set played. It was a fierce battle, but Kevin was hitting his returns so early with incredible amount of pace. And the angles he was making! Unbelievable tennis.

And then we had Rafa Nadal play Juan Martin Del Potro. I predicted this was going to be a fiery match, and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve said it before, I love watching Del Potro play because he puts it all out there. The crowds love it. His opponent respects it. And Rafa plays every match with such intensity you can’t help but get fired up!! Vamos!

Nadal/Del Potro was another five setter and it was fireworks to the very end when Rafa hit the winning shot and Del Potro fell face down in exhaustion, across the net. In a display of pure sportsmanship, Rafa steps over the net to help his friend up and congratulate him on a good match. How could you not love these guys?

Rafael Nadal of Spain, left, meets Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina on the court after defeating him in their men's quarterfinal match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Wednesday July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Image: Yahoo Sports

All in all, it was a great day to be a tennis fan! But now I’m exhausted and must sign off.

More Wimbledon later…

Crack Open a Window Or Kick Open the Door

Well, here we are in week two of Wimbledon, folks. A few of the Next Gen stars took a peek through the cracked window of success, but the big name players kicked the door of the Championships wide open.

I was excited to see two Next Gen stars (ATP players, age 21 or younger and ranked in the top 200) make it to week two of the Championships at Wimbledon. Fourth round at Wimbledon is not a bad gig. Unfortunately for Mackenzie McDonald and Stefanos Tsitsipas, they had some unforgiving opponents across the net. However, both put up a pretty good showing.

American, Mackenzie McDonald, had the misfortune to meet up with Milos Raonic. If these two names sound familiar, it because I have written about them both recently…Mackenzie just last week as a player to watch, and Milos as a player experiencing a Tennis Renaissance. Here, I think experience won out against youth. Milos has been a finalist at Wimbledon in 2016, so he knows what it takes to grind through a match. Milos beat Mackenzie in 4 sets. Not too bad.

Image result for mackenzie mcdonald Image: usatoday.com

Greek, Stefanos Tsitsipas, was paired up against huge hitter and the King of Tiebreaks, John Isner. Stefanos put up a good fight , but in the end, John won 6-4, 7-6, 7-6 (of course finishing it off in two tiebreaks).

Image result for stefanos tsitsipas          Image: Daily Express

Of course, the big names made it to week two and busted the door wide open! Tomorrow, the stage is set for the following quarterfinals:

  • Roger Federer vs. Kevin Anderson
  • Milos Raonic vs. John Isner
  • Novak Djokovic vs. Kei Nishikori
  • Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Rafa Nadal

The latest debate is which matches gets Center Court and which matches gets Court 1. Purrsonally, I hate that this is even discussion, but people are people, and people like to debate. It really doesn’t matter at all to me…I watch them from my comfy couch, usually with a plush blanket covering me anyway!

I’ve been predicting that Federer will be upset in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. Tomorrow will tell us if I’m right.  The Raonic/Isner match should be fun because they are both big beasts!! On the opposite end of things, Djokovic/Nichikori will be a battle of the fit and slender. Then we have the great Juan Martin Del Potro against Rafa Nadal. This could go with either way, really. Expect a lot of Argentine and Spanish heat! All in all, a great day of tennis tomorrow.

I’ll be watching! Will you?

Rising American Star – Mackenzie MacDonald

Furriends, I have some exciting news! We’ve got ourselves a rising tennis star and his name is Mackenzie MacDonald!

Image: atpworldtour.com

I watched his match today against Argentine, Guido Pella, and he was on fire! MacDonald was not even seeded at Wimbledon; he is playing as a qualifier…playing his Wimbledon debut. The 23 year old is currently ranked #103, but his ranking will go up after this tournament, fur sure!

I know what you’re thinking, “Frazier, what’s the big deal about him beating a guy named Guido?” Well, under ordinary circumstances, this wouldn’t be something huge to write about, but just yesterday, Guido Pella took out last year’s finalist, Marin Cilic, in a brutal 5 set match. Guido was looking good. Guido was looking sharp. And then came Mackenzie, and Guido got a two-hour beat down and a three-set loss.

Mackenzie MacDonald was calm, powerful, sure of himself, and focused. And that my furriends, is how you earn a spot to play in week two of Wimbledon!!

Keep an ear up for this guy! I think he’s got a bright future!

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The Emperor’s New Clothes

At the conclusion of day 3 of Wimbledon, one thing is for sure…The Emperor has some new clothes. That’s right, furry furriends, The King of Grass, Roger Federer, has a new clothing sponsor. After many years with Nike, Roger just signed a 10 year, $300 million deal with Japanese clothing company, Uniqlo.

Image: Yahoo Sports

Roger is 36 years old and he is guaranteed $30 million per year until he is 47 years old. Not too bad for the old guy!

But in all seriousness, it is weird to see Roger play without being decked out in the Nike “swoosh”.  So far, he has played his first two matches very solidly. But I still think there will be an upset somewhere along his way to the final. We’ll see.

In other Wimbledon news…the players I mentioned in the Tennis Renaissance are all doing well, except for Andy Murray who had to pull out of the tournament due to his ongoing injury. But Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic all look really solid! And that is grrreat news!

Play was suspended today due to rain, but there are some really great matches that should finish tomorrow. The one I have my eye on is young Greek, Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Jared Donaldson. Tsitsipas is my new “next gen” favorite. Tsitsipas is up two sets to one, but Donaldson is making a good run right now…this may go to a fifth! Take a good look, y’all. This is the future of tennis.

https://www.tennisworldusa.org/imgb/41196/stefanos-tsitsipas-talks-about-tennis-players-who-had-to-stop-their-career-because-of.jpgImage: tennisworldusa.org

More Wimbledon news to come…

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Wimbledon Eve 2018

It’s that time of the year where all eyes descend on the most hallowed of all tennis grounds…The All England Lawn Tennis Club! Wimbledon!

It’s like Christmas Eve when you can’t sleep because you’re waiting for Santa to drop the presents off under the tree. Did I get a new racquet? A tennis bracelet? Or maybe a tennis ball filled with catnip? But hey, who are we kidding? I’m a cat…I can sleep anywhere, any time!

That’s right, my furry furriends! For the next fortnight, that’s two weeks in layman’s terms, I will be blogging about all things Wimbledon. The matches, the celebrity sightings, the outfits, and anything else that pops up.

A few predictions:

  • A David Beckham sighting! He loves Wimbledon.
  • A Royal sighting. Maybe a Harry/Meghan combo?
  • A bizarre injury. Not that I want this to happen, but playing tennis on an organic surface like grass, anything could happen.
  • A unforeseen victory, likely in the women’s draw.
  • An upset! My prediction is it will be Federer in the quarterfinals.

We won’t know until it starts tomorrow, but don’t worry, cool cats. I’ll keep you all in the Wimbledon know. One thing I know fur sure, it’ll be action packed tennis from sun up until sun down.

Stay tuned, furriends.

 

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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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)

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Wimbledon Day 2, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The beginning of a major grand slam is always an interesting time. You take a very large number of players (Wimbledon has 128 men and 128 women, for example), and cut that number in half in a matter of two days. So you get a mixed bag of the good, the bad and the ugly. Here is my breakdown of the action so far:

The GOOD

  1. First off, Happy Birthday America! And to celebrate, the Americans have had great first round showings out on the courts. US winners are Venus Wiliams, Madison Keys, Coco Vandeweghe, Sam Querrey, Donald Young, Stevie Johnson, my man Jack Sock, Ryan Harrison, John Inser and two first time Wimbledon first round winners: Jared Donaldson and Francis Tiafoe! I know it’s only the first round, but you’ve got to start somewhere!
  2. The outfits…NO controversial white outfits! Good job Nike, Asics, Adidas, Under Armour, and everyone else!
  3. Poland love…I’m going to throw some Polish love towards my favorite players from Poland, Agnieszka Wadwanska and Jerzy Janowicz, for winning their first round matches.

The BAD:

  1. We have our first upset, furriends! Stan Wawrinka lost his first round match against Daniil Medvedev. Not sure what’s going on with Stan these days, but hopefully adding Paul Annecone (Pete Sampras’s old coach) to his team, he can get his head straight and start winning again.

The UGLY:

  1. Retirements! I believe there have been 6, yes 6, men’s players retire in their first round matches. This is a controversial topic, so I will tread lightly. To give you a bit of context, players are not on a salary or contract, so if they want to earn a living as a pro tennis player, they have to play matches. First round prize money at Wimbledon is ~$35K. So, even if you are injured, if you step foot on the tennis court and play one game, you earn $35K. Not too shabby. And that is exactly what happened here. Two of these matches happened on Centre Court today against two of the top players, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. If I was a fan who bought a ticket for Centre Court today, I would feel cheated. And, what about the healthy player who didn’t make the cut? This joker is taking up a space that another player could have had. I can see both sides of the argument, but I think this is something that should be fixed, in my humble opinion.

Stay tuned for more Wimbledon updates and have an enjoyable 4th of July!

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Wimbledon Eve

Well furry friends, it’s finally here! Wimbledon Eve! Much more exciting than Christmas Eve, don’t you think? I mean, besides having a big green tree in my living room with shiny lights, shimmering ornaments to play with, presents to unwrap, Wimbledon Eve could be my favorite holiday.

Wimbledon is the epitome of classic tennis. It is held in a private club in ye olde England (did you hear my British accent right there?). Grass courts are the original court surface of tennis, players don their their best whites! Classy! Almost too classy for an old fashion house cat like myself. But maybe that’s why I get so excited to be transported to the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for a fortnight every Summer!

I don’t think anyone would have predicted a 2017 Wimbledon like this one, but this has been an unusual year in tennis, indeed. From the ashes, Roger Federer remarkably rose to the top of his game this year. Rafa Nadal is close behind, dominating the recent clay court season. It will be interesting if that momentum can carry through the low bounce of the grass courts. The top two players from last year, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, are just afterthoughts in the discussion…like shooting stars fading in the dark night sky.

Then we have your typical dark horses…Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock, Sascha Zverev…maybe Stan Wawrinka? Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “Frazier, Jack has a warm chance at Christmas time to win Wimbledon.” Well, you’re right, but I will always throw some love towards my US players.

On the women’s side, Serena is out this year, and the rest of the field have been unpredictable. I look to see Karolina Pliskova make a solid run for it. And then how about Jelena Ostapenko, the surprise winner of the French Open? I know, I know….who? Yes, that’s how I feel, too. But if I want to continue writing a relevant tennis blog, I better learn how to spell that girl’s name, and QUICK!

So, stay tuned because this should be an exciting two weeks. I may not get to open any presents, but watching the matches each day is a gift unto itself.

Happy Wimbledon Eve!

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