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A tale of bravery, luck, differing emotions

By Jacob Akindele   |   18 July 2017   |   1:10 am


Human existence is about the unknown future. Life equips the human entity with the free will and capacity to handle any unfolding. What is required is to take the next step and the rest will unfold in sequential progression. A tennis game commences with placing the ball in the service box of the opponent across the net. From that moment on, each player chooses where to send the ball on the other side.

On the eve of the Championships, the concern was the physical condition of the defending champion, Andy Murray, whose hip injury was well known. He was defeated in his fourth title bid at the warm-up in Queens Club London. In the other grass court events preceding Wimbledon, the gentlemen and ladies honed their skills on the sleek surface. Novak Djokovic decided to try out as a wild card late entrant in Eastbourne and won, a few days before his first match in London. Stan Warwinka made an early exit in Queens. Cilic lost in the finals to Djokovic. After an exhaustive clay court run that was capped with his 10th title in Paris, Rafael Nadal did not play any of the tournaments. Roger Federer won his eighth title in Halle Germany and had two weeks’ rest before Wimbledon.

On Wimbledon’s Opening Day, the story line was that the titles were up for grabs as there was no clear favourite in either draw. As the Championships moved on from day to day, there were many retirements and withdrawals. This generated many questions? Was the Prize Money so lucrative that it made some players bow out and leave London early to cut down expenses? The administrators of the sport are looking into this.

When Murray was defeated as a result of his hip condition and Djokovic also retired in his quarterfinals match, the concerns at the outset were confirmed. The physical condition of the competitors played to the end of the fiesta.

Many across the world cheered Venus Williams’ Cinderella run to the finals. In control of the first set of the title match, she had two points to break Garbine Muguruza’s serve and take the set. Then there was a long rally, which ended with a missed forehand by the American. It is a point Venus will replay in her mind for a long time. Should she have just kept the ball in play for her opponent to miss? It was downhill from that tenth game. Marin Cilic chased down a drop shot, got it across past Federer but slipped. The resulting injury forced him to shed tears but his bravery to continue to the end was commendable.

On the other hand, Roger Federer made history. A year ago, he was sent out of the Championships and withdrew into a shell, finding comfort in nursing his two sets of twins. In January, he outlasted his amigo Rafa to win the Australian Open. He skipped the clay court circuit in Europe. He arrived in London fresh and served notice of a man on a mission. At the end, he lifted his eighth Wimbledon title and nineteenth Grand Slam.

A day after the Championships ended, new rakings placed Federer up from 5 to 3. Murray remained on top and Nadal replaced Djokovic in the second slot. Garbine Muguruza moved ten notches to the fifth position.

As the lush green courts reveal foot-beaten patches of bare earth on the baselines and the hallowed Centre Court is locked up till 2018, the world recalls the conclusion of BBC daily reports of the fortnight: “Good night (bye) from Wimbledon.”


In this article:
Andy MurrayNovak Djokovic


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