The very thought of him (Kyrgios) accepting the golden Challenge Cup from the Duchess Of Cambridge is enough to make denizens of the members’ balcony gag on their strawberries. –Oliver Brown, sports columnist for The Telegraph.
A tournament like no other
By Roger Childs
The “Championships” at Wimbledon is the oldest of the four grand slams and the English think it’s the best. In the early 20th century New Zealand’s greatest tennis player, Anthony Wilding, won the singles four times.
The two week competition in early July draws a distinguished combination of spectators including royalty, politicians, entertainers and former winners, as well as folk from the lower classes. There is a great emphasis on formality and players must wear white and that includes everything they have on. However discreet sponsors logo are allowed. And there are no men’s and women’s competitions, it’s gentlemen and ladies.
Most publicity is on the singles, but there are also doubles, mixed doubles, juniors and also wheelchair competitors. In this last tournament the ball is allowed to bounce twice.
In 2022 it was decided that because of the Russo-Ukrainian War, players from Russia and Belarus would be excluded, so that cut out men’s world number one Daniil Medvedev and eighth ranked Andrey Rublev. On the women’s side Belarussians sixth ranked Arayna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka, ranked 20th, were not in the draw. It was also decided to remove the much coveted ranking points – a new winner can normally pick up 2000 in a grand slam.
It’s now down to the last two – Sunday morning for the women and Monday morning for the men. As usual in the women’s — sorry Ladies! — competition the seeds dropped like flies: anyone seems to be able to beat anyone! The finalists are third seed Ons Jabeur, who if she wins, would be the first ever Tunisian champion, and Elena Rybakina from Kazazhstan, She was born in Russia, but that seems to be OK!
Whoever wins will be a first time Wimbledon champion, but sadly will not get the ranking points.
The enigma of Nick Kyrgios
The Australian is the current bad boy of tennis but over the last year he has set new low standards in abusing officials, denigrating opponents and court demeanor. However, when he behaves himself, he demonstrates that he is a very talented player. Back in 2014 at Wimbledon Kyrgios beat world number one Rafael Nadal in four sets. The key to his victory was his very fast serve which the Spanish champion couldn’t master.
This year in the quarter finals he beat Chilean Cristian Garin 6-4 6-3 7-6. All the other quarter-finals went to five sets. His opponent in the semi-finals was to be Nadal but the Spanish legend pulled out with abdominal pains. The Spaniard had battled through the discomfort in beating American Taylor Fritz in his semi-final. So Kyrgios is through to the final where he will meet number one seed Novak Djokovic. In his semi-final the Serb beat British hopeful Cameron Norrie, who played some of his earlier tennis in Auckland, in four sets.
Expect a Djokovic victory
The Serbian legend will be very keen to win his 21st grand slam. Traditionally he is a slow starter but invariably finishes strongly. In the quarter finals he was down two sets against Jannick Sinner but roared back to win the next three sets. Then against Norrie in the semis he dropped the first set before showing his class to take the match.
Barring injury or an accident Novak Djokovic should win the final, and the Duchess of Cambridge will not have the task of being nice to bad boy Nick.