WIMBLEDON, England — After the first round of Wimbledon 2022, neither Venus nor Serena Williams could be found in the women’s singles draw. For the first time since the 1990s, Roger Federer was not in the men’s draw.
The world’s No.1 and No.2 ranked players, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev aren’t there either. (The latter is injured. The former is from Russia, a nation not well received at these championships due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, which led to the ATP and WTA tours taking ranking points away from the event. Top-ranked Iga Swiatek didn’t last the week as her 37-game winning streak was snapped in the third round. Coco Gauff and Emma Raducanu also missed out.
For all these absences, it was a Wimbledon gift. Defending champion Novak Djokovic may never be in better shape to win. Ons Jabeur, tennis’ favorite indie band, continues. The same goes for Rafael Nadal, who won the last two Grand Slams of the year. And the Nick Kyrgios show has been renewed to continue into week two.
It’s all a metaphor for tennis, a reminder that for every loss there is a victory. There is no Middle Sunday demarcation (another loss), but as we go around, attached Sports Illustrated midterm notes.
Novak Djokovic: The defender champion is looking for the rhythm for another title. He christened Center Court and had a difficult first hour of play, during which he lost a set. Since then, he’s been virtually unstoppable. And, to clarify, we hear Novak Djokovic, not his son, Stefan, who also hits a wicked ball.
Ons Jabeur: With Swiatek and Gauff out of the tournament, Jabuer emerges as your women’s favourite. She would make history. And more of the sporting public would be exposed to an equally entertaining game and personality.
Nick Kyrgios: It’s spitting. He admits tanking matches. He is accused of being a tyrant. He also brings his bottomless and volcanic bursts of talent, bursting into week two.
The three-digit club: Three sub-.100 players are still alive. Tim van Rijthoven (a Dutch joker), Heather Watson (who nearly beat Serena Williams here in 2015) and Tatia Maria (who knocked out No.5 Maria Sakkari.)
Wimbledon improvements: Looking like the best players – who realize that to stay on top, they have to keep innovating – the tournament continues to add touches big and small, like the new center court gate, new viewing areas and upgrades to the website.
Alize Cornet: Playing in her 63 consecutive major, the Frenchwoman upset Swiatek in one of the biggest wins of her career.
Kristen Flipkens: One of the most popular players calls it a career after losing in the second round.
The Tennis Podcast: Read all about it.
Grounds maintenance: Not Lee Cole’s book, although it is excellent. There have obviously been few complaints about the surface this year.
Scroll to continue
Venus Williams: She’s 42, plays mixed doubles (with Jamie Murray) and generally loves life.
Serena Williams: Losing in the first round isn’t the outcome she wanted (“I think you know the answer to that,” was her response when asked what her expectations were), but there were positives. given that she hadn’t played a full match in over a year.
Andy Murray: Not the result he wanted either – a second-round loss to John Isner. But it wasn’t a defeat due to age or physical compromise, just an inability to put a dent in industrial-grade service.
Casper Ruud: The No. 3 seed and runner-up at this year’s French Open lost early. Kudos to him for sticking around to play doubles. His partner: Will Blumberg of Greenwich High (and UNC) fame.
The Russian ban: Some agree with this. Some don’t. But it is striking how little has been said about it. This is hardly limited to tennis. For the ferocity of modern outrage, it is certainly short-lived. We are sure to be easily distracted… wait, I have an alert. Yellowstone is filming in Arizona?
Stability: Tennis seems—I would say is– as fractured and conflicted as ever. Ranking points are withheld from the larger event…by two tours operating separately…in a major that has unilaterally banned players because of their country of origin. Then you look at golf and think, “What a pattern of chord and unison we’ve built.”
COVID-19[FEMININE:Deux récents finalistes de Wimbledon, Marin Cilic et Matteo Berrettini, se sont retirés après des tests positifs – et un souffle collectif est retenu qu’il n’y en a pas plus. Une théorie qui circule ici est que le tournoi a dépensé son capital sur l’interdiction russe et pensait qu’il ne pouvait pas ajouter une autre imposition aux joueurs en testant ou en leur demandant de se distancier socialement ou de porter des masques dans les vestiaires.
Canada: Après deux tours, il ne reste plus aucun joueur du Grand Nord Blanc, sinon une centrale électrique du tennis.
Erreurs dans la salle de contrôle : L’idée qu’un réalisateur couperait à une foule abattue alors que Nick Kyrgios et Stefanos Tsitsipas se dirigeaient vers le filet pour se serrer la main après leur combat en cage d’un match équivaut à: «J’ai Neil Armstrong atterrissant, mais allons-y à la caméra 4 où se trouvent les roches ignées.
Les semis : Anett Kontaveit mérite totalement son classement n ° 2, mais en tant que victime de COVID qui n’a jamais participé à une demi-finale majeure, aurait-elle dû être la tête de série n ° 2? Ruud mérite totalement son classement n ° 5, mais aurait-il dû être la tête de série n ° 3 étant donné qu’il n’a jamais remporté de match à Wimbledon? L’ensemencement totalement subjectif est une recette pour le désastre, mais une formule objective prenant en compte le succès passé de l’herbe a du sens.
Béatrice Haddad Maia : Elle l’a écrasé dans les épreuves d’échauffement, a reçu la 23e tête de série… puis a perdu au premier tour.
Plus de couverture de tennis :