Hard to believe that Wimbledon is over for another year, easily the best two weeks of the year for tennis fans, we get to eat, sleep and breathe tennis. I have had a week to come down from my Wimbledon high and I do feel sorry its over; tennis takes a back seat ( sorry to the ATP WTA events in July) until early August until the buildup of the US Open commences. So without any of my favourite stars on the television I am left to work on my own dodgy backhand and ropey second serve, surely that cant be bad?
Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova were crowned champions of Wimbledon 2011. Kvitova has been in the mix for the past few years after her performance in the Australian Open in January and I predicted that Petra would win a slam this year and go on to World #1.
The Czech left hander has all the tools to win on all the surfaces, her pounding forehand, huge serve and turn of speed are all huge assets on a tennis court. The good news for the WTA is that they seem to have several players in the mould of Kvitova ready to take over the mantle of the William’s sisters. Caroline Wozniacki has been carrying the flag for 18months now, Vika Azarenka, Petkovic and Zvonareva all seem potential Grand Slam winners. And who can forget Li Na, her French Open victory should do wonders for the game in Asia.
For Novak his year just gets better and better. He has lost one match all year against the brilliance of Roger Federer, he was won 2 slams, beaten Nadal 5 times in finals, taken the World# 1 spot for the first time and its only July. Its hard to fathom where this performance has come from, in the US Open final last September he was comprehensively outplayed by Nadal and lacked inner belief of how to win. FFWD 10 months and he is now in the midst of one of the greatest winning streaks in tennis, has huge bundles of confidence and his nearest rival is clueless as to how to beat him. Some are already calling it the Year of the Djokovic and asking is this a real change in the men’s game or will the duopoly of Federer and Nadal be restored?
Tennis players just like everything else have life cycles, as one champion reigns, it wont be long before a new player comes along and is able to challenging the status quo. All great champions have a weakness, sooner rather than later Novak will come up against somebody who can beat him, like Federer with Nadal, Borg with Mc Enroe. But that is what keeps the game interesting! As for me, I am off to work on the backhand, hope this hangover passes soon.