2020 was a bit of a bad year all round wasn’t it? COVID ravaged everything and forced us all into lockdown. The Olympics cancelled, the European Football Championships postponed and Wimbledon a traditional summer staple also cancelled for 2020. Thankfully there was a return to some kind of normality in 2021 when Wimbledon announced it would be returning albeit in a Covid friendly way. Fans in attendance but numbers limited, players living in a central London hotel and ball kids no longer allowed to carry the players towels . Other than that Wimbledon is back and boy have we missed it.
The BBC’s lead tennis commentator at Wimbledon Andrew Castle said to sports betting site Betway:
“It’s just unbelievable to be back”, “It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes Wimbledon so special,” he says. “I could say that the tennis and the atmosphere is what brings it to life, but it still gets you even when it’s dormant and sleeping.
Murray returns and Raducanu emerges
Andy Murray has been single handedly flying the British flag for tennis for well over a decade. The three time grand slam champion, double Wimbledon Champion and double Olympic Gold medallist has had a really tough time of it recently with several operations on his hip. He has worked so hard to get back to full fitness and was rewarded with a Wimbledon wildcard by the All England Club. Andy’s return to Wimbledon in 2021 was great to see. Every available seat in Centre Court was packed out as he toiled in his matches as only Andy can do. Fantastic to see him back and perhaps not in the form of old but still great nonetheless. His desire to do well and his love of the game are just fantastic to see. An inspiration for sports people everywhere.
Castle continues in his praise for Andy Murray
“He’s still doing it, he can still compete. Why would you stop? He’s still thrilled that he’s out there, as am I.”
As one British star neared the end of his career another new star was born as 18 year old Emma Raducanu made the 4th round after winning 3 games. So far in 2021 the wildcard has been focusing on her A Levels of late and tennis has taken a back seat but out of nowhere she managed three victories and a 4th round showing on court 1 before succumbing to breathing difficulties.. Similar to Laura Robson announcing herself on the world stage at the age of 14, Raducanu is the name on everyone’s lips at Wimbledon 2021. It will be fantastic to see how she progresses over the next few years. Raducanu will certainly cause opponents to sit up and pay attention following her grass court exploits at Wimbledon 2021.
Incredible Depth in Ladies Game
The strength and depth in the ladies game is fantastic at this moment in time. Who would dare pick a winner from the ladies draw? Ofcourse Ash Barty has a game suited to the grass and it is amazing she has yet to make it to the final. The traditional big hitters with powerful serves and groundstrokes like Pliskova and Sabalenka also stand a good shout as too do the players who have great touch and feel. The ladies games deliver fantastic entertainment especially when two different styles match up against each other. It is wonderful to see the lady players produce some fantastic matchups.
Some things never change
In the men’s game it is almost as if things have never changed. Novak Djokovic won the title in 2019 and since then has dominated the game. He is also big favourite to lift his 20th grand Slam title at the All England Club. He is so far ahead of the opposition that trying to see anything other than a Djoker victory but you can get some really good odds on the remaining players. His confidence and efficiency at the moment are second to none. He has become almost machine link in his pursuit of Nadal and Federer and openly admits he is targeting the Golden Slam which includes all the slams in a calendar year plus an Olympic Gold medal. If anyone can do it then it is Novak.
How we have missed you so
Hard to believe it has been nearly two years since the All England Club last opened its gates to tennis fans. The lush green stripes, the pristine tennis whites, the sound of the tennis ball on a freshly strung racket are all the familiar sights and sounds of Wimbledon. I even seem to miss Today at Wimbledon every day at the close of play. It is super to have Wimbledon back again. There is a familiarity to Wimbledon that is comforting. Perhaps it signals the start of summer for many. Who would dare pick a winner? Novak should cruise it but for the ladies it could one of a few. Lets just sit back and enjoy the ride.