2010 Wimbledon Coverage
Day Eleven Thoughts
- LADIES' SINGLES
- GENTLEMEN'S SINGLES
- LADIES' DOUBLES
- GENTLEMEN'S DOUBLES
- MIXED DOUBLES
Even in the wake of his straight-set semifinals defeat to #12 Tomas Berdych to open play on Centre Court on Friday, it is hard to come down too hard upon #3 Novak Djokovic. The Serb, who has been among the most consistent Grand Slam players for the men in 2010, simply was overmatched on this day 6-3 7-6(9) 6-3 by the hard-hitting Czech -- a man who has seen two straight majors semis and is perhaps the hottest player at the All-England Club this fortnight. It doesn't diminish in the least the fact that Djokovic has still been among the elite eight at the past four Slams going back to the semifinals of the 2009 U.S. Open... or that he will be the man vaulting over Roger Federer and taking over the #2 spot behind Rafael Nadal when the post-Wimbledon rankings come out.
Today, though, with the assembled throngs looking down from every direction at Centre Court, Berdych was simply the better man. Djokovic will be right back amongst the top eight in Flushing Meadows yet again, probably the semifinals, and then who knows on a similar hardcourt to the surface on which he won his 2008 Australian Open title. For Berdych, the 24-year-old Czech knows that his time is now. His opponent and chronological peer, Rafael Nadal, will be chasing an eighth Grand Slam title to move up the list of legends into a tie for seventh all-time alongside Fred Perry, Ken Rosewall, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors. Berdych, the same age but a late bloomer to the elitest of ranks, is playing right now like he belongs right alongside Nadal on Centre Court come Sunday. It will be one hell of a match, the chance for the Czech to do what his compatriot Lendl never could -- win a Wimbledon title, the grass eluding Lendl to the end...
Tomorrow we get to witness the spectacle of the women's game in full splendor, with one woman part of both the singles and doubles final. Of course, by now you know that woman is Vera Zvonareva and not Serena Williams. Zvonareva and partner Elena Vesnina were the ones to oust Serena and Venus from the doubles tourney... we'll see if Vera can finish the deal to end Wimbledon in complete deficit for the Williams family. Following the singles final, improbable gentlemen's doubles finalists Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner take on #16 Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau in a final that lacks the star power of Zimonjic and Nestor or the Bryan brothers or Dlouhy and Paes or Mirnyi and Bhupathi but surely won't be any less intense or hard-fought. Then we will see Zvonareva, either elated or dejected depending on the outcome of her singles final, return one last time to Centre Court in 2010 with partner Vesnina to battle Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova for the ladies' doubles final.
The championships are coming fast and furious now... and with the World Cup quarterfinals underway and the Tour de France starting tomorrow, here's to hoping you have a wide bank of televisions at your disposal!