“If you can meet with triumph and disaster
and treat those two impostors just the same”
It is time for the players to get inspired before going on court with a look at this hard-hitting verse from Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If..’ in the hall of fame of the most sacred of sports arenas around the world. The 125th Championships at Wimbledon will start come Monday and the draws are out today.
On the men’s side, this could probably be the most intense Wimbledon in a few years as the top 4, all 4 having reached the semi final Roland Garros and 3 of them at the Australian Open, have been on top slam form and a ‘Seeds 1-4’ Semi final line-up is more likely this year than it was in previous years. Bjorn Borg, the legendary Swede who has had 6 titles at SW19, feels Men’s tennis is enjoying its ‘golden age’ with the current top 4 appearing to be the best among top 4s of any era. Coming from a man who has had rivalries with the likes of McEnroe & Lendl, it goes on to show how privileged tennis fans of this era are. But, Wimbledon is not a place where certainties are undisturbed.
It is here that Goran Ivanisevic defied all odds to win the title as a wildcard in 2001.
It is here that Richard Krajicek stunned Pete Sampras enroute the title in 1996.
It is here that the baton was passed from Sampras to a pony-tailed Federer when no one expected it.
It is here that an inspired Berdych got the better of Roger in the quarter final stage last year!
So, expecting the unexpected is not a silly option at all at the Championships which has a court dubbed as the ‘graveyard’s court’ for the number of upsets that have been caused there!
Here’s a peep into the men’s draw.
On the top half are Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.
The lower half boasts of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic; A semis tussle between these two seems to have become a norm in almost all slams! No regrets though; Blessed are we to see the two most elegant players fight it out for a spot in the final against the most likely candidate from the other half – The Mallorcan bull!
Two other interesting first round matches to look for are
1. John Isner (vs) Nicolas Mahut – The draw has made statistics go for a walk by making the 1/127 probability a certainty! Let us hope for a good match there, but not a 70-68 fifth set for the players’ sakes!
2. Robin Soderling (vs) Philipp Petzschner – This one is a potential toughie for Robin as Philipp is good on grass and is no pushover. He stretched Rafael Nadal to his limits last year and would definitely want to pull off an upset against the Swede
Dangerous floaters like Andy Roddick, Juan Martin Del Potro & Tsonga can collectively cause one or two upsets (against Berdych, Soderling, Ferrer) but it is almost certain that the one to lift the trophy would be one among Rafa, Roger, Nole and Andy(I’m just trying to be safe in saying just the first name ‘Andy’ cause the other Andy is the only one outside the top 4 who would consider himself worthy of a title at Wimbledon!)