Don’t know about you but I am loving the tennis just now! Just watched Serena Williams get knocked out by Sabine Lasicki for yet another upset. Most unpredictable Wimbledon in years? I think so! I mean you look at the list so far, Federer, Nadal, Tsonga, Sharapova, and now Williams, all out. And with the exception of Tsonga, none of them can complain about injuries etc. Instead they have simply been outplayed by other players who according to rankings shouldn’t have stood a chance.
Personally I think it is brilliant. Tennis to me has always been such an elite sport. By that I mean it has always been dominated by the top 3 or 4 in the sport, especially when it comes to the majors. If you look at other individual sports like golf and snooker then you see a lot more variety in major winners. But in tennis, the stats say it all. Since 2004, of the four men’s majors, only three times have they been won by someone outside of the big four. And that is out of 36 tournaments. As for Wimbledon, it hasn’t seen another winner since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002. It’s not all about the winners though. You look at the runners up in these tournaments too and you get the idea.
It’s a similar picture in the Women’s game too. Although not quite as four sided as the men’s game, Williams, Sharapova, Clisjters, these are names that pop up a lot more than many other’s do.
Is what we are seeing then the start of the giants fall? There are those who would say don’t get carried away, it’s just coincidence that these big names all had bad games in the same tournament. I disagree though. From what I have seen (and I also include Robson’s win over number 10 seed Kirilenko in this) the lower rankers are playing just as good tennis as the big names and have been deserved winners. Perhaps what we are seeing then is a rise in the minions rather than a fall of the giants.
What these minions need to develop though is a consistency. That is where the likes of Williams, Nadal, Federer etc have it. Although they are out of this tournament, they will of course be back as favourites in future tournaments. It is also for this reason that my money is still on either Murray or Djokovich for the men’s title this year and why I don’t see anyone else, not accounting for exceptional circumstances like injuries, winning another major for the next three or four years at least.
Tell you what though, the Women’s competition has just got a lot more interesting. Been blown pretty wide open now with only two single time major winners in the last eight. Don’t think anyone could call a winner with genuine confidence on that one.
On a quick side note though, watching the Murray v Youzhny game right now which is reported to have sold out. The camera though just panned across two empty seats in the crowd. Hope they’ve just gone to the toilet or something because that is a pricey day not to show up for!