The Day After

June 27, 2013 -- As Virginia Wade called the match between Sabine Lisicki and Mona Barthel this morning she said, "Yesterday is way in the past. It's forgotten."

Maybe for Virginia Wade it is, but the tournament as a whole felt gutted.

Gone were two of the best, most popular and recognizable names in tennis: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Maria Sharapova was out. She lost to a woman who screeched in extended high tones reminiscent of Victoria Azarenka, who had also pulled the plug due to an injury from a fall. 

The list goes on. Rehashing it will not change anything. 

So now we are left with mostly unrecognizable names that no one -- outside of mega-tennis fans -- has heard of for any length of time and their records are good but not that great and the world's sports' commentators are trying desparately to pronounce their names and zero in on worthwhile bits of information that would keep the spotlight on Wimbledon.

Is anybody out there? 

Yesterday afternoon, National Public Radio ran a story about the Wimbledon dropouts, the greasy grass, and, oh, that Roger Federer had lost in the second round of a Major. His name was a sidebar; he rated a couple sentences. You can bet NPR's producers aren't going to channel energy into the outcome of Sergiy Stakhovsky's, that's the dude that beat Federer, next round match against Jurgen Melzer of Austria. Not a chance!

It will be interesting to read Wimbledon ratings after it ends. They could parallel those of golf viewership, when Tigergate captivated the world and millions turned off their televisions, or whatever device they were using. Most didn't want to watch golf if Tiger wasn't around. 

The ratings for English viewership will spike, though.

That country landed on its feet this morning. The blokes on Radio Wimbledon chattered away about the next King of Scotland (and tennis), Andy Murray. They were a step from renting carriages for a parade past Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth et al, plus Pippa Middleton the daughter-in-law's sister, perched on the balcony waving on their sport royalty. 

These guys even contemplated Jamie Murray, Andy's big brother, working his way through the doubles draw to the final with a chance to win a Grand Slam. What!

True … the No. 2 seeds, Mark Lopez and Marcel Granollers lost in the first round, which has given Jamie Murray and John Peers, who is playing his first-ever Wimbledon, a squeak of an opening, but they won't see next week ... just guessing. 

Ranked No. 64 and never past the third round at Wimbledon, Jamie Murray doesn't look like a good bet. Yet, he's related to Andy and he is a native son.

Late this evening rains came, which was fitting. Play was stopped on the outside courts and three matches were pushed to Friday. One between Grigor Dimitrov -- Maria Sharapova's new beau and a slice of the Serena-Sharapovagate scandal earlier in the tournament -- and Grega Zemlja were locked in a fifth set tussle, on serve at 8-9. Three day match anyone? And who is Grega Zemlja? Well, he is from Zlovenia and is the country's first big tennis star.

The story is a good one. Sweet, endearing and interesting if you love tennis, hale from Europe or Asia, and are eager to expand what and who you know in professional tennis. But in the big bad world of sports, Grega Zemlja will not cut the mustard. 

Toward the end of his press conference yesterday, Roger Federer tried to bolster the mood in the room. Seems the media folks were a bit gloomy and Federer tried to console them. "The season is not over here," he said. "There is still a lot of tennis left."

And there is.

The Duchess of Cornwall attended matches today, perhaps with a goal to lift the spirits of this famous private club. She met John McEnroe, Virginia Wade, and Tim 'Tiger Tim' Henman. 

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Kimiko Date-Krumm entered the third round as the second oldest woman -- 43 -- since Renee Richards at the 1975 U. S. Open; she was 45 at the time. The last time Date-Krumm advanced to the third round at Wimbledon was 1996. She met Steffi Graf in the semifinal, cutting her stay one-round short of Japanese glory. ( Right: Fans take in Date-Krumm's match. Photo credit Wimbledon Tweets.)

Novak Djokovic played on Centre Court, after the roof was closed, against American qualifier, Bobby Reynolds. Djokovic had no problems advancing after three sets: 76(2) 63 61. Reynolds attempted to defeat Djokovic from the baseline. Not a good strategy and it showed. 

Serena Williams marched on. Young Caroline Garcia of France was the No. 1 seed's victim today, 63 62. No one is in sight that might disrupt Williams from winning her 17th Grand Slam, either, certainly not Kimiko Date-Krumm. She's next on the chopping block.

Williams is on a 33-match winning streak. It's the longest single-season streak since 2000 on the WTA Tour. 

Perhaps if we forget about the big bad world of sports and its demands on tennis we could ease back into what is the new reality at Wimbledon, and contemplate some potential blockbuster matches still to come -- sans Federer, Nadal, Sharapova, Janowicz, Ivanovic, Hewitt, Tsonga, Isner, Wawrinka, Querrey, Wozniacki, Azarenka, and Maria Kirilenko … to name a few.


© Jane Voigt Tennis 2013