It is still hard, after all these years, to come to terms with the fact that tennis goes on the week after, or even the day after a grand slam. But tennis doesn’t stop for one victor or one tournament, and here we are, the-Monday-after-the-Monday-after Wimbledon, with 4 brand new trophy shots to savour.
But oh how I lie! We didn’t quite get the 4 ‘brand new’ winners I alleged this Sunday, as Serena Williams saved a set point to take out lucky loser Coco Vandewhuuuut 7-5, 6-3 for her second straight Stanford title. It’s Serena’s 43rd title, which ties her with Venus for the most among active players, and she did it just 8 days after winning Wimbledon, while playing her B game, jetlagged and binging on Desperate Housewives til 6 am in the morning.
So we have that last point in common at least. Though I might have to work on the whole B-game-and-winning-at-life thing.
Of course, it wasn’t all that easy. Vandewhuut had served for the set at 5-4 when – at the moment of truth – she came up with a second serve straight out of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Serena won that point, and went on to break as Vandewhuut double-faulted on her 6th breakpoint. From then on, the result was never in doubt.
In other news, with the Olympics being played on grass this year, the Newport tournament took on a rare sense of … relevance this week. Good thing then for John Isner then, that he took out Hewitt 7-6 6-4, reminding everyone that he can in fact play on grass … just … not at Wimbledon.
Despite the loss, it was a good week also for Hewitt, who dignified his wild card with a finals run on his bionic foot.
”A lot of positives come out of this week. Grass is a tough surface to come back from any injury, especially with a foot surgery where my movement is so important. On grass you’re always in the wrong position a lot of times, and you have to have your confidence in your footwork.”
Also in Newport, Capriati and Guga were inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame. I mention this only because they both look AMAZING.
As the dust settles from Wimbledon, I particularly liked these final thoughts on the Wimbledon final, which included this fabulous passage:
tennis is a profound form of sanity. That its beautiful geometries, its exchanges that draw observers in, offer a way of experiencing the physical world at a lucid distance from the anarchy of culture or identity (or whatever). That most of us never escape that anarchy, or escape it just for brief moments with the aid of music or sports or art or drugs (or whatever), which is why we crowd the edges of tennis tournaments, pile onto the hill, watch giant video monitors. Why we buy Wimbledon-branded oven mitts, why we need the Apparatus.
Ffffffff. Writing like this is why I am unworthy. *deep tortured sigh*
Check out also – if you haven’t already – Louisa Thomas’s ‘I have a dream’-style monologue on the women’s final and women’s tennis in general. It filled my heart and tummy with feministy joy. Excellent stuff (as usual) from Grantland this Wimbledon.
Last but not least, a little Federer/Tiger comparison over at ESPN. While the analysis was pointless and not particularly insightful, I did enjoy the anecdote about Federer in the piece.
The question was “Who’s greater?” Greatness is more than what happens on stage. Both men are great athletes, but greatness is as greatness does. Greatness is also in the way you carry it, the way you treat fans and colleagues and waiters. I’ve never met anybody in tennis more polite and giving and generous than Federer. He treats the woman who cleans the hotel the same as the guy who owns it. I remember once when Federer and I were escorted into a room for my 15 minutes with him. He’d just finished his match, and he was drained. There was a leather recliner and a stool. He took the stool. And nothing I could say would talk him off it.
Oh Wogie McFudd, you win at life too.