Grass and all that greeneryBy Sev Sarmenta
Philippine Daily Inquirer
To date, defending champion Serena Williams is performing as expected in the 2013 edition of Wimbledon.
The power strokes are there as well as the athleticism that allows her to cover her side of the court very well to the dismay of the person on the other side. It will take a lot more to unnerve Williams, who seems to have no real opponent that can stop her roll toward another title in London.
The press on the beat has tried to squeeze something new out of Williams in the hope of finding a new angle, a once-unseen wrinkle in her game or a rupture in her dealings with her opponents.
For a while, there was the hype about comments Williams made in a magazine about a current relationship of Maria Sharapova. Though on first read they look menacing, the comments seem to be more loose talk done with a shrug of the shoulders.
The advisers of both Williams and Sharapova have done the right thing by telling their players to can the issue and focus on the tennis at hand. Unfortunately, the two won’t meet on the court as Sharapova also got booted out on Day 3. Williams seems to get better every year, adding even more power to an already devastating game.
The press needs a new story to work on, lest Wimbledon and the women’s version of it become boringly all-Serena Williams. So what? There’s nothing like watching an athlete at the peak of his or her abilities and performing superbly. It’s just as fascinating to watch the rest of the field try and catch Williams on a bad day this time around.
The first-round departure of Rafael Nadal and the recent loss of Roger Federer don’t help as well. Those who had hoped for one more Nadal-versus-Federer duel are so disappointed, especially after Nadal’s recent French Open win on really his kind of surface.
Federer is a thrill to watch on grass, what with the angles he finds to put the ball out of reach. Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are still around but there’s something special about Nadal’s fire and passion on the tennis court.
Wimbledon is perhaps the most engaging of the grand slam tournaments, simply because of all the tradition it totes. Winners seem to attain immortality on this hallowed venue, very much in the same way golfers who win the Masters at Augusta. They get to be remembered more than winners of other golf tournaments.
There must be something about all that grass and greenery that give both sports venues their revered places in sports. You just have to bring your very best to such sacred places.
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