Watching Wimbledon as antidote to worries at home

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Everyone and his mother, says; we, as a nation have never had it so bad – sunk as we are in bankruptcy, political unrestand social upheaval. Saturday 9 July saw the worst ending in the torching of the Prime Minister’s home. I write this on the afternoon of Wednesday 13 July, yes, a very significant Poya, the sanctity of the day and the ‘Bana preaching’ to listen to, disturbed by one or more helicopters flying at a very low altitude over the Royal College area of Kollupitiya. I saw pile ups of police personnel early in the morning, so it must have been trouble near the PM’s office down Flower Road. The President and PM are still to resign as indicated (or promised) and crowds of protestors have re-gathered in many parts of the country. Why did not they resign earlier for the sake of the people of the country, thus avoiding further showdowns which could easily turn dire.

Wimbledon 2022 Finals

On Saturday 9 July the men’s singles at Wimbledon were worked out. What a cliff-hanger of a match it was between defending champ Novak Djokovic and slouching and constantly muttering Australian Nick Kyrgios.  He even confronted the umpire while playing and in between games, for apparently no reason, and was warned about cursing on court. However, his playing was brilliant. He won the first set. Thereafter too, he was right behind Djokovic, matching his skills with his often, superior skill; advantaged by being younger at 27, although looking quite unfit in the slouch he presents himself in.  It was personally a wonderful triumph to me as I stayed glued to the TV set since Djokovic has been my all-time favourite tennis player.  I felt the ban in Australia for the Australian Open earlier this year was so unfair, mean really. But it looks as if he may not get to compete in the US Open, since that country too is insistent on vaccination against Covid, and the tennis star sticks to his guns.

After this Grand Slam win Novak Djokovic is Wimbledon champion for seven successive years and is just one less than Federer’s eight victories in England. He also counts 21 Grand Slam wins, equally Federer but one less than Nadal, who unfortunately had to forego hisWimbledon  semi-final match due to injury.

Wimbledon Championships

This name, derived from the venue of the matches in London, is used interchangeably with the more appropriate name: All England Championship. It is one ofthe four annual ‘Grand Slam’ tennis events along with the French, Australian and US Opens. It would also be the oldest and the only one where matches are played on grass courts. Additionally, Wimbledon gives an air of being more traditional than the other tennis venuesand even conservative, with its old buildings and the ‘all-white clothes’ rule.

The first Wimbledon Championship was held in 1877 on one of the lawns of the All-England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club. In 1884 a women’s championship was introduced and mixed doubles in 1913. It was an amateur contest until in 1968 professional players were welcome.  The game itself was started by Major Weston Clopton Spenser Gore in 1873, with him setting out rules of the game and having them printed in book form.

Novak Djokovic

He was born on 22 May 1987, in Belgrade, Serbia, former Yugoslavia. He started playing tennis at age-4 and continued entering championships though living under constraints due to Serbiabeing war-torn. His success started with his winning Europe’s top ranked under 14 and 16 tennis championships. He turned professional in 2003 and entered the top 100of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) at the age of 18. He started playing in Grand Slams in 2007 and the next year won his first Grand Slam in Australia. In 2008 he also won a bronze in the Olympics.

His characteristic victory ‘performance’ is delightful. After every win he points up and says an audible thank you – a message to God Almighty? Then he thrusts his arms forwards in all four directions. When he wins a title, he touches his heart and the ground. At Wimbledon he goes further: squats on his haunches, picks a blade of grass and chews it. Last year he gave his racquet to a boy he noticed was cheering lustily for him. Spectators scramble to catch his wrist guards as he throws them. What is most remarkable is his cool steadiness, never given to histrionics except at the very end when he wins. I read somewherehe meditates before a match. He seems to be a good family man taking pride in and mentoring his children. This year at Wimbledon he said his son was playing – maybe tennis – but his daughter was watching him. 

We, tennis-buffs, only hope he will be allowed to play at the forthcoming US Open and win many more grand slams to be the grandest champion in the history of tennis.

Kumari