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Monday, 29 June 2009

Wimbledon Preview

There's one way to know that summer has arrived. Here in Ireland, the sun can't be relied upon so the only way we can be sure that it's time to tuck into the ice cream is when Wimbledon comes on the telly.

Now you may think it odd that I'm previewing a tournament midway through the seventh of it's 13 days but to be fair, Wimbledon 2009 still hasn't taken off. There's been no drama, no scandal and even less upsets. We miss Rafa, we really do. The Spaniard's knees are a real worry for the future but it's good to see him take some R&R now, to hope that he has a future.

Nonetheless, like we missed him in the Roland Garros decider, it seems that Rafa being away leaves the Men's tournament down to two men. If you've been watching the BBC you'll know that Andy Murray is all but into Sunday's decider. Murray has been impressive, no doubt, but he's played no one. Thankfully for him, he doesn't have to. After a draw that even he would have been embarrassed to ask the ever-so-kind people at the All England Club for, Murray today plays Stanislas Warwinka for a spot in the Quarters. Warwinka. Christ. Hope mum Judy has a hat picked out for Sunday.

He'll likely take on Roger Federer in Sunday's decider. Federer has also had a relatively easy passage thus far. Sure, he's taking on Robin Söderling today but since Federer has a 10-0 record against the Swede, it's likely that he won't be too worried about facing the French Open runner-up. Some are saying that this is a return to form for Fed but I think it's unfair to say he lost his form. Last year, Federer was hit with a pre-season bout of glandular fever, something which would knock the stuffing out the average Christmas turkey. Yet he still went on to reach one Grand Slam semi-final and three finals, winning one. Federer has reached the last 21 Grand Slam semis - he's as consistent as clockwork.

There have been other contenders in Week One. It was nice to see a semi-return of Leyton Hewitt and The Other A-Rod still has the serve to contend with the World's best. Still, it'd be a major surprise if Roger The Dodger didn't take Moany Murray on Sunday. Sigh... At least we still have last year.

On the women's side the Williams sisters are my pick to advance into the final. Like the men's game, it seems that there is too large a gulf between the very top players and the next tier. Consistency is the aim of the game now and it's increasingly rare that we see interesting ties before the last eight of any of the Slams.

Who'll win the final? I think it's Serena's turn but that'll be up to Daddy Williams. And in the men's? Always rely on Fed-Express.


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