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Wimbledon wonders

Wimbledon wonders
Highlights

The Wimbledon 2016 champions present a study in contrast, both in terms of style of play and their very approach to the game. Serena Williams demonstrated that she is way above every contemporary woman player and her reign is almost there for the asking. 

The Wimbledon 2016 champions present a study in contrast, both in terms of style of play and their very approach to the game. Serena Williams demonstrated that she is way above every contemporary woman player and her reign is almost there for the asking.

Andy Murray is neither known for the flamboyance that comes naturally to Rafael Nadal nor the sublime divinity that even an ageing Roger Federer seems to possess in abundance. And then there is Novak Djokovic.

These only imply that the Scot is the fourth best player among the current lot of professionals. That he capitalised on the opportunity that came on a platter is a tribute to his biggest weapons – dogged tenacity without being graceful and the never-say-die spirit that he has imbibed from his coach, Ivan Lendl.

There is no denying that Lendl remains the biggest influence on Murray, who suffered a slump in form during the period they had parted ways. The Czech did not possess the dexterity of John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker but he hung in there to eventually crown himself with eight Grand Slam titles with only Wimbledon missing from the cupboard.

Indian players would do well if they take a leaf out of the Lendl and Murray pages and try to stick to their natural game rather than merely ape role-models and get lost in the crowd.

The younger Williams sibling winning the title comes as no surprise, given the awesome form she has been in despite a loss of form here and there. She has been as devastating as was Steffi Graf when taking on Monica Seles or while triggering the premature exits of her illustrious predecessors.

The aggressive dominance of Serena has been aptly described in one word by Graf – incredible. Seasoned campaigner Venus proved with her sensational semifinal finish that the spark of yore is still existent, a trait that came in handy when she and Serena pulled off the unthinkable by regaining the doubles title.

One should give it to Serena that in her hour of glory she prayed for folks back home while expressing concern at the dastardly shoot-out in Dallas around the time she was ruthlessly and systematically eliminating her awe-struck opponents.

Now that Wimbledon is done and over with, it is time Indians took stock of the situation and try to figure out where things went awry for the country’s spearheads at Rio, where the quadrennial event begins next month.

Each came a cropper in what is the last major preparatory outing for the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet. If Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna suffered humiliations earlier on, a bigger shocker was the unceremonious quarterfinal exit of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis, the undisputed world champions.

Given the bigger sweepstakes in Olympics, one wonders why the All India Tennis Association did not insist that Sania and Bopanna enter mixed doubles event and Bopanna and Paes in men doubles at Wimbledon. Of course, the banal ‘I told you so’ defences will come up if the tennis players return empty-handed from Rio.

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