Wimbledon Reflections: Day 4

Written By: achangeofends - Jun• 23•11

After what could only be considered an unfortunate day, I knew I could count on Wimbledon to cheer me up, or at least provide me with some entertainment. I used my lunch hour to sit out in the pouring rain at Rockefeller Plaza in NYC, where HSBC has set up a Wimbledon village of sorts. It has a big screen showing live coverage as well as some great extras, like free racquet stringing and little boxes of strawberries and cream. This meant that for the first time in weeks I actually got to watch tennis on something other than my computer and it was delightful, despite the rapture like rain and the fact that my pumps could have doubled as fish tanks.

Anyway, there was a lot of interesting news today from the All England Club. Let’s look at some of today’s best match ups.

Sabine Lisicki d. Li Na: I was pretty sure that Li Na would make an early exit at Wimbledon this year after her French Open triumph, but I was almost equally as sure that good fortune would not shine on Sabine Lisicki, who has had more than her fair share of bad luck. I was sure she was a goner when she went down match point in the third, but sure enough she managed to draw herself even with Li. I didn’t dare hope that she could pull off the upset after watching her heart breaker against Zvonareva at the French Open. However, Sabine would not be carried off on a stretcher today. She would leave the court victorious and as smiley as ever. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible not to love Sabine Lisicki when she smiles.

Robin Soderling d. Lleyton Hewitt: Unfortunately every match must have a winner and a loser. Most of the time it’s easy to decide who deserves the win, but sometimes both men deserve to win and one of them still has to lose. I’ll be honest, I was pulling for Lleyton Hewitt. Nothing against Robin Soderling, but everyone loves Lleyton and a major upset at Wimbledon would be fitting for the former champion, in the twilight of his career. Hewitt is on the road back from foot surgery earlier this year, but you wouldn’t have known it today. For two sets, Lleyton appeared to be in complete control, blindsiding the world No. 5. But, Robin Soderling isn’t No. 5 for nothing. He worked his way back into the match and won a close fifth set, 6-4. A rough day at the office for Hewitt, but he definitely showed he’s not done yet.

Jo Wilfried Tsonga d. Grigor Dimitrov: I’ll admit that I’ve been skeptical of the folks who consider Grigor Dimitrov the next Roger Federer, but after watching today’s match, I must say that he is exceedingly talented. For young players, the most important factor is being able to perform on the big stage against the big guys. Dimitrov thought he could win this match. He wasn’t afraid to take some risks and that made for a very close four set encounter. Perhaps the most remarkable part of this match was the camaraderie between the two men. After a particularly spectacular diving shot down the line from Dimitrov, Tsonga offered up a high five as congratulations. When Grigor went down again, this time on match point, Tsonga leapt over the net to hug his opponent. How could you not love this kind of sportsmanship?

David Ferrer v. Ryan Harrison: This match isn’t even over yet and it’s already got tongues wagging. Ryan is a pretty remarkable young player, if only for his ability to believe. I’ve seen him play a few times now and whether he’s playing some no name in a challenger or Roger Federer, he honestly thinks he can win, and that’s half the battle. Ferrer is extremely tough and I have an unfortunate feeling that he will eventually prevail in a fifth, because that’s what he does. However, this is an extremely encouraging match from Ryan Harrison who hasn’t had much play at the Slam level. He’s certainly made the most of his lucky loser spot. David’s had a great year already, it might be nice to see some new faces in the mix, so I’m all for Ryan closing this out in the morning.

I could write about Wimbledon all day, but I should probably cut this short. I’m hoping to be back with some more reflections tomorrow and I will try to update much more frequently as I’ve been a bit of a slacker lately. It’s been a crazy month or so, so thanks for sticking with me!

 

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