LONDON | The first week of Wimbledon is now a thing of the past. We had a couple of good games, but nothing more. The 2022 edition of the lawn tournament doesn’t have the same flavor as other years.
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Responsible for this situation are those responsible for Wimbledon, the ATP and the WTA. With their respective decisions, they took away notoriety and prestige from the third major of the season.
The first blow was the cancellation of the participation of Russian and Belarusian players. As with many international events, the aim was to put pressure on Russia and its President Vladimir Putin, who were invading Ukraine.
Wimbledon leaders amputated their peloton over a political issue. They prevented fans from seeing Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Aryna Sabalenka in action. Quality players who could have been title contenders.
The show’s quality and ratings suffer in their absence. It’s inevitable. Broadcasters paying millions of dollars for the rights to the tournament are already having to tap their feet.
The Famous Points
Which brings us to the controversial decision by the ATP and WTA not to award points at Wimbledon.
Players compete for the largest possible paycheck. It’s not just professional tennis. Athletes want their performance to be rewarded in other ways.
Ranking points are golden in their eyes. Their global reach allows them to secure multi-million dollar deals with sponsors. It’s a part of the equation that isn’t often talked about.
There is also another facet that the Wimbledon leader cannot control: the withdrawals and defeats of several favourites.
On Friday only seven members of the top 20 in the world remained in the men’s tournament. It’s the carnage.
Matteo Berrettini, Marin Cilic and Roberto Bautista Agut were forced to withdraw due to positive COVID-19 tests.
There were several surprise defeats on the field, including those of Casper Ruud, Félix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz. They lowered their flag in front of opponents who were within range. It’s part of the reality of this sport.
expectations too high?
Canada’s performances were disappointing. At least the athletes won’t lose points on their leaderboards after their quick eliminations.
Expectations were high for Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, who celebrated great successes at Wimbledon last year.
Auger-Aliassime didn’t have his best career game against Maxime Cressy. He played well enough to prevail, but the American was in his zone.
As for Shapovalov, his departure is a reflection of his last few weeks. He emerged at the All England Club on a six-game losing streak. His confidence wasn’t at the highest level.
After a five-set win over Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech, the Ontarian had a difficult match against American Brandon Nakashima.
After his setback, he mentioned that he sustained a groin injury in his first game. He has to hope that going into the season opener on hard was not too serious.
Andreescu on the right track
In the case of Bianca Andreescu, she can take positives from her participation in Wimbledon. She was able to deliver a solid game in both of her games.
But consistency is not there yet. She’s going in the right direction.
In recent years, injuries have prevented them from climbing into the top 3 in the world. She seems to have finally calmed her minor wounds.
Now she has to take care of her body with regular workouts. This recipe could allow him to return to the top 10 in the world.
Echoes of Big Ben
Armed to the teeth
On my last visit to Wimbledon I had noticed a heavy police presence with the canine unit. This year we see members of the Tactical Squad roaming the grounds armed to the teeth. It’s very special.
A search in French
During the daily search of my work bag, I noticed a French accent in the guard’s words. He tells me that he lived in the Côte-des-Neiges district for a year. He smiled at me while talking to me about Sainte-Catherine street while talking to me about Plateau-Mont-Royal. He obviously has fond memories of Montreal nightlife.
An adventurous bird
I decided to open my bedroom window to enjoy the cool London mornings. However, I had the surprise of a lifetime when a pigeon decided to pause at the edge of my window. Luckily he decided to fly somewhere else.
A quarterback and a singer
Wimbledon has received many visitors in recent days. Among the dignitaries were NFL quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, and singer Ciara. You made a remarkable visit. With his mobility, there is nothing to suggest that Wilson could not have had a career in tennis.