Females Crash & Burn at Wimbledon
~ Amy Lignor
When it comes to tennis, certain ‘scenes’ come to mind; from the sweat, tears, and overworked muscles to the finale where the crowned champion falls on their knees and then holds the trophy above their heads, feeling like the King or Queen of the World while the flashbulbs go crazy. And although there have been ups and downs thus far, especially on the ‘female’ side of the court, Maria Sharapova gets to walk away with the best trophy of all – the true love of her fans.
Oddly enough, that true love was not shown on a tennis court, but appeared at the World Cup. While Maria was sitting one night with her entourage of coaches and trainers watching the game between Russia and Algeria – tennis took over the ‘football’ match when fans stood up with signs that asked Maria to marry them. Talk about lovely. Apparently, Maria was thrilled and shocked when seeing this on TV, but the French Open champion certainly was humbled by it. Even though David Beckham was probably a bit miffed that the proposal wasn’t shot his way.
And speaking of France…when it is stated that the ‘female’ side of the court is not doing well at Wimbledon, it’s not an understatement. Serena Williams is a huge draw – probably the biggest draw in the tennis world – yet she had to deal with being ousted from the single’s championship by losing to France’s Alize Cornet. This is the earliest oust for Serena in the last nine years, and fans were extremely unhappy that the awesome player who brings sparks and thrills to the tennis realm would not be in the position to offer that excitement this year.
You are talking the ‘World No.1’, the best, the ace, the top seed and a five-time champion who was dealt a big blow by losing to Cornet 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, in the third-round that ran over two hours.
Calling this a surprise for everyone – including Cornet – is an understatement. A huge upset, even the winner was gushing: “I can’t believe it’s me that did it.” She added; “A few years ago I couldn’t play on grass.”
Of course, Serena hasn’t had the best of years, considering she has not made it to the last eight at a grand slam after exiting the Australian Open in round four, and losing in only her second match at the French Open. Two out of five of Serena’s defeats have actually been handed to her by Cornet, so something says this won’t be the last.
Serena did start off well, however. And when it came to her eventual victor, Cornet did not seem like much of a threat, seeing as that she has never actually been past the third round at Wimbledon. Perhaps it was Mother Nature who helped her out. After all, Saturday’s match was stopped in the opening set because of rain that never seemed to stop. And four-and-a-half-hours later, Williams grabbed the first set as if no one anywhere near the U.K. had a chance at beating her.
Then…something happened. Serena turned a huge corner and for all the things she had done correct in the first set, she did them just as badly in the second. It was almost as if a mysterious ghost was suddenly shadowing her, making sure that her serve turned from brilliant to downright ugly.
When Cornet won, annihilating the Number 1 tennis player in the world, her response was one of a champion. Hopping around the court, she knelt down and kissed the grass as if thanking some ghost or muse for appearing behind Serena. Or…she could have been practicing for when she wins the whole enchilada.
The female side of the court is most definitely askew when it comes to Wimbledon yet, the men’s side is doing just exactly what everyone thought they would. The men who have won 35 of 37 of the past Grand Slam singles titles (Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roger Federer) seem to be skating right through, and it looks very much like one of those names will most definitely win this time around. The only surprise will be which one of the ‘Big 4’ has brought his own ghost or muse along to finish off the other three. Stay tuned!