Sunday, June 26, 2011

The calm before the storm

It’s Wimbledon Sunday. I can’t remember the last time there was such a lull in the proceedings. Thanks to the new roof and the new stadium on Court 3, all Week One matches were played. The protagonists going into Week Two have all been identified. If you attended Wimbledon, today may have been spent watching your faves practicing for the big week ahead. But if you’re like me, just watching it all on TV, today was a quiet lull. The calm before the storm.

I can’t remember any previous Wimbledon when Sunday was as quiet as today turned out to be. Always the rain seemed to make a mess of things. Always there was some unexpected piece of drama that unsettled the proceedings. Some of the commentators today recalled the year that Davide Nalbandian made it to the finals only for the powers that be to discover that he had literally never appeared on Centre Court before. Because of his unfamiliarity with the big stage, he was given some time to practice on it before the match started.

But this year there was no Sunday drama. It was a quite listless day really. I played tennis of course, and in between breaks tried to pick my coach’s brain about whom he saw going forward to next weekend. We are both Federer fans – it is a requirement of the person who coaches me that he must also think that Federer is the G.O.A.T. – so we reinforced each other’s hope for a Federer victory.

Once again Fed will have to get past a determined Djokovic. Once again, if he gets to that point, he will more than likely face his nemesis in the finals. Once again Britain will become hopeful about Murray’s chances of spoiling the party. I can’t say that I would mind. I prefer Federer’s chances against Murray than I do his chances against Nadal. My coach is confident of a Federer victory. He is always confident of a Federer victory.

And of course we talked about Serena. Perhaps because of my influence, my coach now also thinks she may have had breast reduction surgery. He told me that Chris Evert had a sister whose large breasts also interfered with the quality of her tennis back in the day. I tell him that I did not know this.

We both found it ironic that Serena faced Simona Halep in the second round, Halep having been forthcoming about her own breast reduction. And there is no question that her tennis has improved. As an endowed woman myself, I can relate to this surgical decision. Whenever my coach quarrels with me for not looking over my right shoulder as I prepare for the double-handed backhand, I want to yell at him that he has no idea what it’s like to have these two things getting in the way. But I digress.

Regardless, we both expressed happiness that Serena is healthy and doing well. Praise Jah. Today while practicing forehands, I found myself mentally scripting the inevitable Serena Williams movie that is surely going to appear on Lifetime one of these years. How will this period play out? What will be the outcome of her Wimbledon run? What else will she accomplish in her amazing career?

I have to admit that I do not feel any tension about Serena winning or losing at this event. After her year absence, and because she is coming back from the brink of death, by her own report, I find that I am just grateful that she is here at all. A loss to Bartoli or Lisicki would not upset me. After all, how many players can return from a year’s absence and illness and make it to the second week of Wimbledon? Heck Zvonareva seems to still be recovering from managing to beat Serena at her first tournament back.

Clearly Serena already is a winner. Anything that happens now is a sweet bonus. But my coach is confident that she will be holding the trophy next Saturday. He is always confident that she will be the one holding the trophy. Me, I am just enjoying the lull, before things begin to explode in Week Two.