Upsets – it’s been all about upsets in the first week of Wimbledon 2012. Starting with Venus Williams, then moving onto Rafa Nadal and then onto Andy Roddick; not to forget about Isner and Berdych, it’s been quite a surprising week all round at the Championships.
Comparing Isner, Berdych and Rafa with the Americans, in the strictest sense of terminologies, Venus and Roddick’s loss isn’t really an upset. But the fact that a five-time Wimbledon champion and a three-time finalist failed to make the cut into the second week, doesn’t exactly spell glory for their career prognostications, either. And irrespective of the dip in Venus’s and Roddick’s rankings, between the likes of Isner and Berdych, it’s their peaky performance that has been questioned far more repeatedly – barring for the most reprised notions about Rafa’s unpredicted loss to Lukas Rosol.
Amidst cynical observations and passionate rulings by fans, one cannot but fail to see that the first week of playing on grass, hasn’t exactly been a cake-walk – for one and for all. Roger Federer might have started the tournament strong but he wasn’t playing in an invincible manner against Benneteau, while Nole had to dig deep into his reserves to emerge strong against the unorthodox Stephanek. And then there were a couple of clichéd not-so-lucky-ones in Nalbandian and Hewitt, whose past scintillations didn’t get them through and whose outrageous recession in form presently failed to merit them a second glance. And there again, this tale of performance woes doesn’t extend to the male contingent alone. Some of the big guns in the women’s draw have struggled as well to eke out a win and stay in the tournament.
Weather disruptions and resultant technical delays have played a major role in determining winners in the first week contests at Wimbledon this year. This aspect was raised by Roger Federer who, post his match against Benneteau, categorically spoke about the potentiality of further upsets on the Centre Court, due to the roof being put to use and the conditions of the court turning faster in the absence of external weather influences. Considering that it has been argued – and proved – that not even the faster courts are exactly fast, Federer’s remarks can definitely not be taken flippantly.
And perhaps this is the difference in the tournament that the roof would bring about this year, three years after it was first constructed and put to use. Different court conditions – with the distinct emphasis and reiteration being on faster court movement – could possibly and potentially result in a bigger upset, come the second week. Or maybe with the most-partisan of attitudes, one can still expect the good ole’ grass courters to come out triumphing in the second and deciding week.