Wimbledon 2013: The grass is green, but not for all
The lush green grass was a welcoming sight after months of grinding on dirt. The heroes moved to the Isles in search of further glory. They flew, happy and excited to stamp the green slivers not knowing what was in store for them. All seemed well; practice went as per schedule and warm-up tournaments were not so bad. It was nice to see green courts – refreshing and awe inspiring.
On the very first day, former champion and in-form Rafael Nadal was sent packing from the lawns of All England Club. Mere disbelief engulfed all of tennis world. He succumbed to the pressures of his knee. And then was born an instant hero, nicknamed ‘the Shark’.
Hitherto unknown and behind the screens, Belgian Steve Darcis resolved not to let Lukas Rosol hold a distinct record. He even denied the Czeck a share of his record by committing an even bigger upset. He was then called the player to watch out for in the succeeding rounds.
Ironically, he couldn’t step onto match court for the rest of the Championships.
But on another day, the green grass would turn red with the blood of slain soldiers, who were born to slay others.
Maria Sharapova was crowned champion when she was just in her teens. She had dethroned the Empress. She came here to be crowned again but was slain by a woman with similar roots. Another upset.
The Russian supernova slipped out of the women’s draw. With her slipped another pole of women’s tennis – Victoria Azarenka – leaving Serena Williams to battle it out.
Lay slain were many others, submitting to physical strains or suddenly inspired underlings. As the sun blossomed and the day grew, fans, sober and uninspired, looked forward to the King. In him they saw reprieve.
Roger Federer was born to rule, to own trophies and slay mighty opponents. He was determined to equal his nemesis’ glory on clay. These are his courts. He grew and progressed here and they did fear to face him.
Then came a man reminiscing the past and determined to show him the door and he did what he wanted to. He was sent crashing out of the courts he had once owned. The champion had fallen akin to his greatest nemesis.
That day would be etched in history books and the minds of fans alike. A rather unexpected day; a black day it would seem.
Yet we had to move on. The dawn of the next few days could see new faces bask in glory and other old faces carrying on business as usual. But the curse wasn’t constrained to that Wednesday. It seemed to affect the tournament intermittently.