Roger Federer is King. In another classic match where Andy Roddick’s serve wasn’t broken until the 30th (yes, 30th) game of the fifth set, Federer reclaimed his Wimbledon crown and surpassed Pete Sampras as the all-time leader in Majors won. Sampras even showed up for the occasion, his first time at Wimbledon in the eight years since his retirement. Even then, he only showed up halfway through the first set and seemed uncomfortable answering questions after the match (perhaps this has something to do with the interviewer, John McEnroe, who rightly called Pete out throughout his career for not placing enough importance on the Davis Cup). Still, it was a nice gesture to show up.
And then there’s Sampras’ heir apparent to USA Tennis, Andy Roddick, who won a lot of respect in the past week. His match against Andy Murray in the semis was his best ever, only to top that performance yesterday against Federer. He was even gracious in defeat, which surprised me.
Grace, however, is not Serena Williams’ strong suit. The Wimbledon champ whined that she’s not ranked number one despite winning three majors this year. Sure Serena, you won those tournaments, but you you need to win consistently to be ranked number one, not just show up when everyone’s watching. Here’s a rare case of an athlete who ONLY performs well in the clutch – the antithesis of A-Rod if you will, yet neither are endearing. A-Rod chokes, and Serena can’t bring herself to perform unless the bright lights are shining.
Despite the absence of Rafael Nadal, I found Wimbledon to be thoroughly enjoyable this year, and look forward to see if Andy Roddick can continue to evolve and become that 3rd player in the Federer-Nadal stratosphere. The US Open is next up in September, its hard courts a surface onwhich Roddick should thrive.