July 4, 2015
It’s been an amazing first week at Wimbledon! We all have our favourite moments, though two matches in particular stand out.
Doesn’t mean all the most jaw-dropping moments came from those matches, though.
We’ve come up with a “magnificent seven” of the best for you. Here they are in reverse order…
Sam Groth’s 147 mph serve against Federer – the second fastest in Wimbledon history, after Taylor Dent’s 148.
For admirers of sheer power and speed, the plucky Australian’s serving was something to behold.
The Fed had too much for him in the end, of course, but to take a set off the great man on Centre Court is something Groth will probably cherish forever.
And the former Aussie Rules player’s consideration for the ball-kids, with one personal “thank you” after another, made him plenty of friends too.
Roger Federer’s amazing “hot dog lob” against Sam Querrey.
I mean, come on! We’ve all seen hot-dogs played through the legs of scampering players facing the wrong way, a desperate baseline move that produces gasps of delight from crowds when successful.
But this was something different entirely.
As Federer said later, ‘I had time to set this shot up, you look a bit stupid if it doesn’t come off, but fortunately it did.’
It is hard to imagine many players having the skill and confidence to so much as think about trying this one.
To face your opponent and lob him to perfection, from between your legs?
Show-boating in the extreme…but beautiful anyway.
Dustin’s Brown’s boomerang drop-shot against Viktor Troicki.
If you liked Federer’s hot-dog lob, how about a drop shot so good that it is literally impossible to return?
Once it has bounced on the opponent’s side of the net, it duly returns happily to the executioner’s side of the net before it bounces again?
That’s what Dustin Brown treated us to against Troicki, and no one could believe it.
Trouble is, trick shots don’t necessarily win you tennis matches, and Brown was knocked out of Wimbledon despite his brilliance.
Tie-break in the dark: Tomas Berdych finally beats Jeremy Chardy at 9.38pm on Tuesday night…in the dark.
Well OK, it wasn’t totally dark, that’s a slight exaggeration.
But we were there at Court One that Tuesday evening and we can promise you it wasn’t light either. And it was a wonder either player could see the balls at all by the end.
Both players were given the chance to call it a night long before the match was settled.
They listened to the enthusiasm of the crowd, realised it was the same for both players and carried on.
Well done guys, a wonderful evening.
Jelena Jankovic beats Petra Kvitova on Saturday evening.
That’s right, Jelena – a player who used to be very good quite some time ago – just beat Kvitova, the twice-Wimbledon champion, in style. No wonder Jankovic fell to the grass in near-disbelief.
‘Anything can happen now,’ said Jelena, looking ahead to week two. Indeed it can!
Remember when Jankovic was the big name in the mixed doubles partnership with Jamie Murray, the double act that won Wimbledon with such a sense of fun back in 2007?
She made a lot of friends that year, joking around with the less famous Murray brother and helping him become the first in his family to take top Wimbledon title.
Now the smile is back on Jelena’s face. But Kvitova also played her part in a wonderful match.
TWO: Heather Watson almost beats Serena Williams on Friday.
Widely regarded as one of the best women’s matches Wimbledon has ever seen.
The Brits so nearly had a home-grown giant-killer, too.
Watson broke Williams three times in the final set and served for the match, edging to just two points from glory.
Typically, Serena came back from near-oblivion to march on…but gutsy Watson gained fresh respect.
ONE: You guessed it. Just about every moment of Dustin Brown’s defeat of Rafa Nadal was extraordinary!
Please don’t misunderstand us, we love Rafa, always have. But when an eccentric showman such as Dustin Brown has the bravery and nerve to bring just about every shot in the book – and a whole bunch that aren’t in the book – to a match of this magnitude, you have to admire his character and sheer genius.
The world number 102 didn’t just beat a legend and twice-Wimbledon champion, he dazzled us all, won our hearts, and brought us one of the most memorable Wimbledon moments of all time.
So that was week one, though we’re sure you’ll have your own unique set of memories from the opening days.
Why not buy some tickets to week two? You can be pretty sure the magic will just keep on coming…that’s Wimbledon for you. It never disappoints, it always thrills…and if you and your loved ones are present for the most amazing moments in the final stages, that is something you will all cherish for a lifetime.