Well, the Wimbledon final won’t be Roger Federer versus Rafa Nadal

As the political situation in my country grows more and more dire by the hour, I’ve continued to decompress and keep myself sane by focusing on tennis. We’re now in the second week of Wimbledon, and it’s getting pretty exciting. I read an article about how Wimbledon Week 1 was one of the most boring weeks of tennis ever, but I disagree… sort of. On the men’s side, the first week was somewhat boring, minus Stan Wawrinka crashing out in the first round (sad). But the women’s side has been fascinating, and the ladies have been picking up the slack when it comes to compelling, must-watch tennis.

Some quick notes about the ladies: after showing a lot of fighting spirit in her third round match, Angelique Kerber (world #1) crashed out on Monday in the fourth round. Venus Williams is on to the quarterfinals, and some people believe she could go all the way (fingers crossed), although she faces this year’s French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko today in the QFs, and Ostapenko’s forehand is scary and amazing. I also like Coco Vandeweghe’s chances, as well as Garbine Muguruza’s chances. Watch, now that I’ve said all that, none of those people will end up in the final. Sigh…

But the big story coming out of Monday – Day 7 – was the craziness that was Rafael Nadal’s fourth-round match. Nadal won his tenth (La Decima) French Open title last month. He made it to the final of the Australian Open, and he swept nearly all of the clay-court titles this year. He’s had an incredible year after really struggling through 2015 and 2016. Many analysts were looking ahead in the Wimbledon draw, noting that Roger Federer and Nadal were on opposite ends and that we could end up with another old-school Federer-Nadal final, just like we saw in Melbourne this year. Well… that’s not going to happen. Nadal lost in five sets after nearly five hours of uninterrupted play. The fifth set – which had no tie-break – ended with a score of 13-15. Who beat Nadal? A 34-year-old dude from Luxembourg who was, like, an ace machine. Gilles Muller is rather unassuming, although he was playing exceptionally well on grass leading up to Wimbledon. He was pretty stunned that he beat Nadal too – the look on his face was one of pure astonishment:

Nadal waited for Muller – as is customary at Wimbledon – and they walked off the court together… almost. Nadal stepped off to sign autographs, even though he lost. He did the same at the US Open last year too – even though he lost after more than four hours of play, he still stopped to sign autographs and talk to kids.

Next up? Muller faces Marin Cilic, Andy Murray faces American Sam Querrey (yay, Sam!) and Roger Federer faces Milos Raonic, the same Raonic who beat Federer in the Wimbledon semifinals last year, but that was when Federer was hurting. I feel like it will be a different story this year. My money’s still on Federer to pick up his eighth Wimbledon title, and his 19th overall Slam title. I don’t think Murray’s got it this year, nor do I think Djokovic can go the distance. Nadal could have made it a fair fight in the final against Roger, but ’twas not to be.

Photos courtesy of Getty.

 

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22 Responses to “Well, the Wimbledon final won’t be Roger Federer versus Rafa Nadal”

  1. Nicole says:

    Sad I love my Nadal Federer finals. I’ve grown up on them essentially

  2. azuretash says:

    Not really a surprise. Nadal’s not that great on grass (his record since 2011 at Wimbledon speaks for itself). I wouldn’t be shocked if Cilic /Mueller makes the final.

    Excited for the Ostapenko/Williams match – Jelena’s fun to watch.

  3. Rice says:

    I’ve got nothing against Murray, but the BBC is drowning me in Murray love. I need Federer or Djokovic to win now that Rafa and Stan are out. Of course, there’s always Del Potro.

  4. Kate says:

    Nadal’s no great on grass anyway. Very strange of Wimbledon not to move Djokovic-Mannarino to the Center Court given that Federer-Dimitrov were done by 7 pm. It will force either Nole or Adrian to play two days straight.
    And I don’t see why Murray should play all his games on the Center court. Venus has more Wimbledon wins and she played on COURT 18!!!!

    • Pumpkin Pie says:

      They didn’t move the game for practical/security reasons.
      It’s the organizers’ decision who plays on what court and when. It’s been obvious for a few years that men players are scheduled to play on “better” courts. Andy Murray is one of he players who spoke about the issue.

      • Kate says:

        A few years ago, in a very similar situation, they did move the Simon match. The way the female players are treated, not just at Wimbledon, is annoying to say the least. Everyone who knows Benoit Paire’s inconsistency knew this match has no interest whatsover. It should not have been on the Center.

      • Tina says:

        I agree that the way women players are treated at Wimbledon is not right, but I don’t think they should have moved the Djokovic match. They are letting more and more people onto the grounds every year, and the security situation in 2017 is very different from what it was in 2015.

      • Sixer says:

        What Pumpkin and Tina said. Unlikely to be any match-moving this year – longstanding misogyny in court choices notwithstanding – due to emphasis on security arrangements everywhere, not just at Wimbledon.

    • Penguin84 says:

      Murray will be on centre – because that’s whom the home crowds will ALL want to see. Never mind the fact he’s defending champion. After years of going crazy about Henman who never won anything – Murray is someone who actually had the pedigree to match the partisanship

  5. abby says:

    First, I love Muller. He shows up every now and then and takes out a big name. LOL! He is like a wrecking ball to the draw and these sport commentators predictions. Granted, he may lose in the next round or so but never mind that minor detail, that Federer-Nadal final is done! LOL!!!!!
    Dustin Brown is similar but he didn’t go far this year.

    First time I saw Muller play was years ago when he took out Andy Roddick during a highly anticipated and promoted US Open (I think Andy had an American Express endorsement because the ads were everywhere) and didn’t Andy lose big to Muller. He was dragged.
    And the AMEX ads kept playing on and on, like rubbing salt in a wound. And I love Andy but it was hilarious! Not for Andy obviously.

    Ever since I always look out for Muller (who I think has beaten Nadal before at Wimbly). Really, every player should be wary of Muller.

    Also, as a side note, I am so tired of people complaining of how boring tennis is. I mean people who are fans of the sport (I can understand people aren’t fans of the sport feeling bored).
    Like really? They complain when it’s dominated by the same player(s) claiming it’s too predictable and dull. Now that it’s unpredictable, especially on the women’s side, they complain about that too.
    When Serena is dominating they can barely acknowledge her achievements without diminishing it by declaring how weak the women’s tour is.
    While Novak was dominant (at least until last year) and they sang his praises.
    Nevermind the resurgence of Federer – who went 4 years without a slam – and now he’s back to tennis legend status. Weren’t they murmuring about possible retirement not too long ago but he can come back from knee surgery and start winning slams again? How weak is the men’s tour that Federer can just waltz to the AO trophy after a 6 month layoff?
    And Nadal, who’s career they were publicly declaring over? – back on top! Back to tennis legend-status.
    And mind you I love all of these players but let’s be real.
    Yeah, seems to me as long as the player(s) they want to win are winning then tennis is deemed “competitive”. Otherwise, it’s boring, dull and weak.

    • Kate says:

      I do like this season on both the male and female players.
      The young players – Thiem and Zverev mainly – have been finally showing promising things, Fed’s back at his best level, Rafa won La Decima, the French was very good. I’m just sad Murray and especially Djokovic aren’t playing better. Everyone always speak of the Fedal rivalry, and righfully so, but I think the Djokovic-Federer is also great, they had some fantastic match against each other, including at Wimbledon.

  6. JeanGenie says:

    That was so disappointing. Rafa should have played on CC.

  7. thecookingpan says:

    I nearly put in for a mental health day after yesterday’s loss. I was gutted, I screamed so loud that my cats scattered and my throats was still hoarse this morning. I am in mourning…

  8. Penguin84 says:

    Are you really surprised that homegrown player Murray was on centre? It’s who the crowds come and see. Even if he wasn’t world no 1 and defending champion- he draws the crowds just like an American player would at the US open.

  9. Lorelai says:

    I have no connection to this book (I don’t work for the publisher or anything! 😂) but for a tennis fan, it was a really fun read. I learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on during these tournaments. Highly recommend as a beach read:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01EGDJKYI/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499814597&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=lauren+weisberger+singles+game

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