Monday, June 25, 2012

Wimbledon Day 1: Zaniewska

Curtain Call

Player: Sandra Zaniewska
Age: 20
Nation: Poland
Current Ranking: 160
Today's Result: loss to Shuai Peng (China, 30th seed) in three sets

Photo via

Zaniewska went through qualifying to reach her first Slam main draw.  At 20, she's already built a solid resume with 6 ITF singles titles.  Apparently, she's a Nadal fan.

The following are highlights from my Why You Should Watch Wimbledon post from a couple years back:


Tennis was born on the grass lawns of England and to England the game returns every summer. Wimbledon is, of course, the world's most prestigious tournament. One could argue about the relative merits of the four Slams but the fact is, if you wanted to cement your legacy in the sport by winning only one tournament, this would be the one.

Grass Court

Switching from the clay of Paris to the grass of Wimbledon is one of the most abrupt and dramatic transitions on the world sport calendar. The two surfaces, as discussed in regards to Roland Garros, benefit very different players. Grass is for the gunslingers. Big serves and booming ground strokes are rewarded by the low bounce. If you like the power game, sit back and enjoy. Also, from an aesthetic stand point, there is something very satisfying in seeing the summer sunshine on green grass. Neither red dirt nor concrete can quite compare.

Champagne and Strawberries

Looking for a weekend brunch idea? Watch the tournament over the traditional treat served on the grounds: champagne with strawberries and clotted cream. Don't forget, though, that the tournament takes the middle Sunday off. Not that you couldn't have brunch anyway.

Serve and Volley

If you watch tennis at all, you've surely heard the old guard (John McEnroe and friends) complaining about the fact that players don't come to the net enough anymore. At Wimbledon, you will hear references to the fact that the grass on the court wears differently from how it did in the good ol' days. You'll see comparison shots of the court in 1979 and the court now. There is now far less wear near the net, far more at the baseline.

The old guard really needs to let this one go. The fact of the matter is that modern racquet technology better enables the baseliners to fire soul-crushing passing shots by any would-be volleyers. Johnny Mac wouldn't be quite so gung ho about coming to the net himself if he had Nadal staring him down from the other end of the court, AeroPro Drive in hand.

But if you like serve and volley tennis, Wimbledon is the most likely place to see it.

Andy Murray

He is not my favorite player but I have to admit that I feel for Britain's #1 when Wimbledon rolls around. It will be such a relief when a British player finally wins here again. Then we can stop hearing about how long it's been!

Catching Up with Old Friends

Juan Carlos Ferrero (Curtain Call, US Open Day 8) - Ferrero was no match for Novak Djokovic (Serbia, 1st) today, going down in straight sets.  However, having not played Wimbledon at all last year, he did enough to attain Golden Squid status.  He enters as easily the most accomplished member of the group, the only one to win a singles Slam title (Roland Garros, 2003) and the only one to be ranked World #1.  At 32, he is most certainly in the twilight of his career.  I've always had a soft spot for The Mosquito and I'm delighted to welcome him to the fold.

Photo via starMedia

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