Hey guys, I'm back from a few days down in London where I was fortunate enough to see Federer on Centre Court for the first time. The trip meant I haven't had enough time to review his 2 matches so far so I thought I'd do a little recap of them here. So far it's been plain sailing for Fed and if he beats Sam Groth later today he'll be into the second week where things get interesting.
Federer defeats Dzhumur 6-1, 6-3, 6-3
This is the match I saw live and it was over almost in the blink of an eye! Roger just came out on court and did what he had to do. He knows Dzhumur's game from Paris somewhat and the Bosnian has no real weapons to cause any damage. Fed was able to just stay on the front foot, play aggressive and then just mop up when he got the short ball usually by coming in to put away a volley.
In terms of the experience I've seen Roger play on grass before in Halle so I know how easy he makes it look but seeing him on the Centre Court at Wimbledon just adds that extra dimension. Roger brings a unique style of play to the court and his temperament on the biggest stage is something that all tennis fans should watch live. Even though it was a first round match there was a buzz of anticipation before he walked on court (no announcers, music etc.), the grass was in peRFect condition which adds to the spectacle and the style of play he produced was just something everyone in the stands can appreciate. I think most fans including myself were a little disappointed it was over so quickly and Murray was next up!
Federer defeats Querrey 6-4, 6-2, 6-2
Unfortunately I couldn't land tickets for this one so had to watch on TV and it was another very routine match for Roger. Querrey had form heading into Wimbledon and came out firing in the first few games to pose a few problems. However at 4-4 Roger just upped his level and broke before taking the set 6-4.
Losing the set rocked Querrey mentally as he'd delivered some really solid play but then just saw the set disappear from his grasp. Nothing he could really have done differently, Fed just hit a purple patch with returns and serves to get it done.
From there on in Querrey had no answers and Roger just kept his foot on the gas to power home. The American's second serve sat up nicely for Fed to return and whatever self belief he had when stepping onto the court quickly went away.
A Little About Wimbledon
I've been to Wimbledon four times now but this is the first time I've attended without having to camp out for tickets. Now I've attended via 3 (camp, ballot + ticketmaster) of the 4 methods to secure them (just Debenture left 😆 ) I thought I'd give a quick likes and dislikes of the tournament:
Centre Court: Just a great setting for Tennis and one capable of producing a fantastic atmosphere. When the suns out I don't think there's a better venue to watch the sport.
Heritage: Wimbledon certainly has a special feeling about it and when you're there you just sort of know you're at a sporting event steeped in history that almost feels like it has been played since the dawn of time.
Location: Wimbledon and Southfields are great little villages and I think the setting of the venue is spot on. You're also only a 15 minute DLR train to the heart of London making it very easy to access via public transport.
Not accessible for the everyday fan: To say there are a lot of knobs floating around the grounds at Wimbledon is an understatement and that's my biggest gripe with the tournament. It's so much in favour of the rich and elite, whereas the man on the the street has to camp to secure tickets. It's more a place to be seen than one for the genuine tennis fan to enjoy the sport and it bugs me there are a lot of big tennis fans not able to come watch live.
In fact it's almost a Tennis Apartheid; the elites waltz straight through with their lanyards on into best seats, whilst the common man waits outside for the gates to open. I fail to see how that is good for British Tennis and getting people involved; the participation numbers across the UK and the lack of British men competing at the top level prove this.
The Outside Courts: Whilst the show courts are great, the outside courts for me don't provide a great viewing experience. There's too little seating areas and unless you're through the gates super early you're confined to watching over someones shoulder and will struggle to see much of the action. If you've only managed to grab a grounds pass I don't think it's great value for money.
If you have attended – what do you guys think of Wimbledon? Let me know in the comments.