Thursday, July 12, 2006
Mauresmo wins big one for France
Would you all believe that with all the hubbub about the up and down trading in the NBA, yours truly almost forgot about the Wimbledon Championships?
Since these contests have been going on after the first one was held in 1877, it just stands to reason that they should be reported on if not revered. Such a long-standing tradition deserves respect.
This year’s offering had a few oddities and more than one quirk. The most glaring of these would have to be the exit of all Americans before the finals. This has not happened since 1911. Can you imagine that? Breaking a string like that which has held together for almost 100 years.
Another glaring aspect of this season’s tournament was the world’s interest being siphoned off by the World Cup. There are other “World Cups” but when one mentions “the World Cup” every four years, one is talking soccer. That is the world’s most popular sport.
And there were some implications for Wimbledon. France was hoping to beat the Italians in the finals and Amelie Mauresmo was carrying the hopes of a lot of French people on her shoulders. The French have not had a winner in the women’s finals at Wimbledon since 1925. And Mauresmo did it after giving the first set to her Belgian opponent, Justine Henin-Hardenne. Well, one out of two is not all that bad.
The question has been asked, “What about the Williams sisters?”
Well, Serena chose not to participate. Some say she was ailing, others said that she was paying time to her clothing line and acting career. They have five Wimbledon titles between them. And Venus, when she lost in her match, she seemed almost relieved.
John McEnroe, a tennis great of yesteryear, thinks that they will return to reclaim all that is Wimbledon. I have to disagree. I can remember (vaguely, of course), stating a few years back that Venus and Serena would hasten to explore other venues.
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