Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2010 Wimbledon: Round 1 - Rafa Returns!

(Rafa's back at Wimbledon!)

As if World Cup was not time consuming enough here comes Wimbledon as well. Rafa is back and ready to go after missing last year’s tournament with knee tendinitis. We all know how disappointing that was. It's great to see him here again brimming with confidence and playing in good health! There was a small bit of controversy before the tourney started because Wimbledon decided to rank Federer as the top seed and Nadal as No. 2 even though the world rankings are currently the opposite. I admit I'm a little insulted on Rafa's behalf. I wouldn't really care except that I think part of their reason is total bullshit. They said they that grass is it's own surface and deserves it's own considerations, plus both players would still be positioned at the right places in the bracket only on different sides. I would've been more accepting if they'd just said "Look, Federer has won this tournament 6 times and while mathematically he's slightly behind Rafa in points, we still believes he deserves to be the top seed at this event." Because the rest is just spin. Nadal is more dominant on clay than Federer is on grass, but when it came time for the French Open this year, that tournament didn't rank him over Federer. There were no surface considerations given there. Plus which half they fall on can be very important because it determines their road to the final. Take, for instance, Federer. Because he was ranked No. 1 he almost wound up losing his 1st Round Match against Alejandro Falla of Colombia barely surviving after going down 2 sets to love with a 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1), 6-0 victory. Had he been ranked No. 2, he'd have instead faced Kei Nishikori whom Rafa easily beat in 3 sets 6-2, 6-4, 6-4. Now both men are through to the 2nd round and Fed has a chance to regroup. I don't want Federer to win this year, but I didn't want him to lose like that either. He's got much tougher competition coming up in later rounds he better be ready for.

(Federer's down but not out!)

But the most important thing to focus on here is that Rafa is playing well. His road to the final isn't without obstacles. He's got Murray and Soderling in his half of the draw and several other players who could possibly beat Nadal, if they are at their best and he has is not. Hopefully he'll make it through! One round at a time though. Next up is Robin Haase from the Netherlands. Rafa never played Haase before. Haase, just beat James Blake in a disappointing 1st round match where Blake got into a heated exchange with Pam Shriver of all people! It's not good when the players and commentators go at it. So Rafa and Haase play on Thursday. The Queen may also be on hand for that match! Exciting, no? She hasn't been there since 1977! Why she's going on the first Thursday of the tournament after all these years is unclear to me, but I'm sure there's a good reason. Vamos!

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