Sporty Ol’ Stanley: Shock and Awesome
Here was me rattling on about how predictable tennis can be in the early stages of a major tournament and how nobody gets knocked out and that I’d just fill you in next week instead of doing a Friday update… and then we get massive surprise elimination, a battle of the sexes argument between top players and accusations of biased actions in favour of Murray. Wimbledon has obviously been onto the scriptwriters of Hollyoaks in order to jazz things up a bit.
Nadal came into his second round match as the overwhelming favourite and rightly so, as he was up against a man who hadn’t even qualified for the tournament the last four years. But the seeds of doubt that were sown in the first round when Nadal went four games to love down in the first set came to fruition yesterday with this monumental second round victory for Rosol. His dream continues while Nadal will pack his bags and be home much earlier than anticipated.
Not only is it a great victory for Rosol, but it is also the perfect tonic for Andy Murray.
Murray is in the same side of the draw as Nadal was, so for him to lose such a massive potential opponent on the road to the final will give him very realistic chance of being the first male Wimbledon finalist since 1938. He had a tough time of it yesterday against 33-year-old Ivo Karlovic and had to pull every shot out of the bag in order to overcome. As he battled to return serves upwards of 130mph and faced volleys smashed from only a few feet away, Karlovic was facing his own problems, being called for foot-faults a massive eleven times. This is a huge number in professional tennis and Karlovic had no hesitation in bringing this up in post-match interviews claiming an ‘unfair bias’ from the officials in order for Murray to progress through the tournament.
This brings us to a French player talking about something that certainly doesn’t concern him at Wimbledon this year: prize money. After getting knocked out in the second round, Gilles Simon decided to talk about how the prize money paid to men should not be the same that is paid to women as men bring more to the sport, are watched by more and therefore should be rewarded more. When asked about this, World No.1 Maria Sharapova laughed it off, and hit back saying ‘There are a few more people that watch my matches than his.’ Serena Williams had her own take on it, pointing out that Sharapova is ‘way hotter than [Simon] is’.
Not wanting to get involved in another debate about whether female athletes are hot or not, I would like to point out that Gilles Simon is a very handsome man.