Wimbledon 2010: Day 8

29 June, 2010 at 07:00 (GMT+01:00)

By Steven Roy

Somehow Lou volunteered me to write a post on tennis despite me not knowing a lot about it. I know the basic rules etc but I am not up to date on the players or who is still in the tournament and who has lost already. When I look at something I am not familiar with I try to look it in terms I do understand. A good example of that is how I explained the effect of England’s disallowed goal in terms of Lewis Hamilton saving his brakes until his fuel load dropped.

Comparing tennis to F1 is not the most obvious thing to do but there are similarities. Grip and traction are just as important to tennis players as drivers but rather than suspension and aerodynamics they have shoes which sports companies pay them lots of money to wear. Rather than a car that cost millions the players have a bat that costs a good deal less but is a sophisticated design and construction that is as suited to its purpose as an F1 car is.

Maybe instead of F1 I should compare tennis to Cool Runnings. Obviously there is no Darth Vader at Wimbledon but there was an unfeasibly tall man in a hat who spent three days fighting to the death with a little French Luke Skywalker. Darth Vader won this match but another Jedi returned to beat him the following day. Fortunately at Wimbledon once you are out you are out so there is no way for the Empire to strike back.

This is not going so well so maybe rather than trying to explain tennis I should just tell you what is happening. On Monday Andy Murray won again and so far hasn’t dropped a set. Other winners included Djokovic, Soderling, Tsonga, Nadal and some bloke called Roger who has a habit of hogging the limelight at Wimbledon. The big shock of the day was Andy Roddick losing to someone called Lu who I have never heard of and know nothing about.

I was confused to read that two Williamses won but no mention of Rubens or the Hulk and not a single tweet from Claire. Apparently these Williamses are American and female and win a lot more than Frank’s cars do. The only other well known female winner was Kim Clijsters. The best known casualty of the day was Maria Sharapova who lost to one of the Williamses although I have no idea which as the site I was reading unhelpfully referred to both sisters simply as Williams.

Today all the women who won yesterday play again in the quarter finals. Kim Clijsters plays Vera Zvonareva followed by Serena Williams against Na Li on Centre Court while Tsevtana Pironkova plays Venus Williams followed by Petra Kvitova against Kaia Kanepi on court 1.

Most of the other matches scheduled are doubles games but there is also an invitational tournament which features past players. These seem to be doubles tournaments but amongst the big names to look out for are Martina Hingis, Anna Kournikova, Greg Rusedski, Pat Cash, Tracy Austin (how old is she now?), Annabel Croft and Michael Stich. I am sure there will be TV coverage of some of these matches as well as the serious contests.

So there is my first tennis post and now I am an expert I should probably watch some of Wimbledon before it is over. Despite not having watched much tennis so far I think it is only fair that I do a few predictions. I expect both the Williamses to win and I think Kim Clijsters and Kvitova who I have never heard of to join them in the semis. In the invitational tournament I am going to predict that Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova will win if they can avoid a recurrence of their assorted collection of injuries.

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