Four GOATs, three days, two titles, one glorious sport
It feels like the summer of 2014. The same anticipation. The same hopes. The same fears. And the same feeling of gratitude. What a wonderful era of tennis.
Today, three of the greatest champions of men’s tennis take centre stage.
As in 2014, the fan in me will wish Roger Federer to win. He’s playing as beautifully as we’ve come to expect of him. But it seems likely that this may be his last match on the grass courts of Wimbledon. That it comes against the great Rafael Nadal, who, eleven years ago beat him in a match widely considered an ‘epic’, and who, less than a month ago, swatted him aside like a fly on the clay of Roland Garros, makes this a nerve-wracking match.
As in 2014, I know deep within that he may not make it further in the tournament, and yet, I will hope, and let myself be heartbroken. I’d rather watch him lose to another great tennis player, than to close the screens and miss a great match.
It’s been a privilege to watch him play, and I am proud to have seen most of his 100 wins on the screen, live.
Federer Vs Nadal episode 40 awaits. Would you rather watch the replay or let the drama unfold before your eyes in real time?
In case you are wondering, here’s what I wrote in the summer of 2014: The Last Hurrah?
Also, in the unlikely event that he does get through, the likely finalist Novak Djokovic will pose a much, much stiffer competition.
Tomorrow, Serena Williams will be playing to own yet another page in the history books. Her achievements in a society and sport that is steeped in patriarchy — am I not guilty of it as well, by writing about her after the others? — are awe-inspiring.
Perhaps it is the one-sided nature of the matches that disappoint fans of the sport, and do not evoke the same passion as the other side of the sport — I recall looking forward to her matches against Justin Henin, and lately, Angelique Kerber with similar anticipation.
I have admired Simona Halep’s game for a while, and hope she will give Serena a run for the money (and glory) tomorrow. Had it been any other player, I would have said that it may be her last shot at number 24, but with the US open left this year, she may well make it 25.
These three days, I’m rooting for the underdogs. In the end, two players will add one title to their kitty. The biggest winner, though, will be the sport of tennis, and it’s crazy fans.