Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

What We Have Learned from the First Week of Wimbledon

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

What We Have Learned from the First Week of Wimbledon

Article excerpt

THE first week at Wimbledon is over, and the second kicks off in style with all players left in the singles draws due to play today.

Here, we look at the things we have learned from the first seven days.

THE SHOCK THAT WASN'T A SHOCK WHEN Rafael Nadal lost to world number 102 Dustin Brown in the second round, many simply shrugged.

Of course he did: if you were looking for the shock of the round, that was the obvious match. Nadal has lost all his confidence and sense of belonging on Wimbledon's grass, suffering four consecutive early exits now, and it would be a staggering achievement were he to turn that around and add to his two titles. Sadly, because we love Rafa, he looks to be the first of the 'Big Four' whose game is severely on the wane.

A BIG SERVE GOES A LONG WAY IVO Karlovic stands 6ft 11in tall, wears size 16 shoes, and looks for all the world as though he is in the wrong sport. The 36-year-old Croatian might not be the world's most natural athlete, but he possesses arguably the greatest serve tennis has ever known.

His compatriot Goran Ivanisevic fired a tournament-record of 213 aces over seven matches in winning the 2001 Wimbledon title, and Karlovic has blasted down 136 in just three outings this year.

He took a set off Andy Murray at Wimbledon three years ago, but felt he was "cheated" and accused officials of bias towards the Scot after being repeatedly foot-faulted.

If he gets his launch right this afternoon, Karlovic could blast Murray out of the tournament.

ONE JANK AND THE CHAMP'S FLUSHED AWAY JELENA Jankovic, Dinara Safina and Caroline Wozniacki were all undistinguished world number ones, each failing to win a grand slam either before, during or after their reigns at the top.

Safina has since retired due to back problems, with Jankovic and Wozniacki still seeking that elusive breakthrough. …

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