If a great tennis match is like a dance, with two partners swerving to and fro, sharing the choreography of physical passion, then what the header photo shows is the embrace afterward.
I’ve been so smitten with the matches of the World Cup that my DVR has positively filled itself to the brim with tennis on the grass courts at grand old Wimbledon.
And one of the things I’d missed was a powerful, inspired Quarter Final match between Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro that eclipsed four hours to the tune of five grueling sets.
Nadal took the first set 7-5 before dropping the second in a 7-9 tiebreak. Before I knew it he was down two sets to one before willing himself back from the brink with 6-4 wins in sets four and five.
Here’s the final tally: 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 4-6 6-4 6-4.
You have to feel for del Potro, who played his heart out. One can only imagine how it feels to get up a set on Rafael Nadal only to see your advantage be whittled away.
Actually…we don’t have to guess! We have video!
Here’s del Potro after match point:
That’s just great. I don’t know how you don’t love Rafa Nadal.
And if you know how to roll your R’s, just saying the name “Juan Martin del Potro” is as close as your mouth can get to having sex with itself.
Who will Nadal meet if he continues to advance, though? Because top seed and eight-time winner at the All England club Roger Federer was knocked out in his own five setter against Kevin Anderson.
Wait, what? Federer lost?
Kevin Anderson! I first really noticed him back in 2015 when he upset Andy Murray at the U.S. Open. He’s no joke. Anderson, the 8th seed, fought off match point by Roger Federer before coming back and winning in five sets. The mental toughness is staggering. Anderson is no slouch. He played a great match and is just kind of a gentle giant who’s easy to root for, (and at 6’8” his wingspan is nuts). To my eye, Fed isn’t quite the iceman he used to be, but he still looks amazing and rumors of his demise are premature. I mean, look at this insane chart of Federer’s finishes at Wimbledon.
Let’s say Anderson actually makes it to the final, how might he fare against, say…Nadal?
Oof. That said, he was lifetime 0-4 vs Federer so maybe he could shock the world again.
But the finals aren’t a gimme anyway.
Nadal will take on 12th seed Novak Djokovic tomorrow while Anderson faces 9th seeded American John Isner, who orchestrated a battle-of-the-servbots against Canadian 12th seed Milos Raonic.
On the women’s side
I feel dirty leading with the men when you have greatest living athlete Serena Williams just over 300 days from giving birth on the docket, but I loved that header image.
She’s such a force it’s ridiculous. She hasn’t lost a match at Wimbledon since 2014. That’s 20 wins in a row. Dear baby jesus she’s unreal. Only one person has even taken her to three sets this tournament. Serena looks like she’s rounding back into form for real.
The final on the women’s side is set for Saturday on Center Court against German Angelique Kerber, where Williams will attempt to tie Margaret Court’s record by winning her 24th Grand Slam singles title.
One thing I hate about tennis is that you can’t buy a player’s jersey to wear around. If you google “Serena Williams Jersey” you get a bunch of links to shitty ten dollar dresses on the Home Shopping Network. Blech.
There’s been a ton of attrition on the women’s side of the bracket. None of the top ten seeds even lasted this far, 1. Simona Halep (ROU) 2. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 3. Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) 4. Sloane Stephens (USA) 5. Elina Svitolina (UKR) 6. Caroline Garcia (FRA) 7. Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 8. Petra Kvitova (CZE) 9. Venus Williams (USA) and 10. Madison Keys (USA) all got knocked out.
That left a wide opening for number 11. Angelique Kerber, who will seek to overcome the daunting Williams. It’s not a lock, either. She’s 2-6 vs Serena, but y’know…two.
Should be an exciting final in London! You can flip back and forth during the commercials as Belgium extinguishes England in the World Cup third-place match.
And then everyone in England can get back to the most important thing: protesting Trump’s visit.