As Football edges ever closer to home, the events yesterday at SW19 were always going to take a back seat. I’m his ‘shock’ exit at the hands of Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets, Roger Federer did try and snatch some headlines from Gareth and his lads.
The inverted commas are there because yes, despite his 14 seeding, the Pole is relatively unknown outside of tennis die-hards. People too just expect Federer to win here until Novak comes a calling. This is not only disrespectful to a man who earlier this year won the Masters title in Miami, but it ignores the fact that Roger is essentially 40. As we saw with Connors at the US Open, any major run for a player at such an age should be treated as an anomaly to enjoy whilst it lasts, nothing more.
Oh by the way, Hurkacz’s list of victims at Miami? Kudla, Shapovalov, Raonic, Tsitsipas, Rublev and Sinner. Seriously impressive.
In a (still) changed world, and a changed Wimbledon, there are two constants this year. Berrettini will continue his sparkling form on the green stuff, and Djokovic will cruise through any challenge. Both didn’t disappoint yesterday against opposition of differing difficulty (the Italian conquering much the bugger challenge in Auger-Aliassime with aplomb) and are my clear favourites.
The match of the day belonged to Shapovalov and Kachanov however. A 5 set epic of quality tennis between two genuinely likeable players who represent the bright stars of the future so brightly.
A break from football will throw the spotlight back on to the hallowed lawns, the semi-finalists are ready to deliver.