A FEDERER TREAT: Instinct, technique, timing, anticipation, rhythm, grace – what a treat to behold the beauty of Roger Federer on the world’s most beautiful tennis court.
ANOTHER VICTORY: The crowd roars/Another gift/Centre Court magic/The master delivers yet another delight/Royal & Rogue howl, a joyous glee. And Roger waves.
OLD GUYS RULE: A British writer noted that nine of the last 17 players are over 30, and then asked Roger Federer, “Does this mean old guys rule?” Roger quipped, “We seem not to go away.”
AN EYE FOR AN EYE: Young Canadian Denis Shapovalov is infamous for blasting a ball to the eye of a Davis Cup umpire. So it was curious that a BBC broadcaster said, “Keep your eye out for the talented young Shapovalov.” At which point the quick-witted John McEnroe said (with a straight face), “Especially if you are an umpire.”
AGASSI – WHAT DJOKOVIC NEEDS: Novak Djokovic’s new coach Andre Agassi said the key for Novak is about “finding the parts of him that makes things clear. It’s about clarity and the fight to believe that good things are ahead. And he has to remember the other side of the court. [After all] there is a human being over there who has to beat you…When Novak is clear, he is incredible.”
As for Federer’s recent performances, Agassi said that what he is doing is also incredible. “It’s unexplainable, I stop predicting [about Roger] because I have been wrong so often.”
BTW: Djokovic’s former coach Boris Becker said that Djokovic has a bit of responsibility to his coach Agassi. He noted, “Novak can’t let his man down.”
THINGS ARE LOOKING GOOD FOR VENUS: Not only is Williams into the second week of play, recently released surveillance tape revealed that she was going very slow when the other car plowed into her. Most observers in the Wimbledon press room felt that either it was the other driver’s fault or a no-fault situation. And yes, yesterday Venus was in a much better mood.
BETHANIE APPRECIATES THE LOVE: Today Bethanie Mattek Sands had additional scans on her knee and is planning to return soon to New York for more tests. She probably will have surgery. Hopefully her injury will not be career-ending. On Facebook, she poignantly spoke of the outpouring of love that came her way. “The support has been amazing,” she said. “I’ll get through this.”
BILLIE JEAN KING ON THE KEY TO TENNIS; When it comes to tennis, if you want to improve your emotional intelligence, you just want to listen to Billie Jean King. She knows a thing or two about the topic. For instance, when talking about the British hopeful Johanna Konta, she noted that the world No. 7 was once willing to go to a sports psychologist. King explained that Konta was willing to take the tough step of going “to the emotional office. She had to be vulnerable. She had to search herself. She paid the price at the emotional office.
“They say that tennis is all about the mental game, that it is all about what you’re thinking. But, that’s not it. It’s about what you feeling. [You ask yourself] ‘Am I shaking? Am I nervous?’ It’s all about self-awareness.
“It’s the player who believes in the big moment who prevails. That’s why Federer and the other top men have been so good. They stay in the right place. There is an intensity level that’s right. Sometimes you are too intense, sometimes you are not intense enough. People talk about playing one point at a time. No, it’s really about one shot at a time. You have to ask yourself, ‘Where do I need to be? When do I turn that intensity dial up? When do I turn it down?’ You have to have the right intensity level…the right passion.”
MOTHERHOOD MATTERS: These days everyone is talking about pregnancy and mothering in tennis. Vanity Fair featured Annie Leibovitz’s astounding photos of Serena Williams. And incredibly, she is still out on the courts hitting tennis balls. Never mind that she is seven months pregnant. Vika Azarenka has made it to the second week of Wimbledon despite having given birth seven months ago. She did confide she named her son Leo because it’s a strong, simple name and that she’s a Leo. Heather Watson said her celebrated mum is a star. “Everyone stops her and they come up to me and say how wonderful she is.”
‘EXPLAIN THAT ONE TO ME’: John McEnroe noted that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have won 18, 15 and 12 Slams and then said, “They seem hungrier than the guys that don’t have any Slams. Explain that one to me.”
SAY IT ISN’T SO: Federer asked, “Are there women playing on Monday?” [when all of the fourth round men’s and women’s matches are on]…French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko has yet to be featured on a big Wimbledon show court…Alexander Zverev told ESPN that his father was the best family coach ever.
“I think Leander Paes was left at the altar.” – Martina Navratilova, reflecting on Martina Hingis switching from her old partner to play mixed doubles with Jamie Murray
“Intriguing plot lines are blossoming all over the grounds as we reach the end of a fascinating, sunshine-blessed first week at The Championships.” – Ian Chadband
“There’s always been a teddy bear in my bag.” – Johanna Konta
“This is the most focused I have been on the court. I am very pleased.” – Novak Djokovic
“It feels better to be No. 1 than No. 5.” – Roger Federer
WHERE’S ANDY? THE BBC’S COMPENDIUM OF ICONIC WIMBLEDON MOMENTS: A video promotion celebrating the BBC’s 90 years of coverage featured vintage clips of ancient broadcasters with clipped tones as well as Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors holding hands, John McEnroe shouting in protest (“The chalk flew up!”), Agassi without a shirt, the clown-like Ilie Nastase holding an umbrella, Pat Cash clamoring up to the Friends Box, Boris Becker hitting one of his leaping volleys, Sampras as a boy champion, British singer Cliff Richard, England’s still-beloved Tim Henman, Serena on her back in celebration, Federer kissing a trophy in just one of his many moments of triumph – but no Andy Murray.
Joy for Johanna, Hell For Heather
Britain’s Best in a Generation
Honest Tomic Will Now Appeal Penalty
JUST WONDERING: When reflecting on the time it took for medics to get to the ailing Bethanie Mattek-Sands, a writer asked, “What would happen if it were a heart issue?”
GO FIGURE: The Big Four – Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray – have won every Wimbledon since 2002…Even in his best years, 2016, Roger Federer only won 56% of the points he played.
QUERREY’S BRIEF DAY AT THE QUARRY: It was a brief day at the coal mine for Sam Querrey, who came back this morning after his match with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was delayed Thursday night due to darkness. He played just one game, as he upset the No. 10 player in five sets. For the second year in a row, Querrey will reach Wimbledon’s second week.