WIMBLEDON’S TOP TEN STORIES
1. ANDY MURRAY AND THE LORDS, LADIES, AND LADS OF THE LAND: The boy of history becomes a man of destiny as he lifts the 77-year curse of Fred Perry. British fans—frenetic, desperate, delirious—join together on Centre Court, on Henman Hill, and in pubs and patios across the United Kingdom to will their man to victory.
2. MERRY MAID MARION: Bartoli fails to get to a semi all year, then blasts and bops her to the Wimbly title. Go figure.
3. WIPEOUT WEDNESDAY: Federer and Sharapova lose. Title threats Victoria Azarenka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pull up lame. Others just tumble to the oddly slippery grass. On June 28, 2013, the most wacky, inexplicable day in tennis history, Wimbledon seems more like a hospital ward than a sporting venue. Seven former No. 1 players depart.
4. BRYANS GOLDEN SLAM: Mike and Bob claim their 15th Slam, third Wimbledon, and first Golden Slam as current holders of all four majors and the Olympic Gold.
5. AMERICAN WOMEN: The WTA’s American Spring, so grand in Paris, continues, as a bright new generation of prospects makes waves. No. 17 Sloane Stephens reaches the quarters.
6. WHITHER, AMERICAN MEN?: For the first time since 1912, no American man reaches Wimbledon’s third round. Where have you gone, Andrew Roddick?
7. SERENA SLAMMED: With her two main rivals—Sharapova and Azarenka—gone, the title was hers. Then Serena Williams is slammed by a beaming Sabine Lisicki, whose theme (until the finals) seems to be, “All you need is love, and a serve.”
8. SERENA SLAMS: After a particularly bad bounce during one particularly soggy Wimbledon, Mary Carillo joked that the ball had hit a worm coming up from the ground. On the eve of this year’s tournament, in a Rolling Stone profile, Serena opens a can of worms when she shifts blame to the teen victim of a rape, and also offhandedly blasts Maria Sharapova and her boyfriend, Grigor Dimitrov. Even after apologies are made, the call is clear: double fault Serena.
9. ADIOS, RAFA: Just like last year, Rafael Nadal—the claymeister who twice conquered Wimbledon—wins the French Open, only to suffer an early departure to a lowly foe. This time world No. 135 Steve Darcis does the damage.
10. ASIA SPECIFIC: A diminutive and enchanting duo—Su-Wei Hsieh and Shuai Peng—take advantage of an inviting draw, using unusual tactics and double-fisted forehands and backhands to win the women’s doubles.
THE SLOANE RANGER READER
• Asked about her current life, Sloane Stephens said, “People don’t understand, like, at 20 years old I can do whatever I want.”
• Quizzed about what she’d change if she could change one thing, Sloane replied, “That boys weren’t so stupid.”
• Time magazine claimed Sloane could be “a poster child for millennial scatterbrain”
• Sloane contended, “There are no other 20-year-olds like me. Might be a few, like Miley Cyrus … but other than that, I’m pretty much riding solo on this train.”
• After a great day on court at the French Open, Sloane enthused, “The first time I came to Paris, I just fell in love with the Eiffel Tower and being able to walk on the Champs Élysées going shopping, going to Häagen Dazs every day … I love it more and more every year because I keep finding new stores.”
• After a tough day on court, she said, “Paris is Paris.”
• Asked if it’s fun being Sloane Stephens, she responded, “Always. Every day. It’s a blast.”
A SIGNIFICANT MARKER OR NOT?: There were three African American women—Serena, Sloane, and Madison Keys—playing deep into the first week of Wimbledon, and Taylor Townsend reached the girls final.
THE CAVEMEN OF WIMBLEDON: Mike Bryan said that at Wimbledon, “Grass is a little bit of an equalizer, because a caveman can come out there and serve bombs and hold serve all the way. There have been a few years where we weren’t broken and still lost.”
CRUEL SUMMER: In what was possibly the best clay-court match ever, Novak Djokovic lost to Nadal at Roland Garros. Then at Wimbledon, he fell to Murray in the history-making final.