As far as fitting goodbyes go, for Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Serena Williams, it may not come at any better venue than Wimbledon where all three have an illustrious history.
On Friday on Court 14 at All England Club in London, two familiar foes stood near the baseline on either side of the net. They were in all whites, a tradition at this historic location. It was still an attempt at limbering up for the duo. And yet it didn’t stop many from lining up to observe. It is not often that Roger Federer and Andy Murray practice together.
On the court, there was the silky-smooth touch of the ball from the Federer racket. The backhand slices carry their usual backspin, the forehands hit with precision from varying heights and struck at different angles. And then there is the gorgeous single-handed backhand which deserves lyrics written after it. It contacts the ball flush from the middle of the racket. There is little scope for a mishit. There is enough back swing to prepare for the oncoming ball and the contact is with precision, finesse, and little fuss. Having never witnessed it, one would imagine that is how Leonardo Da Vinci went about his art.
Hugging the other baseline, Murray doesn’t glide on the surface as Federer does. He labours around, the shot-making feels more hard work. It is not “natural” but it is equal bits tenacious. It has the fight or flight approach. You would find the dogged resistance from this part of the court.
What you would find from both sides of the net, though, is the desire to keep going, to keep striving, and to vie for titles again. Both men have been through plenty of physical duress over the years. And yet here they are, fighting, competing, and challenging for trophies.
What keeps them going? “I don't know exactly what it is. I think some of it is deep-rooted. It's just been something that I've done my whole life. So, yeah, letting go of that obviously would be a difficult thing to do. I also, yeah, miss being on Centre Court, things like that. I miss that. I miss the pressure of that, as well,” said the two-time Wimbledon champion Murray.
“I think there's a number of things that I love about tennis. I think also, like, the day-to-day routine of things, just like always trying to better yourself a little bit each day is something that I like, too,” he added.
First, there were multiple hip injuries and surgeries. Then there was the pelvic injury. And the groin injury. If that wasn’t devastating enough, he was unable to compete at the Australian Open this past year with a COVID-19 positive test.
John McEnroe and Chris Evert have a theory. "I think he’s looking at Novak (Djokovic) and the other guys, Rafa (Nadal) and Roger [and thinking], 'I can still win events if I’m able to be healthy'," said McEnroe. Evert said, “He’s drawing inspiration from these other champions that are also middle or late 30s. Like Serena (Williams) even. If they can do it, I can do it. I think at this point, Wimbledon and the Brits should rejoice that he’s out there and celebrate that she’s still out there playing, giving his heart and soul to a game that he clearly and dearly loves. I mean, anything’s icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned with Andy Murray."
That holds true for Murray, Federer and Serena – all seemingly at the fag end of their careers.
Thank you Sir Andy, the feeling is mutual. You gotta love it 💚 See you on the 🌱🎾 https://t.co/6Jln8V6vSw
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) June 6, 2021
Federer reached the fourth round of French Open in his first Grand Slam in over a year. His third-round match finished past midnight. As the Swiss worked to put the finishing touches, Murray tweeted, “Im [sic] not bothered by the outcome of this match at all. Just seeing Federer at 39 off the back of 2 knee surgeries playing to an empty stadium at 12.30am getting fired up is inspirational to me.”
The eight-time Wimbledon champion is still working his way towards full fitness – physically and mentally – after being operated on twice for a knee injury. French Open offered a glimpse of old, in win over Marin Cilic, but defeat to Felix Auger-Aliassime in Halle brought the doubts back.
The seventh seed admits he’s got reason to be optimistic for Wimbledon than ponder on the negatives. “I think I got to take the positives out of these last few weeks that I'm actually here at Wimbledon right now and I have a chance. I know if I get rolling, I get into the second week, which is the goal here right now, that I get stronger and stronger as every match goes by, I believe it's very much possible,” said the 39-year-old.
Serena Williams, another 39-year-old, has plenty similar with Federer. Both have the most Slams among active players (joint-most in Federer’s case). Both have 365 match wins at majors. Both have 89 percent win percentage at Wimbledon. And both have nothing left to prove. Yet both keep going for the love of it.
“I mean, you would think that we found ways to keep ourselves happy, motivated, and entertained, not let the negatives dominate our daily struggles and things we're going through, like any other tennis player: How do we manage the day-to-day stuff? Also now with the family, all of that, I think it's very important. Especially when you have family, it's much easier to walk away from it all. Everybody goes through ups and downs clearly. Our careers have been very much ups for a long time.”
“Maybe it's arguably easier to stay happier and motivated when you are in this position. At the same time, only the best is sort of good enough for us. Also, put a lot of pressure on ourselves,” said Federer on comparisons with Serena.
Grigor and Serena hitting. #Wimbledon
🎥: drcordial pic.twitter.com/cE7t88Zh0w
— Krasimir 🇧🇬 🌎🌍🌏 (@lobdowntheline) June 27, 2021
For Williams, the challenge in the past couple of years has been less physical and more mental. The quest for 24th Grand Slam goes on ever since the 2017 Australian Open and the birth of daughter Olympia. She’s made four finals and two semi-finals from 12 majors. Priorities have shifted from strictly tennis to thinking about the family – one of the reasons why she’s opted to skip the Tokyo Olympics. She’s still the biggest hitter on the court – just ask Aryna Sabalenka. She’s aware of the “big X on my back” with opponents raising their game against her. For her, technology has played a role as has being smart about the schedule.
“I think for me, playing the way I played, helped my career. I don't think I could have played as long if I had to play every week or a lot of, lot of weeks. Everyone is really different. You really have to do what works for you. Also on the flip side, if you're winning a lot, it's often difficult to play as much because you're playing a lot more matches,” she said when asked her reason for career longevity.
For all three, a goodbye feels closer than ever especially with bubble life not making things easier. The toll on the body is starting to show, the invincibility of the past starting to wear off. Wimbledon holds special meaning for all three. For Murray, it is where he ended Britain’s 76-year wait for a ‘home’ Wimbledon men’s champion. For Federer, it is the site where he’s won a jaw-dropping eight titles – most among the men. For Serena, it is where she’s won seven singles titles, six doubles titles, and a mixed doubles title. It is where she became the only player to win three of the four Slams six times.
“For me personally, I'm delighted that I can be back competing here again. I'm most excited about being in front of a big crowd and the fans and everything,” said Murray.
Even with a sparse crowd, it is a reason to rejoice for everyone to have these champions still playing. Although, each time they do step away, you’re left wondering: was that the final wave goodbye?
MIKE DICKSON: Any time that someone becomes instantly recognisable by their first name - Serena - you know that they have transcended their chosen profession.
She will end one short of Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slam singles titles.. Serena Williams transcended women's tennis as the greatest female player of all time. Williams won her first match in 430 days this week and will now end her career at the US Open. US Open: 6 titles (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014). Wimbledon: 7 (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016). ‘I played while breastfeeding.. 2001: Failed to make another major final until 2001, when she lost the U.S. Open title clash to sister Venus.. 2004-07: Career was affected by injury, but she still won Australian Open titles in 2005 and 2007.. 2008-09: Won the 2008 U.S. Open to break her Grand Slam drought before claiming the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles the following year.. 2015: Beat Maria Sharapova in the 2015 Australian Open final to secure her 19th Grand Slam title.. Despite battling flu, won a third successive major and 20th overall by overcoming Czech Lucie Safarova in the French Open final... Won the so-called 'Serena Slam' by winning a sixth Wimbledon crown to hold all four majors for the second time in her career.. 2016: Lost the 2016 Australian Open final and was denied again in the French Open final before winning Wimbledon for the seventh time, drawing level with Steffi Graf on 22 majors.. 2017: Won her seventh Australian Open title in 2017 to go ahead of Graf with the most Grand Slam singles titles in the open era.
Wimbledon 2022: Are Andy Murray, Emma Raducanu, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka enjoying? - Techy News Now ›
Wimbledon is about to begin on June 27 as Novak Djokovic bids to win the Grand Slam for a fourth time in a row and Iga Swiatek goals to comply with up her
Wimbledon is about to begin on June 27 as Novak Djokovic bids to win the Grand Slam for a fourth time in a row and Iga Swiatek goals to comply with up her French Open victory with one other main title.. Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray loved one in all his finest weeks in current reminiscence as he reached the ultimate of the Stuttgart Open earlier this month.. Final 12 months was the primary time that Murray had performed Wimbledon since 2017.. She won’t compete on the Eastbourne Worldwide, leaving her in need of grass observe forward of competing at her residence Grand Slam for simply the second time after her shock run to the final 16 on debut a 12 months in the past.. After a 12 months away, Serena Williams made the shock announcement that she is going to play Wimbledon.. 1,208 on the earth as she has not performed since struggling a leg harm within the first spherical in opposition to Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Wimbledon final 12 months.. Williams is a seven-time Wimbledon champion and previous to her withdrawal final 12 months had made the ultimate in her earlier two appearances.. The eight-time Wimbledon champion made the quarter-finals final 12 months however hasn’t performed since after present process knee surgical procedure.. Roger Federer of Switzerland in motion throughout the Males’s Singles Quarter Remaining in opposition to Hubert Hurkacz of Poland (not pictured) at The Wimbledon Garden Tennis Championship on the All England Garden and Tennis Membership at Wimbledon on July seventh, 2021 in London, Engla. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has gained the final three editions of Wimbledon and is about to hitch Nadal on the Hurlingham Membership the week forward of the event.. 1 Daniil Medvedev has regarded in good type on grass thus far this summer season however won’t get the possibility to play at Wimbledon because of the ban on Russian and Belarusian gamers.. Medvedev made the fourth spherical at Wimbledon a 12 months in the past and shall be permitted to defend his title on the US Open.. Aryna Sabalenka got here shut to creating her first Grand Slam remaining at Wimbledon final 12 months as she was overwhelmed in three units by Karolina Pliskova within the final 4.. Thiem suffered his seventh straight defeat within the first spherical of the French Open and has pulled out of Wimbledon, the place he final gained a match in 2017.
Here is the full schedule for the sixth day of play at The Championships 2019
CENTRE COURT - SHOW COURT - 13:00 START. No.1 COURT - SHOW COURT - 13:00 START. No.2 COURT - SHOW COURT - 11:00 START. No.3 COURT - SHOW COURT - 11:00 START. COURT 12 - SHOW COURT - 11:00 START. 3 Timea Babos (HUN) / Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)  1 vs Jennifer Brady (USA) / Alison Riske (USA). COURT 18 - SHOW COURT - 11:00 START. 4 John Peers (AUS) / Shuai Zhang (CHN)  17 vs Marcelo Demoliner (BRA) / Abigail Spears (USA) or Henri Kontinen (FIN) / Heather Watson (GBR) 20. 2 Dane Sweeny (AUS) 55 vs Harold Mayot (FRA)  56 (BS) 2 Rinky Hijikata (AUS) 5 vs Govind Nanda (USA) 6 (BS). 4 James Story (GBR) 63 vs Jonas Forejtek (CZE)  64 (BS). 2 Samantha Stosur (AUS) / Shuai Zhang (CHN)  33 vs Danielle Collins (USA) / Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 36. 3 Luke Bambridge (GBR) / Asia Muhammad (USA) 54 vs Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) / Andreja Klepac (SLO)  56. 3 Divij Sharan (IND) / Yingying Duan (CHN)  57 vs Evan Hoyt (GBR) / Eden Silva (GBR) 60. Andy Murray (GBR) / Serena Williams (USA) or Andreas Mies (GER) / Alexa Guarachi (CHI) 6. 1562436193 This is so so exciting... we'll be bringing game-by-game coverage of Andy Murray and Serena Williams' mixed doubles match, live from Centre Court!
Kerber tops womens seeds with Konta sixth
Defending champion Andy Murray will head to Wimbledon as the top seed with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal making up the top four.. Federer ended a wait of more than four years to claim his 18th Grand Slam at the Australian Open, beating Nadal in the final.. The Swiss star has won all three of their meetings this year but with Federer taking the clay-court swing off, Nadal won a 10th French Open title to claim his fourth title of the year, He currently tops the Race to London standings as a result.. Svitolina makes the top four in the absence of Serena Williams who misses the tournament as she is pregnant with her first child.. Britain's hope of a first female Grand Slam winner since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977 is Johanna Konta and she will be seeded sixth after a year in which she has already reached three finals and won two titles.. The 2011 and 2014 champion is seeded 11th with unlikely French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko seeded 13th.