A Different Tension to The Second Week at Wimbledon
There’s a different tension to the second week at Wimbledon. It’s pure quality and high-stakes drama all the way – a cut above what has gone before.
Remember, this is the most prestigious tournament in world tennis. The players have spent years dreaming of the chance to win Wimbledon. And for the lucky few there is the dream opportunity to win it one more time, and further cement their place in history.
But can they deliver when it matters, at the business end of the fortnight? Can they make a name for themselves, or else live up to the burden of expectation created by their already-huge reputations?
This is where it gets really interesting, this is where tennis turns into a psychological thriller.
For all the joys and shocks of the first week, Wimbledon becomes serious from Manic Monday onwards. This is the week where the in-form players clash, resulting in the most astounding and sustained brilliance likely to be seen anywhere on the sporting globe.
Sure, big names will fall during the first week and underdogs will hit the headlines. These twists are all part of the Wimbledon drama we love so much.
But any big surprise early on during Wimbledon fortnight generally means that, for whatever reason, the unfortunate superstar hasn’t brought his or her best tennis to the party this time around, and therefore ultimately hasn’t earned the right to grace the second week.
For the purist, for the true connoisseur of the game, the fan who comes to watch truly outstanding match-ups at close quarters and expects to be treated to a mind-blowing quality of tennis from both sides of the net, Wimbledon is all about the second week on the show courts.
Despite the increasing tournament pressure, the best players know how to maintain their level and then take their game up to something we haven’t seen before as the second week progresses.
You might only see the very best of Novak Djokovic, for example, in the semi-final or final. The same could be said of Roger Federer, or Serena Williams, though it must also be pointed out that just to watch these legends close up at any stage of the Wimbledon is a rare treat.
Look at Wimbledon 2015. Djokovic began the second week with a marathon contest against Kevin Anderson. Fans who had been wise enough to buy tickets for both Centre Court and Court One rushed over to the latter when the South African went two sets up.
In the fading light, Djokovic fought back and completed his comeback the next day to triumph 6-7 (6-8), 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 6-4, 7-5. What a match! Yet the best of Novak was yet to come.
Meanwhile Richard Gasquet’s quarter-final defeat of Stan Wawrinka was another epic. The Frenchman eventually won 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9. And that last set was a classic, with self-doubt and determination on both sides.
But you had to wait until the semi-final to see the very best of Roger Federer, who dismantled a shell-shocked Andy Murray 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 with such a stunning and sparkling display of all his graceful talents that you could have sworn he was still in his prime.
No wonder Djokovic had to save his best until last. How else could he beat Federer 7-6 (7-1), 6-7 (10-12), 6-4, 6-3 in the memorable showpiece?
The climax to the second set created as much noise on Centre court as had ever been heard there. And yet for all the clamour around Federer’s brave comeback, the true psychological steel belonged to Novak when it mattered.
In the women’s tournament, Garbine Muguruza took Wimbledon by storm to reach the final in wonderful style. But Serena Williams produced the bigger performance on the all-important day to take the title once more. And in doing so she almost made a mockery of the way she had faltered during the first week.
That’s the thing about the second week at Wimbledon. The greatest champions save their best until last.
And when the very best our sport has ever known decide to bring their A-game to the All England Club, you really have to be there.
Even then, you sometimes can’t quite believe what you are seeing. It’s that breath-taking.
Go this year. You’ll see what we mean. Book your Wimbledon Tickets 2017 today and don’t miss a second of the action!
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