April 12, 2016
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.
For example you might only see the very best of Roger Federer when he is put to the ultimate sporting test against an opponent of great quality, though it must also be pointed out that just to watch any legend close up at any stage of Wimbledon is a rare treat.
Even some of the all-time-greats can’t always last the distance in the second week though, because they come up against a force that their best tennis can’t overcome, resulting in a classic clash of wills as they give their all.
Look what happened to Rafael Nadal on Manic Monday in 2017. He lost 13-15 in the final set to Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, whose remarkable tennis and steely nerve proved too much for the Spaniard, tipped by many to take the title itself.
What an unforgettable evening spectators on Court One had though, and every single one of them left knowing they had a precious memory to last a lifetime.
That’s the thing about the second week at Wimbledon. The matches are likely to be of an even higher quality because both players must be in something close to peak form, just to have progressed that far.
So it was when Jo Konta took on Simona Halep on the second Tuesday in 2017, and together they produced a quarter-final full of passion and drama. Two tie-breaks, the second a true nail-biter, which Konta had to win in order to stay in the tournament. She did, and went through in three magical sets.
It was Venus Williams who played Garbine Muguruza in the women’s final, however. And the first set reminded us that sometimes you simply can’t quite believe what you are seeing. It was that breath-taking for its sheer ferocity.
The drama of the men’s final in 2017 would have taken some beating too. Poor Marin Cilic in tears, partly due to a blister, partly due to the sheer genius of Federer when it really mattered. That’s the thing about the second week. It matters like no other.
And who wouldn’t have wanted to be there when Federer secured his eighth Wimbledon title at the age of 35? For the historic moments, the second week is simply unmissable.
Go next time. You’ll see what we mean. Book your Wimbledon Tickets 2018 today and don’t miss a second of the action!