How joyous for Wimbledon to be back on our screens! One week down and one to go, and what great tennis we’ve seen so far. I hadn’t particularly intended to write a post about this year’s championships, but then I remembered that it’s so-called Manic Monday, and it’s potentially the last one we will see. Going forward, Wimbledon will no longer have that sacred Middle Sunday off, instead they will play on through.
I’ve been listening to the inimitable Radio Wimbledon all this week and they’ve had mixed views on this - on the one hand it’s losing a day off, so not great, but then again, it’s spreading the load and making today a bit easier to manage. I think it’s a shame because it’s a day when you know you’re going to see some good tennis, regardless, but times change and we roll on.
Celebrating this potentially last packed Monday, then, here are some thoughts on the women’s matches (I don’t really follow the men but good luck to them all):
- Barty / Krejikova - Got to be Barty’s, hasn’t it? The women’s draw is pretty much wide open but Barty is world number one for a reason!
- Raducanu/Tomljanovic - All eye’s on Emma Raducanu for providing the last spark of British hope in the singles draw, it’ll be a tough one but you can’t help rooting for the underdog.
- Badosa/Muchova - If I’m honest, I don’t have a pick for this one, because I feel like whoever wins will certainly fall in the next round to the winner of…
- Gauff/Kerber - Great match up, can’t wait to see this one play out. Gauff is not only a great player but astoundingly mature for her young age. Kerber, meanwhile, is on the way back up, so this is a must watch.
- Pliskova/Samsonova - Pliskova seems very hit and miss at the moment, particularly as a former number one, and you can’t write off Samsonova.
- Keys/Golubic - I’ve loved Keys for a long time and it feels like she’s been off for almost as long, so great to see her do well in this championship.
- Swiatek/Jabeur - I’ve just learnt how to say Swiatek’s name, so on the one hand I wouldn’t mind her going further, but on the other hand, Jabeur is doing so well at the moment, it’s hard to write her off.
- Rybakina/Sabalenka - When Halep withdrew, Sabalenka became the second seed at the Championships so has to be the favourite, I can easily see her reaching the semi-finals at least.
No matter how it plays out, we’re hopefully in for some good tennis. Like I mentioned, the women’s side is very open and even more so with the array of withdrawals and injuries we’ve seen so far. But moments like this always allow some new names to shine and you get to see the future of tennis.
I’ve also really enjoyed the player’s reactions to seeing fans in the stands again - it must have been a quiet year for them! I don’t know that I would want to be in a crowd at the moment, and there’s clearly mixed feelings about the experiment of a full capacity for the final. But it’s a great sign that the appetite for watching tennis remains strong and the players really do appreciate all the support.