What a day!! What fascinating finals and they proved yet again why sports of any kind are special. Tennis and cricket have no similarities but there is one common thread that makes a winner in any kind of sport: The 3D principle. Determination, Dedication and Discipline. Add to it a will to fight back and a spirit to never give up and overcome obstacles to achieve the final goal.
Venus had these ingredients going for her and so did the Poms!!
I missed the first half of both the matches but once I was home; all that I did was switch between the Wimbledon Final on Star Sports and Natwest Series final on ESPN where finally someone was making Australia sweat.
Though Davenport was seeded No.1; few gave her a chance t reach the finals of this tournament at age 31. Venus returning from an injury break and no grand slam in her kitty since 2001 was completely written off. In the end it turned out to be a grueling contest with both players matching one other service-to-service and stroke-to stroke. One rally lasted 25 strokes showing how badly each player wanted to win and was not willing to give away an inch. Each point had to be fought for!!
I’m not a huge fan of either but I simply loved the way they both fought it out for the coveted title on Centre Court. It was not your typical grass court serve and volley game but the tennis played was exhilarating. I think age and injury caught up with Davenport in the last two games of the match; where Venus’ stamina proved to be much better. The only time Venus got to race ahead in the match, she grabbed the opportunity with both hands and did not let go till she had the platter in her hand.
Then the Aussie-England final.
For the first time in many a years Aussies were struggling to win a final, a situation they are not used to. England got their game right to restrict the Aussies under 200. The total put them in a comfort zone and they came out believing they could win the match. After a disastrous start, losing 5 wickets under 40, Collingwood and Jones put up a strong fight and got the chase right back on track. Aussies not ready t give up yet struck crucial blows but the Brits were determined not to let go. The tail wagged, Gough and Giles fought it out again. With 3 required of the last ball, Giles managed to steal a 2 and tied the match.
England did not lose and Aussies did not win and that’s the moral victory
the Poms achieved!
I know test cricket is a different ball game but England will walk in on 21st July with a little more confidence and Aussies with a little dent in theirs. The Aussies were not expecting this kind of a start to their Ashes Campaign!
Come July 21st and the Ashes might truly come alive for the first time in a decade. So just sit back and enjoy the battle that will unfold.
P.S: A little prayer from me to God, give us sports lovers more days like this Saturday and bring up a rivalry in men’s tennis. The game needs it, else it will die a slow death!
Mahesh Bhupati did India proud by winning the mixed doubles at Wimbledon. Congratulations Mahesh, keep the tri-colour flying!