Wimbledon: Tough losses as all fall down

Serena Williams

Slipping on the slick turf, Serena Williams retired in the first round at Wimbledon. She was injured and she had to retire at 3-3 in the first set. She cried, and she was unfulfilled. But life goes on, because when you are 39 years old, you begin to slow down, little by little.

Serena lost to veteran Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who is ranked No. 100. If Serena didn’t hurt her leg, she likely would have won the match, but the American has not won a Slam since 2017. That is four years ago.

That might be her last time in London, or maybe, in 2022, she will come back. But she has a child, and she has played at the WTA and the Grand Slams since 1997. She loved it, obviously, that is what she did, winning 23 Grand Slams. With young players coming in, and they are better each year, with their serves, the forehands and the backhands. Many of them do not become so nervous. They want to upset the star, Serena, so the fans can recognize them.

How good are they? Will they reach the top 10? Will that success allow them to think that, day after day, they can beat the best competitors.
Can Serena do it one last time? Probably not, but at the US Open, she will have a shot. Not a big one but a substantial chance, as long as she is not hurt physically.

Another aging person, the 20-time Grand Slam winnerRoger Federer, looked pretty good on Tuesday, but not great-great. Federer advanced 6-4, 6-7(3), 3-6, 6-2 after Adrian Mannarino retired with a knee injury. Another veteran, Mannarino, was into it, but then he went down and then he was gone, when he slipped. As Federer said, “It was just a terrible ending, one I don’t like to see. I just felt like it was really a bad ending.”

Federer has won Wimbledon so many times. But, the last time he won a major was in 2018 at the Australian Open. That is three and half years ago. Like Serena, he loves the grass, and he is brilliant and very smart on the court. Both of them are intense and thoughtful, as they were when they started 20 years ago. They were so fast. This week though, they are a little slower and not fast enough. On grass, though, there is short points, so if Federer goes for it early, sure, he has a chance to go deep at Wimbledon. But, can he crack in the second week? We will find out soon.

How about the 40-year-old Venus Williams, who is ranked out of the top 100, because she has had a tough year. However, Venus won Wimbledon five titles. At least she played an inspired tennis, beating Mihaela Buzarnescu 75 46 63. But, in the second round, Ous Jabeur won the last eight games to send Venus packing 7-5, 6-0.

Keeping her hopes alive is Vera Zvonareva, the former No. 2, and now ranked No. 96. She keeps trying and she won a match on Tuesday. In 2010, she reached the final at Wimbledon. In the second round, she couldn’t take down former Roland Garros champ Iga Swiatek, losing 61 63.

Sebastian Korda knocked down Alex de Minaur, and during the summer, he likely will go into the top 30. He is very talented. Next up is Brit Daniel Evans, seeded No. 22.

Canadian Denis Shapovalov won long five-setter, beating Kohlschreiber. He plays a lot and that could affect his ability to weather more five-setters.