The Temple: Wimbledon

29 June 2022
The Temple: Wimbledon

Wimbledon, which has always managed to preserve its traditions and prestige, is hosting the world’s best tennis players for the 135th time…

The 2022 tennis season has packed a lot of stories into the past six months. Novak Djokovic’s return from the gates of the Australian Open because he was unvaccinated, Rafael Nadal won both the Australian Open and Roland Garros after a long injury, world number 1 Ash Barty announced his retirement shortly after his victory in Melbourne, the next number 1 Iga Swiatek’s streak of six tournaments and 36 matches – for now – is what comes to mind at once. Of course, the attitude of Wimbledon after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine raised a lot of water. Because Russian and Belarusian tennis players were not accepted to the most rooted tournament of the sport this year. Tennis management levels ATP and WTA also announced that they will not award ranking points to 2022 Wimbledon in response to this move. In other words, the grass court slam only brings prestige and cash prizes this year.

The Temple: Wimbledon
John Fornander

Undoubtedly, it is not possible to look at this event from a single perspective; there are many different players, stories and angles. For example, for Nadal and Djokovic, who are now in a fierce competition for the Grand Slam record, the issue of ranking points is of little importance. The two former world number 1s are trying to strengthen their hand in the race that advances 22-20 in favor of Rafa. Moreover, for the first time in his career, Nadal reached the trophy in the first two majors of the season and is in a relatively ambitious position to make the calendar Grand Slam. However, the situation does not look very pleasant for the names who came to Wimbledon to maintain their ranking points from last year or who want to perform well and find a place in the upper steps. For example, Hungarian tennis player Marton Fucsovics will not be able to protect the points of the quarter-finals he made in 2021, so when the tournament is over, he will fall out of the top 100 from the 50s.

Every professional tennis player and tennis follower has their own ideas on this subject. It’s no surprise that many of them contain a large amount of disappointment. On the other hand, it is obvious that the oldest and most unique tournament in tennis history has a value beyond the ranking points. Whether or not the tennis players who will leave here with the “Wimbledon Champion” epaulettes score points will not even be remembered after a point. The name to be written on the champions wall, the pose given with a golden trophy, and the title they will carry with their names until the end of their lives will remain. Only to Russian and Belarusian tennis players, many of whom have expressed their anti-war views; it’s hard not to feel sorry for names like Daniil Medvedev, Aryna Sabalenka, Andrey Rublev and Viktoria Azarenka. We hope that we will see them again in the temple of tennis in a future where everything is getting better.

The Temple: Wimbledon
Zoe Reeve

On the turf, which is now only played for six weeks of the season, so it doesn’t weigh as much as hard or clay courts, the results are often more surprising. The primary reason for this is that there are not as many turf ground surveyors as in the past. Dominated by heavyweights, namely Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovics, grass court tennis still creates some heroes of its own. There are top rackets such as Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber, Marin Cilic and Matteo Berrettini waiting for this part of the season with a different excitement. Although the course of the tournament is full of surprises, it should not be forgotten that it has been won by ambitious rackets for many years. To give a simple example; there has been no men’s singles champion other than Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray since 2003. Since Marion Bartoli reached a happy ending in 2013 in women, her favorite tennis players have always smiled.

2022 Wimbledon again has a few clear favorites. Six-time champion Novak Djokovic is considered lucky to end the pressure not to win a slam. Stopping Iga Swiatek is not an easy task for anyone, although it is still a closed box on the grass court. Rafael Nadal, who actually started the tournament with a very difficult possible route; Cilic and Berrettini’s positive Kovid tests, together with Felix Auger Aliassime’s elimination in the first round, suddenly came to an ambitious position for the final. All other rivals have to play a role from these great powers…