Is this Wimbledon or a seniors’ pro tournament?
So here were are in the semifinals of Wimbledon at the storied lawn courts in London. Thirty-five-year-old Roger Federer is rolling toward his eighth title as the favorite, now that the rest of the big four men have been eliminated.
Federer is the oldest but apparently the healthiest of the other top players in the world, contrasting last year when he tried to defend his 2015 Wimbledon title with a bad knee and bad back. But he is now a heavy favorite and still alive while Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal are out.
While millions of casual tennis fans are clicking off their TVs or changing channels, it’s great to see an American upstart in the semifinals after Sam Querrey’s surprising win over the ailing Murray, taking the five-set victory by winning 12 of the last 14 games. The No. 24 seed Querrey, the first American in a Wimbledon semi since 2009, faces seventh seed Bosnian Marin Cilic. They’ve met before there, playing a 17-15 fifth set.
Djokovic retired early in his match against Czech Tomas Berdych with a bad right forearm and elbow. After missing a passing shot, the DJoker walked up to the head official and said he could not go on. Eleventh seeded Berdych looked as surprised as anyone, almost embarrassed to be raising his arms to the stunned crowd.
Nadal had lost earlier in the fourth round to the 16th seed, and now Federer is the only one who can extend the winning streak of the big four to 15 straight at Wimbledon, where injuries have completely destroyed the seeding.
On the women’s side, 37-year-old Venus Williams reached today’s semis against 6th seed Brit Jo Konta and looks capable of winning her 11th grand slam title, especially with her sister Serena at home ready to give birth. Venus may be the most amazing story at Wimbledon, given her age and the plethora of young women’s talent in the tournament.
Venus has already beaten an opponent 17 years younger and Konta is a powerful 26-year-old playing before her home crowd. Maybe Williams and Querrey will both go on to the finals and pull off a most unlikely American sweep at Wimbledon.
(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)