7 July 2018
Embed from Getty Images
Continuing with our Golden Season of Classic Sports coverage, it’s time for the Big W, Wimbledon (Officially “The Championships Wimbledon”), which started on Monday July 2nd and will end on Sunday July 15th. Wimbledon is, arguably, the largest and most famous tennis tournament in the world. It’s the last of the four major tennis tournaments (U.S.Open, Australian, French, Wimbledon) to be played on grass (at one time the U.S. Open was played on grass but…that Forest Hills era is long gone) and is the most traditional of all the tournaments while, simultaneously, being one of the most advanced–Wimbledon pioneered the use of “Hawkeye”, the electronic line-calling replay system that is used to settle disputed in/out calls (at the French, the umpire looks for the mark in the clay, which some players have been known to erase before the umpire can get to it).
With all of its traditions, it’s no surprise that Wimbledon has become ever-bigger and impressive. For years, Breakfast at Wimbledon, with Strawberries and Cream (and some champagne) was a Saturday and Sunday tradition in many households throughout America and the world. And Wimbledon has a formal dress code for the players (all white )and an informal one for the spectators (conservative helps as does discretion).
Wimbledon also treats it’s former Champions with great respect (winners become Members of the All England tennis club, which hosts the event). Chris Evert, who has won the Women’s Singles Title three times, remarked during her TV commentary this year that Wimbledon treated former Champions with great kindness and respect: when she asked if she obtain tickets for the tournament for friends and family, Wimbledon gave the tickets to her (good seats, too); at other majors, the players have to beg and scream to receive the right to buy tickets. In short–it’s a classic tournament and it’s run in a classy way.
The US telecast is via ESPN, which fields a good team for the coverage–John McEnroe, his brother Patrick, Chris Evert (graceful, even in the announcing booth), Martina Navratilova. All good, professional, well informed and, with coach/commentator Brad Gilbert mixed in, it’s a very good team. Missing: the energetic and contagious enthusiasm of tennis writer/commentator Bud Collins, who died in March of 2016. Collins was very knowledgeable about the sport (he wrote “The Bud Collins Tennis Encyclopedia”) and reached the finals of the French Open men’s senior doubles. Collins was funny, bright, and totally unique; paired with Dick Enberg for NBC, he became one-half of a legendary play-by-play team. His spirit is missed this year, as it will be every year at the majors.
Results to Date
It’s been a tough year for Women’s seeds at Wimbledon. Yesterday, Venus Williams went out and so did another American, Madison Keys. Here’s a list of the top women’s seeds (with their seeding) who have been knocked out of the tournament to date: Caroline Wozniacki (2), Garbine Muguruza (3), Sloane Stephens (4), Elina Svitolina (5), Caroline Garcia (6), Petra Kvitova (8), Venus Williams (9), Madison Keys (10). There hasn’t been quite the same epidemic on the men’s side, but a few top seeds have vanished: Marin Cilic (3), Grigor Dimitrov (6), Dominic Thiem (7), David Goffin (10). Nadal is playing today, Federer won yesterday, and crowd favorite Juan Martin del Poltro is still in, as are former Champion Novak Djokovic and multi-Women’s Champion Serena Williams. Check the Direct Link to the Wimbledon Website and the Wimbledon draw (both are below, in resources), for up to date results.
Normally, Wimbledon dominates all sports coverage in England (and the world) this time of the year, but in 2018 it’s different. Not only is England advancing through the World Cup field, but this weekend, one of the world’s great and traditional auto races, the British Grand Prix F1 race, held this year at historic the Goodwood race track, is also vying for view and press attention. If you like international sports, warm up the channel changer. You will be busy over the weekend. Oh…just to complicate things: the Tour de France started today.
The World Cup is down to the final two games in the quarters. Yesterday, Belgium stunned tournament favorites Brazil, booting the Brazilians and World Cup flopping king Neymar from the competition with a 2-1 victory; in yesterday’s other quarter final game, France–a team that has the look of an overall World Cup winner–took out Uruguay, 2-0. Great games both, but for England, today is the day as the English side meets Sweden in the day’s first match, with Russia playing Croatia in the evening game. All of England will take a break to watch the Lions in their match against Sweden (one English competitor at Wimbledon requested that his Saturday match be scheduled so he could watch England play in the World Cup, although that’s a bit of a risky strategy, because if England were to have a bad day, he could carry a depressed attitude onto the court. Probably better for him to be on the court at the same time and catch the game later, on replay…although we do applaud his enthusiasm. The World Cup game is on in the locker room, at Wimbledon–they’ve got a lot of common sense to go with the classic demeanor of The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, the official home of Wimbledon)
If you have not had a chance to see the tournament wall-to-wall, you should at least have the opportunity to see some of the best shots of the day. Through the courtesy of YouTube and the Wimbledon Channel here’s a vide review of the best shots from Day 5.
The New York Times covers sports from a variety of different angles–not just the scores and stats part of the game–and today they have a feature on the rather unique history of Russian soccer. Perfect timing, as Russia plays Croatia today for a chance to make it into the semi-finals. And while we don’t want to overdo complimentary coverage of the World Cup inside featured coverage of Wimbledon, given the juxtaposition of the Cup and Wimbledon, it’s a necessary endeavor.
We have added a link to Wimbledon’s YouTube channel to our resources. Signup to see exclusive videos and special features. Maybe even get a chance to see the Raonic serve and Monfils behind the back groundie. If you’re a tennis fan, it can’t hurt to check out. Enjoy today’s matches.
You know the drill by now: Nightshift Sports provides overnight updates on the previous day’s play, along with relevant links to the best coverage (print, on the net, TV, and streaming) and an amazing collection of photos from the event. Let’s start with some basics:
Direct Link to The Official Wimbledon Website
The Wimbledon Dress Code
The 2018 Draw
Time Magazine Deep Background on the Wimbledon Dress Code
Wimbledon Background and History
Wimbledon Results (updated Continuously)
Where to Watch Wimbledon
Wimbledon Apps Link
Wimbledon YouTube Channel
The Guardian Covers Wimbledon (great print coverage, continuous update)
The Fine Print: Embed courtesy of our friends at Getty Images (gettyimages.com) who have photographic history of the 20th and 21st century on file. This photo has not bee altered in any way. Video embed courtesy of YouTube and Wimbledon. It has not been altered in any way. We thank them, deeply, for sharing. Nightshift Sports is produced by Perception Engineering and The Media Bunker. All rights–except those expressly reserved by others–are reserved by donald pierce. All text, copyright (c)2018 donald pierce. Enjoy the tournament, and check in often, as the site will be updated as often as possible.
7 July 2018