Required Reading: July 1, 2011
Could anybody have imagined a more dramatic match-up?
On Sunday, Nadal will get the opportunity to say, “Not so fast, everyone.”
After all, Nadal is the winner of four of the last five Majors (2010 French Open, 2010 Wimbledon, 2010 U.S. Open, 2011 French Open). Djokovic has only won one since 2008 (2011 Australian Open).
Who is Novak Djokovic to lay claim to the top spot without winning this tournament?
A Nadal victory could remind the world that Slams matter.
Just ask Djokovic’s friend and neighbor, Caroline Wozniacki, who gets hounded every time she fails to back her No. 1 ranking with a Slam win.
Djokovic doesn’t have the enormous pressure a player faces before they have won their first Slam. But he now has something to prove.
That No. 1 ranking will feel hollow on Monday if Nadal emerges as the 2011 Wimbledon champion.
Djokovic will learn quickly the expectations Roger Federer and Nadal faced as a result of claiming that top spot.
Because when you’re at the top, anything less than a victory is a failure.
If you happen to live in the central or western part of the United States, NBC did you a great disservice today.
Inconceivably, NBC decided not to offer live coverage to those Wimbledon viewers, preferring to air coverage of the Nadal vs Murray match on tape delay a few hours later so as not to preempt their regular daytime programming.
2011 NBA champion and tennis fan Dirk Nowitzki even tweeted about his frustration with the coverage:
swish41: What the heck is nbc doin? Nate berkus show? R u kiddin me? Nadal murray is on. Come on people. This is ridiculous. Nbc is messin it all up
No wonder tennis is considered an obscure sport in the United States.
Any new tennis fan lacking an abundance of free time to figure out what matches they will be allowed to see would immediately be turned off by this practice.
Can you imagine what would happen if NBC did this to West Coast viewers in their coverage of Sunday Night Football?
No you can’t. Because they wouldn’t.
Photo of the Day:
Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga both somehow end up sprawled out in face plant position during a tough rally in their semifinal match.
Novak Djokovic at age 7 tells an interviewer that his dream is to be World No. 1 [interview is in Serbian].