The weather forecast for today was all but bright, as rain was on the menu of Wimbledon’s Manic Monday. Already, when the schedule came out on Saturday, many eyebrows were raised in question, especially regarding the matches on Centre Court. Most knew that a match like Andy Murray vs Marin Cilic, or Juan Martín del Potro had more place on Centre than what we knew would be another massacre of Novak Djokovic towards his countryman Viktor Troicki.
On the last part, we were quite right, as Djokovic did, indeed, make short business of Troicki, who was not as quickly dispatched and their countrywoman Ana Ivanovic (destroyed 6-1 6-0 by Victoria Azarenka), but still very quickly, 6-3 6-1 6-3 in a match that sadly had more the look of a practice session than of a Centre Court match at Wimbledon on the second week.
Had it been a bright and sunny day, or at least a rainless day, the damage would not have been so bad, I guess. However, it rained all day and only three of the eight men’s singles matches scheduled today were completed today: three of the top half.
By the time the organisers decided to cancel all action for today, Roger Federer (7-6(1) 6-1 4-6 6-3 against Xavier Malisse), Mikhail Youzhny (6-3 5-7 6-4 6-7(5) 7-5 over Denis Istomin), and Djokovic had booked their passage to the quarter-finals.
Logic and sensibility would’ve dictated to the organisers to move the already started encounter between Richard Gasquet and Florian Mayer to Centre Court, so at least all the quarter-finalists of this half would have a chance to have a day’s rest before the quarter-finals. The German had won the first set 6-3 and was up 2-1, on serve, in the second.
Logic and sensibility did not prevail and the organisers decided not to move the match, although there was a little below three hours left on the clock, which would have likely given the players enough time to complete the match. Instead, both Gasquet and Mayer, like all the other players, were sent home.
This gives an enormous advantage to a player who did not need any, as Djokovic was already largely favoured over whoever he’d meet in quarter-finals. It’s not the Serbian’s fault, of course, but the organisers dropped the ball there, big time.
After the roof closing issues that Wimbledon had seen since the beginning of the tournament, this is another blow to the organisation, especially if what journalist Christopher Clarey tweeted here is true:
Word is #Wimbledon put no 4th match on Centre because no appetite for another late night & reluctance to start match on 1 court & move it
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) July 2, 2012
I’m sincerely hoping it’s wrong. It would give quite a black eye to the tournament if it were true.
Litteral black eye
In another of today’s incomplete matches, there was another accident involving a line judge, although it was a game-related accident, which is a risk part of the job of any linesman standing there facing the T.
We all know that Mardy Fish has a powerful serve, even though it’s not, thankfully (in this case), the most powerful serve of the Tour. It doesn’t mean that receiving it on any body part hurts less. Talk about it to this poor lady who received it… in the eye!
The reaction of the players, their concern, and that of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who escorted her out of the court, was very nice.
I’m sure, nonetheless, that the lineswoman will have a black eye for the next few days.
Good thing it wasn’t a serve of Milos Raonic, Ivo Karlovic, or John Isner, or even one of Jo Tsonga!