Fed's flop headlines takeaways
LONDON -- The restaurants on High Street in Wimbledon Village don't operate on big-city time.
Truth is, if the matches at the All England Club run late, especially during weekdays, your dinner options can be extremely limited. Bayee Village, which offers an arresting array of Chinese food and counts Caroline Wozniacki among its regular patrons, and Thai Tho (one of Maria Sharapova's favorites) close their kitchens around 11 p.m.
Sometimes the best (and only) play is takeout. Or, as they call it here, takeaway.
Now that the fortnight is over and we're past our time in England, here are 10 Wimbledon takeaways to tide you over until the summer hard-court season begins in earnest.
No. 10: Grass can be slippery when wet: Wait, really? This was, apparently, a revelation on Day 3, otherwise known as Bloody Wednesday. There was a good deal of slipping and falling that day, and the media worked themselves into a frenzy. Look, it was an exceptionally wet spring and cool, too. So the grass here was more lush than usual. And don't forget that a grass plant is typically between 75 and 85 percent water. Of course it's as slippery as a water slide.
No. 9: It won't get better for the American men any time soon: No. 18 seed John Isner retired with a knee injury -- suffered on a routine follow-through of serve -- in the second round. No. 21 Sam Querrey was a victim of Bernard Tomic in the first. James Blake, at the advanced age of 33, went just as far as any other American man -- the second round. It was the first time in 101 years the United States did not land at least one man in the third. With Mardy Fish and Brian Baker still ailing, it could be a long summer. And a longer short-term future. When the ATP World Tour rankings came out Monday, Isner was the only American man in the top 20, at No. 19.
No. 8: Madison Keys and Alison Riske dig the grass: These young Americans were a joy to watch as they frolicked all the way into the third round, along with Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams. Keys, 18, is now ranked No. 45 (sixth among American women) and has the kind of muscular game that should translate on hard courts. Riske, who turns 23 on Wednesday, is ranked No. 102 after winning six matches, including qualifying, in Birmingham.
No. 7: Jerzy Janowicz can crack it: The kid from Poland was a 21-year-old qualifier here last year and -- in his first Grand Slam -- reached the third round. This year, he came in as the No. 24 seed and blew through to the semifinals. No one served harder in this tournament than his 143 miles per hour, and in six matches, no one had more than his 103 aces.
No. 6: Bob and Mike are the bomb: At age 35, the Bryan brothers are playing their best tennis -- and, quite possibly, the finest-quality doubles the world has ever seen. With their third title here, they now hold all four Grand Slam trophies, plus the Olympic gold medal(s) -- something that's never happened. They have a reasonable good chance to win a calendar-year Grand Slam, which is also unprecedented, since they've already won the U.S. Open four times.
No. 5: Stephens keeps it going: OK, here's the bottom line: Stephens has reached two of three major quarterfinals this year, which puts her in this very select group with Williams, Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Agnieszka Radwanska. Four of them are multiple Grand Slam champions, and Radwanska was a finalist here a year ago. That's heady stuff for the 20-year-old American. Yes, she needs to develop a few weapons and, sure, the backhand needs work, but she looks like a keeper.
No. 4: Marion Bartoli breaks through: Good for this quirky Frenchwoman. She was 14-12 coming into Wimbledon and hadn't advanced past a quarterfinal this year. Here, she won all seven of her matches (and all 14 sets) to win her first Grand Slam singles title, a 6-1, 6-4 trouncing of the flighty Sabine Lisicki. How does that happen? "That's me!" Bartoli said afterward. How quirky? She is the only Grand Slam singles champion of the Open era to hit a two-handed forehand. This was Bartoli's 47th career major -- the longest wait ever for a women's major title.
No. 3: Serena Williams (temporarily) looked her age: The way she's been blasting through women's tennis for the past year, winning 34 straight matches, it almost seemed that Serena had suspended time altogether. There were times in her surprising fourth-round loss to Lisicki that she looked all of her 31 years. Serena was, by her own admission, tentative. "I didn't play the big points well enough," she said. "I didn't do what I do best. I had a little hesitation." Her coach and special friend, Patrick Mouratoglou, put it this way: "No one is unbeatable."
No. 2: We have seen the future, and the future is … Novak Djokovic versus Andy Murray. This was the third time in the past four majors that the best two players in the game were the last two standing. The abrupt departures of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal confirmed that their era is officially over. Djokovic and Murray, born a week apart in 1987, were once very good friends. Now, according to Murray, the relationship is a professional one. "I would hope when we finish playing, it will be different again," Murray said. "But playing in big matches, you can't be best of friends." Get used to it. They've probably got 10 to 12 Slams left as the leading duo.
No. 1: This might be it for Federer: Fedologists (and the few who aren't) have been wondering when Federer would win his last major. It's possible that it already happened (No. 17), at last year's Wimbledon. Somehow Federer fell to the No. 116-ranked man in the world, Sergiy Stakhovsky, in the second round of the tournament he won seven times in 10 years. That ended his amazing streak of reaching 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals. "It's very frustrating and disappointing that I couldn't do it," Fed said. "I struggled on the big points sometimes like I have this season." It was a great run.