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My family must of watched Wimbledon around the time I was born, because I remember the theme music for it on TV and the enjoyment of Wimbledon way before anything else. I hope someone is with me when I say doesn’t it feel like summer when you hear Wimbledon’s about to start? Even if you didn’t know you’d notice because the weather in the UK finally decides it wants to be sunny! which makes me think, it sucks that Wimbledon only lasts two weeks! No sun don’t go away we will all play tennis at our local park! Anyway, like I was saying I remember Wimbledon!
What’s even weirder is I often say yeah I remember when Pat Cash won that one time……then I get told he won in 1987 which was the year I was born! now I often try and claim that I am awesome at things, but I’m not THAT awesome that I remember the first year I was born! In fact ,anyone that knows me would even say its lucky if I remember what I did yesterday! hello and welcome to sad but true on the blog today….me!
Regardless of that inaccuracy, I do remember my dad in particular watching Agassi and its funny because I never noticed this till watching Wimbledon this week but he maybe the early influence to being a hippy! he had long blonde hair, was really laidback and had a red racket which is my favourite colour! So clearly, Andre Agassi is my biggest influence in my early years and I didn’t even notice! What a time to figure that one out! But seriously, I remember him fondly and also really admired Sampras for being so good as his craft. I don’t remember what year it was but when Agassi got destroyed by Sampras ( just checked 1999 love the internet!) I just admired how little chance Agassi had in that final because of how Sampras played. I am and was an Agassi fan too, but I respect Sampras for being that good at his craft especially on that day.
I had that same feeling for Steffi Graff, It such a shame that the quality in general in the womens game isn’t as good as it once was. The only real favourites in the womens game today are Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams, and if they dont win then virtually anyone else has a chance. just look at today when the womens final featured the 15th seed and the 23rd seed.The mens? Novak (1st) versus Murray (2nd). Now at first glance it seems that its the same problem for the mens if the top two seeds don’t make it. Well, if either of the finalists lost then it would only be between a handful of people, Nadal, Federer, Del Potro maybe. I think the best way to sum this up is that the quality of the ladies final was awful, not because lidicki struggled but the quality of the match just wasn’t a good standard. I think the best womens player of the last decade or so retired in Justine Henin in terms of ability and I think the women game needs to find someone similar to resurrect the interest.
Ill get this out of the way now because I have been trying to avoid it, but I’m a Nadal fan. Never really like cheering for British players, mainly because Henman never had the ability to win (when you need extra luck to win, that’s a polite way of saying your not good enough to win). Also, I do like cheering for who I believe is the combination of passion and ability. I’m a John Mcenroe guy over a Bjorn Borg if you get me and yes I’m totally serious. Which to me makes perfect sense, because I say it all the time, Roger Federer is the greatest player who has ever lived. Period. But when I watched his rivalry with Rafa over the years I still wanted Rafa to win over Roger. just like Agassi versus Sampras, Sampras on paper should win, but Agassi and Nadal always would do something you weren’t expecting and they always had a chance. That’s ultimately why I watched. Any sport needs rivalries and I think that’s ultimately what ladies tennis is missing right now because the mens game has several that everyone wants to see one way or another.
So what of the final Sunday? Murray versus Djokovic. As I said earlier I don’t usually root for home players so in some sense I’m going to contradict myself when I watch Sunday in one sense. But as I said, I prefer the one that has passion mixed in with ability, I think Murray has more of that then Djokovic. Don’t get me wrong, Djokovic on paper has been ridiculous in the last two years, but I think if the crowd aren’t nervous and will Murray on, he will have the edge to win. But I think it’ll be 5 sets! Which is great because we are getting our money’s worth!
So as I try and get the damn straw into my capri-sun, I know one thing, I can’t wait because, as I have noticed while watching this year, Wimbledon is embedded in my memory! and its frigging awesome!
Lets go Andy! (reluctantly)
I think The attitude I have to the confederation cup is very similar to everyone else, ‘oh totally forgot about this lets give it a try!” which seems to me that the teams that were involved did exactly the same thing! Hey its a cup we may have a chance of winning!! (if you didn’t cheer for Tahiti to score a goal you need to question yourself and your attitude frankly). I think in terms of fifa and their often stupid and ridiculous ideas, I get why they would want to do a cup such as this. they are clearly Trying to underline comradery and worldwide unity, something fifa is not used to giving or caring about…..nailed it! seriously though do they ever do a good job?
Even though you had the likes of Tahiti there who were clearly whipping boys in this tournament, The standard of teams actually in this cup were good. lets not forget, Uruguay were Copa america champions and have a great team, Japan have experienced players playing in europe and Italy surprised me in how well they played throughout this tournament. Whether people like it or not, Spain are the greatest team to ever grace us in football, yet they truly deserved to have been beaten in the final to Brazil. But what surprised me greatly during the whole tournament, was the sheer enjoyment I had and others too in watching the majority of the games. All the games were enjoyable, to a good standard, and I think the tournament as a whole was a huge success if you don’t include Brazil as a country protesting against fifa and its own government about the world cup and how much the darn things costing. Again, trust fifa to not care about which place they pick to run a world cup, but lets not spend the time writing about that, as I’m not Brazilian and they definitely have their reasons.
I think I know why the games were fun and enjoyable though. you see in all honesty I have struggled to watch soccer games that don’t include my team Newcastle (although i struggled watching them with the season we had) or the England football team that I reluctantly have to support. I think the reason for that is really great teams are spending more time being afraid to lose rather than playing the game to entertain and trying to win. I see so many of these game like that and ultimately its because there is so much money riding on teams winning. Also, when your a team like Paris Saint Germain or Manchester City that are spending 100’s of millions of pounds building a team, with that amount of money being spent you’d expect it generating success whether you limp over the finish line or not. Its funny though, but many of these owners expect to be buying entertaining football when the best entertaining teams are germany, spain, barcelona that spend years telling their youngers how to play properly and together. In these circumstances, time is literally money.
Yet in this tournament, the lowly confederations cup, teams really went for it. Spain needed this cup in order to complete the set for their brilliant team of world cup and euro winners, italy needed to show they are not dead and buried and Uruguay wanted to have south american bragging rights against the hosts brazil. minus the other teams who had no chance in winning (seriously it was between these teams from the beginning so no offence to the other teams…seriously part two…brazil spain final was it going to be anything else?) the tournament was a competitive one, featured some great players and some legends we are close to losing after the world cup (buffon, pirlo, xavi potentially). But the most important point is, the cup really isn’t that prestigious which is why it was like watching a glorified friendly….. well us England fans have to say that because you have to win something to be in this cup……enough said.
What I really wanted to underline in this though, was the sheer emotion of the final. I have never seen a crowd shout their national anthem as loud as Brazilian fans did that day. They even had to turn off the music! You know what i thought as I watched it happen in all honesty? I thought of England fans and how I think we have so got it wrong. Its abit like watching Andy Murray today at Wimbledon, as we watch we are nervous and shocked and you can feel the tension before the game even starts. Yet when brazil walked on to face world champions Spain, they cheered every ball, tackle, header, pass like they scored a goal. We need more of that, because it is obvious to anyone that watched that game, that moment helped Brazil win, because they believed including the fans that they could do it. As I said with all the problems Brazil are facing, if anyone watches the beginning of that match at the national anthems, and says that sport does not matter, then they are seriously missing the point. Because everyone in that stadium was united that day, and all just for some overpaid guys to kick a ball made a rubber around a field?? there I said it!
I think its save to say Brazil are favourites for the world cup being at home and winning this cup against Spain. In Spains fairness, they played far too many matches this season if you include the players club matches, as well as not being used to the south american climate, but thats still going to be an issue for them come next summer. I think this tournament also showed that Brazil currently have the 3rd best player in the world in Neymar, which is great because I think a strong Brazil makes the whole of soccer better for it! I for one am excited because….Spain are no longer kings of football, but in mu honest opinion, last time they lost the conferation cup, they won the last world cup! so count them out at your peril!
so all thats left to say is…..bring on Brazil 2014 and lets hope they play to win!