Wimbledon 2022 - Winners & Losers
The tournament is still ongoing, today there are the Round 16 matches, so it's still early, but we already have a few winners and a few losers. For me in every tournament there are more winners and losers as well. I've said in my last post, that this tournament will not be an usual one, but then again, we don't have usual tournaments anymore. There are a bunch of surprises in every tournament and this is not any different.
Up until now, there are two winners I can nominate. One of which is the Italian Jannik Sinner, who met the new kid on the block, none other than Carlos Alcaraz Garfia. The Spaniard is known as unbeatable, after he was able to beat all the top level players this year. He really seems unstoppable, but yesterday Sinner proved us he is not. I was really afraid of this match because even though Sinner is very good, Alcaraz is even better.
Contrary to my expectations, the first set was very unbalanced and Sinner was the one in control. This has happened before, it's not an unusual thing, especially between players who have never met or met just a couple of times. The first set usually is the adjusting period, after which you see who's dominating the match. However, that was not the case here as the second set was a bit better for Alcaraz, but he still lost. He managed to win the third one but only after a tie-break. At that point I stated to become worried that Sinner can lose steam and lose the match, but that did not happen. It's amazing how this young player could keep his cool and focus on the task in hand, beating the player that is considered the best at this time. Hats off Jannik!
The other big win happened not long ago, between Cristian Garín and Alex de Minaur. I like them both, but when I have to choose, I choose Garín. I was looking forward to the match and was very painful to see Garín struggling in the first set. He was visibly affected by something, not himself at all and when a match starts like this, the end is usually not the desired one.
Garín is from Chile, he's used to playing at high altitudes, where the conditions are very different. At Wimbledon they play on grass, which can't be compared to any surface, plus the weather conditions are also different. The ball is bounding differently and you have to know how to calculate your reactions.
After the first set, and the second, which was better than the first but still won by de Minor, Chances for Garín to regain control were slim to none. Yet, he showed his value and you can see the result. I have no words to describe the feeling and my appreciation to this excellent player. The last set ended in tie-break, which is always nerve wracking for both players and the spectators as well, but Garín was able to keep his emotions in check and won. I love this guy and for a good reason! Well done Garín! He's in the quarters and most likely will meet Kyrgios.
Next is Nick Kyrgios and I've never thought I'd list him among the winners, but today I saw a very different Kyrgios. He was like a normal player and truth to be told, I've never seen him like this. The match just ended and the Aussie was able to secure himself a place in the quarters. This is a huge result for him as he hasn't been in the quarters for the last eight years.
The Aussie started the match with a shoulder pain, which looked worrying and was visible with the naked eye as he was not able to hide his pain. During the match he asked for medical assistance several times. He's not used to play this much, so they may be a problem for him in the upcoming matches.
I was waiting for the tantrums to start as there's no match without Kyrgios making several scenes, argue with the umpire, spit towards the spectators and speak disrespectfully. Instead he was extremely, alarmingly calm and focused most of the time. He did not want to entertain the spectators, which is very strange and unusual. I attributed this to his shoulder pain. I think he was focusing hard on being able to get through the match somehow and had no appetite to be a clown as usual. Let's see what's going to be with Garín. I'm not sure what to expect honestly.
As much as I don't like him, I must admit, he was amazing today. He only lost his cool once and said something to the chair umpire in the last set and unlike other times, he let it go. Most likely this was the best decision he could make as usually he loses after he get angry.
This is a bitter sweat one, I could list it in both categories, but if I think better, it fits the winner category better. It's about the match played by Andy Murray and John Isner. I love both players and know their value. We're talking about two seniors here, both talented and valuable, but both are heading towards the end of their career. Isner is my favorite of two and knew he has less chance to win, because of his disadvantages due to his height and his very different playing style.
Because he can't run all day on the court and doesn't resist to long points, he's always gunning for short points, aces if possible. Looks like he was able to confuse and trick Murray enough to secure himself a victory. I feel sorry for Murray, being knocked out at home must hurt a lot, but there's only one winner.
It hurts to nominate Márton Fucsovics first, but they have created this situation, not me. The Hungarian met Alexander Bublik in the first round and as it was expected, Fucsovics lost in minimum of sets. The Hungarian is always leaving after the first, or the second round. Bublik is a good player, but not close to top level, so then you can imagine Fucsovics's level. I've been following his evolution, always hoping to see him go a little bit further, reach at least the third round but that never happens. At some point the retirement announcement is going to come from him.
Benoît Paire is kind of in the same situation, but in a different way. He met Quentin Halys in the first round and apart from the first set, his performance was far from Wimbledon level. It's commonly known he's playing only for the money, which would not be a problem, but he's not very good at it as he's also always leaving after the first or the second round.
Next in line was Fabio Fognini, who also left the competition in the first round as could not get past of Tallon Griekspoor. Truth to be told, this time the Italian really tried as all the sets were quite balanced, but time has passed for him, retirement is knocking on his door for a good reason. The more time passes, the harder he will have to work for the same result and to be honest, he's already not capable of keeping up with the younger generation.
The biggest surprise of all in the first round was Hubert Hurkacz, who was not able to defeat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Both players are exceptional in my opinion, just in a different way. However, based on his previous performance, let's say this year, Hurkacz should have passed Davidovich Fokina, easily. With this win, Davidovich Fokina not only shows his talent again, but also demonstrates that no matter who the opponent is, he has a chance and is using it to win. I'm sorry to see Hurkacz go, but in the same time I'm happy for Davidovich Fokina as he's progressing, apart from others.
It hurts to name these players as the majority is capable of a lot more, but looks like this was not their tournament. Dan Evans is also one of the guys leaving too early this time, which came as a surprise for many I suppose, as Jason Kubler is an unknown player at this level. He's not an usual player as his past is a bit more colorful and bumpy. Although he's very talented, his off court behavior stopped him to get to higher levels. Brits have hoped to see him as the next Murray, but that has not happened and will never happen. He tested positive for cocaine in 2017 and banned from playing. I respect him from being able to come back after such a bad period, but also think he has wasted his talent and his best years.
Last year he had some amazing runs and was really hoping to see him evolve, but that has not happen. I'm not giving up on him, but at his age, keeping up becomes more and more difficult.
I was hoping the list would be shorter, but as I go through the results, more and more names pop up. Next in line is Felix Auger Aliassime who got beaten by Maxime Cressy, who compared to the Canadian is not well known. Looks like Aliassime has lost momentum and he's back to his roller coaster ride. I was hoping to see him hold a certain level, but it seems that's impossible. He lost in four sets, three of which ended in tie-break, which means controlling emotions played a huge role in it. He still needs to learn how to keep a balance as talent is not a problem in his case.
Unfortunately the second round was not any better regarding the unpleasant surprises. Casper Ruud's run was ended by Ugo Humbert, which was a shock to me. There were four sets, none of them spectacular or ending in tie-break. I can't blame him though as fatigue may have played a role here. He has been performing well till now.
Denis Shapovalov also was forced to leave, after the second set, which is a shame, as Brandon Nakashima is not better than him, but he played his cards well and won. The four sets Shapovalov played were extremely unbalanced, not reflecting his value and talent at all. I hope he gets himself together for the next one.
And the biggest loser of all at Wimbledon till now is none other than the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. He met Nick Kyrgios on Saturday in a four set match. This is a huge surprise as Kyrgios has not played much, he's been very selective of which tournament he attends, therefore he may be rusty at times, but looks like he's been saving his energy for Wimbledon. The new Tsitsipas we're seeing this year is an enigma. He had surgery not long ago, of which he recovered spectacularly. Another good thing to note is that the Tsitsipas we got this year is a more calm one, compared to the one we saw last year. It is clearly visible he's been working on his emotional behavior and he got some good results. However, something's happened as this year he has not done much. He won the Monte Carlo Masters and Mallorca Open this year, but other than that ... Whatever is going on with him needs to be fixed as there's no time to waste here.