The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club:

Wimbledon guided tour – part 1
Wimbledon guided tour – part 2
Wimbledon Centre Court roof
Court 3 : a new Show Court at Wimbledon
Waiting in the Queue to Wimbledon
Wimbledon Museum: The Queue exhibition
The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum: Player Memorabilia

Fashion and gear:

Rafael Nadal Nike outfit
Roger Federer Nike outfit
Maria Sharapova Nike dress
Serena Williams Nike dress
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga adidas outfit
Andy Murray adidas outfit
Ana Ivanovic adidas dress
Novak Djokovic Uniqlo outfit

Marketing

Wimbledon 2012 Sponsorship Activation

A trip down memory lane:

Wimbledon Trivia
Wimbledon past champions: stats and records
Wimbledon ‘s biggest upsets
Wimbledon memories: Mrs Blanche Bingley Hillyard
Wimbledon memories: Charlotte Cooper Sterry
Wimbledon memories: Dora Boothby
Wimbledon 1969: Laver’s getting beat by an Indian
Rod Laver – John Newcombe Wimbledon 1969
Bjorn Borg – Ilie Nastase Wimbledon 1976
Virginia Wade, Britain’s last Wimbledon champion
1981: First Wimbledon title for McEnroe
1982: Jimmy Connors defeats John McEnroe
1984: John McEnroe defeats Jimmy Connors
Wimbledon 1991: the first Middle Sunday
1992: first Grand Slam for Andre Agassi
1993: Pete Sampras defeats Jim Courier
2000 Wimbledon SF: Pat Rafter defeats Andre Agassi
2000 Wimbledon Final: Pete Sampras defeats Pat Rafter
2001 Wimbledon 4th round: Federer defeats Sampras
Wimbledon 2010: Rafael Nadal defeats Tomas Berdych
The Spirit of Wimbledon: a 4-part documentary by Rolex retracing Wimbledon history

Recap and analysis:

Polls:

Wimbledon 2013 champion?

  • Rafael Nadal (31%, 48 Votes)
  • Roger Federer (29%, 45 Votes)
  • Novak Djokovic (18%, 28 Votes)
  • Andy Murray (18%, 28 Votes)
  • Juan Martin Del Potro (1%, 2 Votes)
  • David Ferrer (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Tomas Berdych (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Other (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 154

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Wimbledon 2013 champion?

  • Serena Williams (56%, 78 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (19%, 26 Votes)
  • Victoria Azarenka (16%, 23 Votes)
  • Other (5%, 7 Votes)
  • Agnieszka Radwanska (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Petra Kvitova (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Li Na (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Angelique Kerber (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Sara Errani (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 140

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Remember all those great Nike ads featuring John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras?

So now watch this new Nike commercial featuring Federer and … a fly:

If it’s supposed to be funny it’s not, must be the worst Nike commercial ever.

Even worst, Nike Federer vs Fly commercial looks a lot like this Babolat/Roddick video that dates back to 2010:

During the recent ATP world tour semifinal, I listened with interest to the radio commentary between Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

Andy Murray came out of the blocks all guns blazing playing aggressively and going after Federer, taking an early break and controlling the match. Federer sounded a bit rattled, not too dissimilar to the start of the Wimbledon final in July. The commentators then got into an interesting discussion where they claimed that Murray was targeting the Federer backhand and Murray thought he could get to it and be almost “dismissive” of it. Federer’s one hander somehow wouldn’t cut it at the very top level they mused.

Roger Federer

My ears pricked up instantly for two reasons, the first was I thought the commentators were taking liberties; and the second was that I have heard it all before. There is no doubt the two hander has major advantages in the modern game, and has done since the 1970s when Jimmy Connnors, Bjorn Borg and Chris Evert changed the game with that stroke. However, the way Federer turned the match around confirmed to me what I thought from the moment the discussion was made by the commentators.

For sure, the pundits will look to Federer’s forehand as to why he came out on top in that particular encounter. After all, the Federer forehand is deadly especially when his feet are moving well. However, what changed the match was Federer’s versatility, and his one hander was a big part of that. Federer changed the tempo of the rallies often, using the one hander when stretched to slice the ball and float it, allowing him to get back into position.
Federer also chipped the backhand return on Murray’s 2nd serve, and on breakpoint in the 1st set, used the old chip and charge tactic to great effect, breaking Murray’s serve in the process. Federer also used the backhand down the line whenever possible to stretch Murray.

These were exactly the same tactics Federer used to turn around the Wimbledon final, on that occasion Federer also drove the backhand return often and took to the net more than he usually does. When those tactics work, the forehand is the icing on the cake. The fact that Murray thought he could win the match by attacking the backhand was a mistake, a mistake many players have made over the last five or six years. Nadal’s lefty topspin has always been a big problem but other opponents hit flatter and into his hitting zone.

Roger Federer
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From Sampras‘ autobiography ” A champion’s mind”:

At 4PM on a calm and bright Sunday afternoon in early September, I looked across the net and saw the same person who had been there twelve years earlier, almost to the day, when I played my first Grand Slam final: Andre Agassi.

The Andre I saw in 2002 was someone different from the kid I had seen in 1990, and it went well beyond the fact that the multicolored mullet had become a shiny bald head, and that lime green costume was now a fairly plain, conservative shorts-and-shirt tennis kit.
I saw a seasoned, confident, multiple Grand Slam champion who was in full command of his game – a game that could hurt me. This was no stranger: this was my career rival. This was the yin to my yang.

I had no sentimental thoughts or reveries going into the final with Andre; I didn’t think at the time that it might be my last official match. There were no revenge or vindication motifs in my mind, no desire to gloat, no emotional moments spent contemplating my career or how I had arrived at another Grand Slam final.
It was all about the moment for me, it was all about the tennis we would play over the next two or three hours, and that was always how I liked it best.

The atmosphere was electric; the entire crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium seemed to expect something special. I always had a taste for big occasions, and I couldn’t ask for much more than this.
I rolled through the first two sets with some of the best tennis I had played in years, trying to cope with my pace and the pressure I put on his service games.

In the third set, Andre finally got his bearings and we settled into a slugging match.
At 5-6, Andre got my serve again. I fended off one set point, but he earned another one. I drove a forehand volley into the net and suddenly Andre was back in the hunt, down two sets to one and encouraged by my apparent fatigue.

We held serve to 3-4 in the fourth set, but then the script went awry and instead of holding and putting pressure on Andre’s next service game, I found myself down two break points. If Andre converted either break point to go up 5-3, we definitely would go up for a fifth set. And Andre was looking stronger as the match went on. I managed to fight off the break points to even it, 4-all.

Andre probably felt deflated momentarily; the situation was like our last Wimbledon final all over again. And I knew, at an instinctive level that this was my moment. I had spent an entire career honing the ability to recognize and exploit moments like these, when for an instant my opponent’s attention or resolve flickered. I was ready. Suddenly, I was in touch with my long-lost friend, the Gift. And it felt great. I broke Andre.

I dropped the racket and slowly raised my arms. It was over, over and done, over and done for good.
I didn’t know it at the time, but it was my last US Open title as well as my last Grand Slam appearance. It was my last moment in a special sun that was fading as fast as the one that descended into the haze of a late-summer afternoon in New York.
I had been given a rare opportunity to go out on my own terms. I took it.

Without a doubt one of the biggest upsets in the US Open history.

Extract from Sampras‘ autobiography A champion’s mind:

“Right before the 1994 Wimbledon, I got out of my Sergio Tacchini contract and signed a new clothing and shoe deal, with Nike. Wimbledon was my first official tournament for my new brand, and I was pretty fired up about being with the US-based giant. The color of the money might have been the same in Italy as Oregon, but having your big endorsement deals with companies in your native land is always preferable; it’s just a much more natural connection that can be exploited more effectively for everyone’s benefit.
Nike had developed a nice, classic clothing line for me, along with a shoe that was part of the massive new Air campaign that would prove to be such an enormous hit. Unfortunately, the shoe didn’t agree with my foot, and by the time I left Wimbledon my right foot was hurting and swollen. I went to a doctor and had an MRI, and was subsequently diagnosed with posterior tibial tendinitis.

I was scheduled to play Washington, but had to withdraw. I also pulled out of Montreal and Cincinnati; my summer preparation for the US Open was shot and Nike was scrambling around to find me a shoe I could wear for the American Grand Slam.

I survived three matches at the Open, but my fourth-round opponent was the crafty, slightly built Peruvian Jaime Yzaga. A player with nice touch and nimble feet, Yzaga moved me around, made shots when he most needed them. He found a way to break me enough times on a hot, humid afternoon to drag me into a fifth set.

I was in poor condition and had very little left in the tank, but remembering the pact I’d made with myself, I fought like mad. The New York crowd was firmly behind me, and they really appreciated the lengths to which I went to try and stay in the match. But woozy and clearly on my last legs, I lost, 7-5 in the fifth. The struggle was of such high quality that it captivated many, and by the time it was over, chaos more or less reigned . Jaime and I had turned in the most riveting match of the tournament, providing many with an unforgettable moment.

As soon as the match ended, tournament officials hustled me into the referee’s office, which was alongside the short tunnel through which players entered Louis Armstrong stadium. Attendants there stripped me and hooked up the IV bags. […]
When the IV kicked in for me, the first thing I saw was the familiar face of Vitas Gerulaitis. Seeing the kind of shape I was in, Vitas had rushed down from the commentary booth as soon as the last ball was hit. He volunteered to go over to the locker rooms to get my clothes and incidentals. When he returned, Vitas waited until I was sufficiently recovered to dress, and the he helped me out of the place, carrying my racket bag.
[…]
I didn’t know it at the time, but that was the last I would see of my friend Vitas. He died in a tragic accident just weeks later, succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping in the pool house on a friend’s estate in the glitzy Hamptons on New York’s Long Island.”

1992 US Open champion Stefan Edberg

From Sampras‘ autobiography ” A champion’s mind”:

“Edberg and I had a few things in common. We were both reserved, shy, old-school sportsmen. Although Stefan grew up in Sweden, he went against the grain in that clay-court haven and switched to a one-handed backhand, much like I had, because he wanted to play attacking tennis. Edberg was a prodigy, too, but in a slightly different way. He’d won a junior Grand Slam. As a pro, he’d been through something similar to the struggle I was unconsciously dealing with in 1992 – the battle to become a great competitor as well as a great talent. In Stefan’s case, the catchphrase that haunted him wasn’t “ton of bricks” but “fire in the belly”. Early in his career, Stefan was accused of lacking a gut-level, burning desire to win.

In a good example of bad timing, I was catching Edberg just as he was proving the critics wrong. The previous year, he had taken over my US Open title with a flawless, artful, straight sets deconstruction of Courier’s straightforward game.
Any remaining doubters were convinced by the epic way Edberg went about defending his US title at Flushing Meadows in 1992. In his last three matches before the final, he was down a break in the fifth and final set against high-quality opponents: Richard Krajicek, Ivan Lendl and Michael Chang.
The semi against Michael remains one of the all time great matches, in term of the struggles if not the quality of play.

Lanky and tall, Edberg was a great mover. He lived and died by his kick serve, which he liked to follow at the net, where he could use his superb volley to cut off all but the sharpest of returns. Stefan’s game plan was straightforward: get to the net.

I came out pretty strong and won the first set. But it was a terrible struggle from there. The “new” Stefan Edberg was on full display. He was full of emotion, pumping his fists, yelling, doing everything to show he had fire in his belly. He won the second set.
At the critical juncture of the match – a third set tiebreaker – I threw in an ill-timed double fault to give Edberg a 6-4 lead and double set point. Stefan capitalized to go up two sets to one, and then I double faulted away the first game of the fourth set. In a blink, it was 3-0 Edberg. I went through the motions the rest of the way; I packed in it.”