Posted: Monday July 4, 2005 1:28PM; Updated: Tuesday July 5, 2005 10:07AM
Venus Williams won her third Wimbledon title, but this one was by far her most impressive.
Here are 50 Stateside Wimbledon observations, trying to incorporate as many of your questions as possible. We'll be back next week with a regular Mailbag. ...
1. If you didn't smile watching Venus Williams elevate her game, stave off a match point and then go positively nuts with joy after she won her first Major since 2001, consult your cardiologist. We imagine Joe Sports Fan will read the headline "Williams Wins Wimbledon" and shrug ("Those girls always win, don't they?") not realizing how remarkable this narrative was.
2. "Venus needs a new coach. Venus needs to retool her forehand. Venus is vulnerable to pressure on her second serve. Venus has lost interest in tennis. Venus never recovered from surrendering to Serena." Raise your hand if you're not standing in the buffet line for crow right now.
3. So much for the curse of Rochey. Roger Federer three-peats as Champion and revives discussion that there has never been a more gifted man to pick up a racket. One devote a book to Federer' brilliance, but here's something that struck me: For all the talk of grunting and other sound effects, Federer plays utterly silent tennis.
4. Had someone told you two weeks ago that one Williams sister would struggle to win two matches and then fall to Jill Craybas while the other would power through to the title, how many of you would've mixed and matched correctly?
5. Nice tournament for Lleyton Hewitt, who lived up to his seeding before running into the Federer Express in the semifinals. For those scoring at home, Hewitt now has lost to the eventual champ in the last six Slams he's entered.
6. In a stunning upset, qualifiers Stephen Huss of Australia and Wesley Moodie of South Africa won the doubles title beating Bob and Mike Bryan in the final. The Bryans now have reached the finals of the first three Slams of 2005.
7. Never mind his tennis. It was a great tournament for Andy Roddick in the one-liner department. We liked this one after final, addressing Federer's virtuosity: "He figured out a away to pass me, even though I was at the baseline!"
8. Cara Black has won the ladies' doubles title for the second straight year. She and South African Liezel Huber routed Amelie Mauresmo and Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-1 in just 61 minutes.
9. A tip of the cap to Lindsay Davenport who, of course, came within a point of winning the women's title. For someone who worried a year ago that she wasn't competing for Majors, she's sure challenged well this past year. Plus the U.S. Open begins in just seven weeks. If there is any karmic justice in this sport. ...
10. Can we please stop with the "Maria Sharapova is more concerned about endorsements than tennis" trope? Okay, she failed the defend her title and has been getting more air time of late then Sandra Day O'Connor. But Sharapova's commitment and her competitive instincts are beyond reproach.