Monday, 30 July 2012
It is astonishing the amount of people who were quick to blame Michael Schumacher's failed start and penalty-ridden race on his age. Schumi knew that Hungary 2012 will not be one to remember too fondly: "Today was obviously one of those races that you will not look back at for very long... After I had started from the pit lane, I picked up a penalty and then a puncture. So all in all, the beginning of the race was not very pleasant for us. Everything you do not need came together. We did not have full telemetry before the start and during the period of overheating, and this is why we finally decided to retire so as not risk any damage which might make us suffer in the next race... This weekend is not one to remember, but then there are weekends like this which you can only accept. I am sure we will be looking much better in the next races to come". Hungary 2012 for Schumacher and his fans is all in all quite miserable. But how can this be ammunition for others to remark about his age? At 43, Schumi is still 'fit and able' and 'looking good' according to Johnny Herbert (see the video below) and probably is doing better at 43 than any of his current critics. Also, if you listen to what he's been saying repeatedly lately, when you're in a race, age has no value at all. It's all about the race. It's a shame that his car hasn't always been up to stratch, otherwise we could be enjoying some greater results, like his podium finish in Valenica. Schumi expects that Spa will be too soon for him to announce his future plans, but the summer break in the sport will be the perfect time for him to commence talks with Mercedes. We hope he brings his loyal fans good news.
After a (moderately) swift wiping out of Fabio Fognini, 6-7 6-2 6-2, Novak Djokovic is set to play American Andy Roddick in the second round of the Olympics, London 2012. Upon victory, the Serb, who carried the flag for Serbia in the opening ceremony of the Olympics, said "I haven’t played an official match since Wimbledon, so it took me a set and a half to really get into the rhythm and obviously the rain delay affected the game and I wasn’t sharp enough after it... Fognini made some great winners and he was a set up. Then I had to be really focused for each game, try to break him and the second and third sets were really going my way". Roddick, who competed in the Olympics in 2004, might need to get his thinking cap on before his match against the Serb who won bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The American said "tennis is only a small part of this event and I’m happy that I got asked to come". Two great players to face each other so early in a competition... it's game on.
Friday, 6 July 2012
Novak Djokovic's body language was not dressed for occasion when he stepped out onto Wimbledon's centre court to face the crowd's long-time favourite, Roger Federer. Federer looked like the winner from the off, with his (almost) regal wave and champion smile- it was obvious that he knew being faced with the defending champion, he was being faced with a challenge, but he looked absolutely ready, if not desperate, to make the finals. After a very slow start for Djokovic, he regained the pace in the second set, but after the break in the third set, he lost his momentum completely and was playing like the 2010 Djokovic, rather than the unbeatable 2011 Djokovic. The loss was difficult for Djokovic fans to endure because it's well known, despite the two players saying (unconvincingly) otherwise, that Federer and Djokovic do not like each other. Djokovic, the ever humble and gracious player, was shunned throughout the entire match from the crowd and commentators alike, but as he said, he has to move on. "I dropped in the energy level. I played really a couple of sloppy games, very slow, with no pace, with very low percentage of first serves... He was the better player. It’s not the first, it’s not the last time I lost a match. I lost to a great champion, somebody that has the most Grand Slams in the history of the sport. I do regret that I didn’t play as well as I thought I would, and as well as I played maybe last couple matches. Life goes on. I have to move on". The London 2012 Olympics provide Nole with the perfect opportunity to 'move on' and perhaps better his 2008 bronze medal with a silver or gold medal this time, and he's well aware of this fact: "The Olympic Games are pinnacle of all sports. I’m really looking forward to playing here and see how it looks during the Olympic Games. I will try to enjoy every single moment of it". Best of luck Novak.