Four days into Wimbledon and all I’ve posted up to this point is a video about Rufus-the-Pigeon-Hunter? Yes, I know, pathetic. But we were out of town attending to a family matter and now I finally feel a little bit caught up. But really, that video of the Wimbledon Hawk got me wondering – who is the Rufus of the men’s and women’s draws? Does such a Big Bird exist anymore? Serena’s hold has become less talon sharp of late, with Maria “Scary Swan” Sharapova ruling the roost and plenty of pigeon-types making a flap. As for the men, the so-called “Big Four” seem to be fluttering a bit. It’s not that anyone doubts at least one of them will be in the finals – but are any of them poised to attack a la Rufus or are they, for various reasons, distracted by thoughts of flying south?
Am I crazy? Does anyone else feel a bit unsettled this time around – like the tennis hierarchy as we know it is starting to come apart? I feel like Stan Wawrinka’s Australian Open title was a harbinger of the chaos to come – it’s not that he didn’t have the talent to win the title, but his win didn’t follow the comfortable narrative of the young up-and-comer announcing himself on the world stage. It was more like, “Oh, yeah, no reason why Stan shouldn’t win a major.” And I’m starting to feel that way about anyone and everyone.
Except Radek Stepanek. As much as I appreciate his disruptive presence, I think the day The Worm wins a Major is the day the tennis world collapses in a fiery apocalypse. That said, he sure gave the crowd a fun four setter today versus Novak Djokovic. Last year’s Federer-slayer, Sergiy Stakhovsky trounced this year’s Federer-slayer Ernests Gulbis in three, showing that he’s not fluke on the green stuff, and Lukas Rosol gets his chance tomorrow to prove he “owns” Rafa on grass. Victoria Azarenka (remember her?) is out already, along with David Ferrer (oh, fading Ferru!), and the Williams sisters needed two hours to win their doubles match today. Serena even sought the comforting embrace of a stranger at some point (is Patrick really not doing it for her, anymore?):
Hey, things are getting interesting. And weird. I just can’t get the image of Rufus’s predatory stare out of my mind, his uncanny eyes watching the action unfold from some hidden perch above SW19.
So is anyone else finding Wimbledon 2014 just a little creepy? (And I’m not even getting into the naked Berdych photos – shivers. . .)