New Nole Fan




A Nadal fan switched sides. The tipping point? Seeing a crafty drop volley against Tsonga in the semi-finals at Wimbledon. From then on, the cheers were reserved exclusively for Novak Djokovic. Indeed, tennis fans are notoriously loyal, supporting the same player for decades. Ask any Federer, Steffi or Sampras fan. But, when you see a player like Nole, how could you remain stead fast in a previous loyalty? And, I had never watched Djokovic play, so there goes.

New Nole fan

New Nole fan

Drop volleys have always fascinated me. The heavy action on the centre court with to and fro- motion of the ball, and then a slow intelligent stop of the racket. As if saying, ‘reply to that one, if you can’. By then, the ball would have slipped to confer points. Isn’t a drop volley like check-mate in chess? Tennis, would have, probably, bored me if not for the combo of drop-valleys and aces.

Anyway, it’d have been a sin to miss all the Wimbledon action, convincingly and conveniently arriving on a week end. Well, if reality TV had aired the endeavours of a certain princess to escape marriage, that sentiment would have been different. But, alas, that drama wasn’t aired, and the test match without Sehwag had dragged to a draw. So, the calendar was totally free for Wimbledon, which does live up to its old world charm, every year. This year was no exception, a new women’s champion and a men’s champion who loves eating grass.

Before the final singles match, part of me still supported Nadal to win the coveted title. However, once the match started, there was no confusion in the support department, at all. The match lived up to be close-fought thriller. Away it went, 6-4 6-1, and just when we thought the match was over, Nadal showed that he could fight back. That wasn’t good enough, though, and the final set going 6-3 in favour of Djokovic, the man became the first Serbian to win Wimbledon. Not bad, fiftieth win in fifty-one matches.

“I think I played probably my best match on the grass courts ever,” he said after the realisation of a childhood dream.  Congrats, and keep the drop volleys coming.

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Merlin Flower is an independent writer and artist.

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