TUESDAY, July, 2014, will certainly be remembered as the changing of the guard in Australian tennis. For Nick Kygrios another huge feather in his cap. To beat Rafel Nadal on centre court at Wimbledon on a wonderful English summer’s day is a great start to what looks like being a wonderful career. To think that we nearly lost him to basketball! His mother insisted on him playing tennis.
I don’t think people realise how huge this win is. He had never played on centre court, with his other matches all on outside courts. I thought one of our past champions should speak to him and tell him what it is like to walk out through that small entrance onto the court. I had a long chat to Ken Rosewall about it as we walked to the members' enclosure. He said he was sure someone would.
I sat with Tony Roche for the first set and a half. We were all so excited as we knew he had to win the first set to have a chance and as the match progressed his prospects got better. Kygrios played the last game in the match like a real champion. I watched the last few games from the Last 8 Club, surrounded by excited and rather astonished past players. The reactions from the Aussies all around was “we are over the moon”.
I hope that the talk is Kygrios' coach Simon Rae, of Melbourne, will be not able to continue with him because the youngster ives in Canberra and Rae in Melbourne. Surely common sense will sort this out. Rae is a very down to earth guy and deserves to get much credit for the teenager's achievements to date. I also hope that Tennis Australia supports Rae.
The win of Angelique Kerber over Maria Sharapova was also great tennis. It was received with much joy by the crowd and I am sure also by other plays in that same of the draw. We were looking forward to the prospect of Eugenie Bouchard playing Sharapova, but now the match against Kerber looms larger still.
There was drama as well in the doubles with the Williams sisters going out after Serena called the trainer before their match started. When Serena went to serve she just broke down in tears and the Williams sisters forfeited. The official version is that she has a bad viral infection, but I suspect there is much more to it than that. She and Patrick her coach are, I am told, no longer an item, but he was courtside to help her from the court.
JUDY (Tegart) Dalton was a singles finalist at Wimbledon in 1968 and women's doubles champion at Wimbledon in 1969. She was also a two-time Wimbledon mixed doubles finalist.