Is 2018 The Biggest Wimbledon Ever?
I remember watching Wimbledon when I was 8 years old with my Grandfather. Being a hockey player, I found the scoring confusing and strange: Love, 15, 30, 40. When I asked him why it was so “weird” he explained that long ago, during an earlier Wimbledon Open, the scoreboard was a set of two clocks. Each player’s clock would see the minute hand rotate a quarter turn until the it had completed its revolution and that would indicate the end of the game, and the clock would be ready for a new contest.
“But then why is it 40 and not 45?” I asked.
“Oh it used to be,” he answered, “but then the annoying advertisers took over the sport and they wanted to show an advertisement where the 45 minute mark would be. So they needed to move the minute hand to 40 to make room for the stupid ad.”
He was always a bit salty.
He was also always a bit of a storyteller and the truth is no such moment ever occurred at tennis’ most prestigious tournament. The clock theory is, by far, the most popular among tennis fans, however the true origin of the scoring system remains a mystery. What we do know is that tennis records predate the minute hand on clocks, so there must be some other rational explanation.
This is not the only tennis mystery that has to do with scoring and time. Another lies with the great Roger Federer and how he is continuing his court dominance while flirting with his 37th birthday. On July 2, 2018 Roger will enter Wimbledon, once again, and chase his 21st major open championship. At age 36 he is, no doubt, eyeballing the end of his superhuman career and would love to forever retain the record of winning the most major open championships.
One would think that accomplishing this is a no brainer. After all, who could ever catch him? It took Roger 36 years to gain 20 titles. Who would ever be able to beat that?
Not so fast. Also competing in early July is Federer rival Rafael Nadal, age 32 and having already won 17 major open championships himself. He, of course, has his eyes locked on passing his lifelong rival and sliding into the record books as the greatest ever. One may conclude that Nadal has the edge since he is 4 years younger, but that would dismiss the fact the Federer is undoubtedly cheating age thresholds. Should Roger win in Wimbledon, the chances of Nadal catching him would grow far more unlikely as the margin would then be four. Should Nadal take the crown, the margin would drop to just two and the likelihood of Nadal ending up on top would be quite high
One can only hope that this year these two great champions have one last faceoff on the center court. Should that happen, it would be more than just another head to head, it could possibly set the stage for one of them to own the claim, "greatest athlete to ever play the sport of tennis." We wish them both the best of luck and health, and look forward to July.