By Padya Paramita
Wimbledon 2011 was eventful. If "eventful" can count for all the bittersweet moments that the athletes, spectators and fans all over the world witnessed. Grand Slams obviously come with the ultimate winners, some changes in the rankings, along with hearts mended and broken. This summer brought no exception.
Maria Sharapova last won a Grand Slam in Melbourne in the year 2008. Her trophy cabinet was lonely, so she decided to up her game. Despite being seeded fifth at the start of Wimbledon, her amazing run of form surprised many. She eliminated Cibulkova on her way to the final, this opponent being the one to eliminate women's number one Wozniaki. Still, she, along with her worldwide fandom, had to leave London with the mere silver. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the first ever Grand Slam champion to be born in the 90's - Petra Kvitova. This young Czech brought energy to the court and by defeating Sharapova in straight sets earned the crown of Wimbledon champion. Fingers crossed that she isn't another one-hit-wonder; hopefully Petra will make the headlines again.
The Djoke's on Nadal
It doesn't matter if you support Nadal or Federer, you did see this coming, right? We all knew that it was only a matter of time before Novak Djokovic's almost never-ending streak helped him achieve something bigger. The number one crown. He won Australian Open, and his streak ended at 42 in the French Open. But that didn't mean you count him out. When Novak fell, oh yeah, he got back up better. No matter how many times Federer and Nadal may have faced off in the finals, it is a new decade. Djokovic was ruthless.
When the streak came to an end he had promised us it wasn't the end of him. He's only 23, he wasn't going anywhere. At Wimbledon, he beat - well, they were all seeded well below him other than Tsonga, but still, his wins were all very impressive. He went into the semi match versus Tsonga knowing that, if he won it, his dream of the number one rank would come true. Pressure much? Well, he took it pretty well and won in four sets. To stay number one, Djokovic didn't even have to beat Nadal in the final. However, for good measure, and of course the Wimbledon trophy, he won that game too. Aw, looks like the pattern of winning Wimbledon every other year is still on Rafa's mind. Well, he's lost his rank, so he'd better not begin his downfall.
Legen - and still waiting for it...
Speaking of downfalls, Roger Federer's story of decline continues. Come on, Roger, where's the spirit? Isn't Wimbledon supposed to be his best tournament? Only conclusion can be the fact that he is getting old. His feet can't keep up with his crafty forehand. This is the same man who couldn't stop reaching Wimbledon finals, and even when he lost, wouldn't surrender in less than five hours! This year however, he lost in the quarter final to Tsonga after winning the first two sets. Well, his loss then since he can't keep up in the Nadal-Djokovic rivalry.
US Open begins at the end of August, Nadal being the defending champion. Only time will tell if the Djoker will dethrone him out of this one too as well as if Petra will continue her awesomeness in New York. Might be Federer will pull a Ganguly. But for now, whether we're happy or not, we are to live with the memory of the Serb kissing the gold.
Last week, our topic was 5:55pm. The turn out was excellent and the attempt to experiment evident. Keep it coming, people. The entry below, though in places a little heavy handed, paints a good picture of being hunted. For next week, our topic is: White Board. Entries need to be within 500 words and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org before Sunday noon.
By Anika Atique
He took a deep breath to steady himself and gather his wits, for he knew that the next few minutes were vital. He glanced ahead at the seemingly forbidding, infernal morass that stretched before him. He mustered his courage, swallowed once, and took a step ahead, his feet sinking a few inches into the mud. Now there was no turning back. Striding, jogging, running wherever he could, he tried to cross the mire determined not to let his mind ponder on the imminent danger that was hot on his trail.
He soon realised that it was a harder task then he had at first anticipated. He had exhausted himself trying to free his foot of the sucking mud that clung onto his shoes like some atrocious leech, every time he took a step. Shelter was paramount. He quickly surveyed his surroundings until he noticed the woods only a few yards away. He thought he heard voices reverberating in the distance and quickened his pace. He took refuge behind a shrub and listened intently.
He swore silently from where he sat. The place he had chosen to conceal himself was no better than the bog. The large ants ripped into his foot. When he tried to shake them off he accidentally lost his footing and slipped. Now, he found himself miserably splayed across a muddy pool with bruises adorning the bare skin of his arms and blood seeping though them. He could feel the dirt writhing, coalescing against his skin and making it painfully itchy.
He heard the voices again but louder this time. The increasing amplitude bore testimony of the fact that they were drawing closer with every passing second. He could even decipher the words now. "Search that way," someone shouted and made his heart stutter. He could hear soft sloshing sounds the roving feet made as they came off the mushy ground. He could have tried to run, find a safer spot but he doubted the foliage was thick enough to keep him veiled from the eyes of his hunters.
In a desperate attempt he closed is eyes, as if obliterating his vision would make him undetectable to his pursuers. The sound of the steps was in his ear now. Thud. Thud. Thud. Then suddenly all went still cold.
With nerves tingling, he forced himself to look over his shoulder. He turned, and drew in a sharp breath of horror, eyes bulging, lips parting as he smothered a small shriek.
"Gotcha," said the lad with a light pat on his back, a broad grin slapped across his face.
"Damn it" he cursed softly under his breath and brought himself upright. Now that it was over he glanced at himself, at his dishevelled state, the partially dried mud, the swollen bruises and cursed again as he wondered whose bright idea it was to play hide-and-seek after yesterday's apocalyptic downpour.