June 23, 2013

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Nadal has even more of a ritual. Having done all of the above, he then brushes his hair under the bandana, sticks his hand in his backside and pulls out his shorts, touches the front bit, then is ready to serve. Oh, for the days when players went to the service line and served the moment the point was over.

The other thing I regret in today’s game is the lack of volleying by singles players. I”€™ve seen one of the greatest of them all”€”if not THE greatest”€”Roger Federer, swing at a volley beneath the net instead of punching it, something a novice wouldn”€™t do in the old days. Mind you, the game is now played from the back due to the technological revolution that has replaced touch and feel with pure power.

Which brings me to my final complaint about the modern game: the orgasmic cries by women players, especially the ghastly Maria Sharapova, my least favorite person on the circuit. Ironically, I stopped this practice in Greece a long time ago. A junior in the next court was groaning like a wounded lion every time he hit the ball and I was playing in the finals of the men’s national doubles”€”which my partner Niko Kalogeropoulos and I had won many times”€”so I started to scream like Tarzan every time I touched the ball. Everyone started laughing, the referee came down and ordered us to stop, and that was it. I haven”€™t been back in twenty or so years, but I”€™m sure the place now sounds like a zoo.

Who will win Wimbledon? It’s all up to the draw. With Nadal seeded fifth, it’s Djokovic, Murray, or Nadal. Federer for the first time will be an outsider. Like Achilles, his vulnerability is showing.



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