Controversies that rocked Wimbledon 2021 and Stats that amazed fans
Wimbledon 2021 is underway in full swing with an intriguing line-up of matches keeping tennis fans hooked across the world. Despite occasional rain delays, the drama, fighting spirit, and quality of shotmaking are at a high level.
Sportco takes a look at some controversies that caused a furor at SW19 and some interesting stats that left the fans jaw-dropping.
1) Code Violation for Benoit Paire
World number 46 Benoit Paire lost 6-3 6-4 6-0 to the 9th seed Diego Schwartzman in the first round. Later, the Frenchman was handed a code violation for a “Lack of Effort” after getting bageled in the final set in just 16 minutes.
A spectator on Court 2 also screamed “You are wasting everybody’s time”. Ironically, Paire’s opening match ended in just 91 minutes. It was his 17th loss in 19 matches in 2021.
Benoit Paire: “Call the physio, I have pain”.
Mohamed Lahyani (Chair Umpire): “You cannot play like this, I am not going to call the physio for this, you have to show more sportsmanship”.
Paire: “How many forehands did I put in the net in the first two sets? How many?”
Lahyani: “You have to try to do your best”.
“I do not care about the people. I play for me and that is it, I think it is ridiculous. I find it difficult to accept this decision,” said Paire criticizing Lahyani’s move to impose a code violation after his straight-set loss.
2) Forced pull outs of Frederik Nielsen and Johanna Konta
Nielsen and Konta were compelled to pull out of Wimbledon 2021 after being in close contact with a Covid-19 infected person. Frederik lost a big opportunity as he was a former Wimbledon champion (2012) with Jonathan Marray and a semifinalist in 2018. He will undergo 10-day isolation according to the rules of the British government.
Likewise, Konta, the World number 31 was also asked to withdraw from the prestigious tournament after her team member tested positive for Covid-19. This decision was announced last Sunday ahead of her first-round match against Katerina Siniakova. Johanna, the 27th seed will also lose 430 points as she reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon 2019.
Surprisingly, Wimbledon’s close contact rules have the same implications for players who have been vaccinated and for those who are yet to take the shot.
The tournament organizers can consider changing this double-standards rule. On the other hand, fans are enjoying the matches from the stands without following social distancing norms and not wearing masks.
“It is rubbish, I feel really bad for her, it is a terrible situation to be in, there is nothing we can do, unfortunately,” said Jamie Murray, a doubles specialist who will play the first round at SW19 with Bruno Soares.
"This is not unexpected, it is terribly sad for the players but it is something we plan for, we have protocols in place," reflected All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton.
Wimbledon’s strict rules of restricting players to hotels during the tournament instead of their private homes have upset players. This is because the bio-bubble causes more stress and eventually affects the performance on the court. Konta too labelled it as an “all-inclusive cruise and a small price to pay” for playing at the grand slam.
3) On-Court Coaching by Stefanos Tsitsipas
Tsitsipas was warned by the chair umpire Damien Dumusois for doing on-court coaching with his father Apostolos Tsitsipas in his opener against Frances Tiafoe.
Interestingly, Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach of the Greek was not involved in this controversy (though he is famous for giving mid-match signals to Serena Williams in the US Open finals 2018). Surely, this incident was a blow to Tsitsipas as the World number 4 mostly follows the rules of the game.
“I am really not a big fan of coaching on court, to be honest, I think the player should find solutions by himself, I don’t really like to talk when I am playing, I think that is a bit more stress or pressure,’’ reflected Tsitsipas during the Next-Gen ATP Finals in November 2018.
What are some mind-boggling numbers from Wimbledon 2021?
Wimbledon 2021 Stat #4
Marco Cecchinato lost his 4th match in a row in Wimbledon after losing to Brit Liam Broady in straight sets in the first round.
Interestingly, the Italian has also suffered 4 defeats each consecutively in the Australian Open and the US Open. However, the World number 86 has opened his account in the French Open with a 9-5 win-loss record.
Wimbledon 2021 Stat #19
The 19-match winning streak of Serena Williams in first-round matches at Wimbledon came to an end this year. The 23-time grand slam champion retired hurt at 3-3 against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. The American suffered a right leg injury after slipping on the grass. Serena still holds this record when compared to other women’s players since the Open era (1968).
Wimbledon 2021 Stat #22
It has been 22 years since 3 British men have booked their spots in the 3rd round at Wimbledon. Andy Murray, Cameron Norrie, and Dan Evans will face Denis Shapovalov, Roger Federer, and Sebastian Korda respectively in the round of 32.
Interestingly, this list would have been 4 had Aljaz Bedene not changed his nationality from Great Britain to Slovenia in 2018. However, Evans lost in 4 sets to Korda in the 3rd round. The last British trio to achieve this feat was Danny Sapsford, Greg Rusedski, and Tim Henman in Wimbledon 1999.
Wimbledon 2021 Stat #25
Roger Federer won 7-6(1) 6-1 6-4 against Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the second round. The Swiss star has won a whopping 25 sets in a row against Gasquet (from the Paris Masters 2011). The 20-time grand slam champion will take on the 29th seed Cameron Norrie in the 3rd round.
Wimbledon 2021 Stat #38
John Isner’s imposing height of 6’10” (208 cm) was greater than his first-round opponent Yoshihito Nishioka 5’7” (170 cm) by a humongous 38 cm.
However, Nishioka had the last laugh in the David vs Goliath battle as he won a thrilling five-setter in 3 hours and 18 minutes. Isner ended up on the losing side despite firing 87 winners and taking 4 more points than Nishioka.
Wimbledon 2021 Stat #41
Sofia Kenin lost 6-2 6-4 in just 45 minutes against compatriot Madison Brengle in the second round. Her unforced error count of 41 (0.91 errors per minute) is the highest among all matches on the WTA Tour.
The second highest was Tatiana Panova (0.69 per minute) who committed 71 unforced errors in the second round against Alona Bondarenko in Wimbledon 2005.
Wimbledon 2021 Stat #52
Nick Kyrgios and Kevin Anderson have hit the highest number of aces (52) each after two rounds. The Australian fired 23 and 29 aces respectively in his first 2 matches.
On the other hand, the South African pounded 41 and 11 aces respectively in the round of 128 and round of 64. However, Kyrgios will overtake Anderson soon as the former Wimbledon runner-up lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the second round.
Wimbledon 2021 Stat #69
Garbine Muguruza routed Fiona Ferro 6-0 in the first set in 20 minutes in the first round. It was the 69th time that the Spaniard had bageled an opponent in her career.
The 2-time grand slam champion has won the most bagels among current women’s players. She is behind 4 legends (Chris Evert, Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova, and Steffi Graff) in the all-time list.
Wimbledon 2021 Stat #77
Feliciano Lopez played his 77th consecutive grand slam by featuring in the Wimbledon 2021. The Spaniard has played every grand slam since the French Open in 2002. However, World number 89 lost in straight sets to the 22nd seed Dan Evans in the first round.
Wimbledon 2021 Stat #90
Venus Williams notched up her 90th victory at Wimbledon with a 3-set win against Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu in the round of 128. Interestingly, it was also her 90th grand slam appearance. But, the 41-year-old succumbed in a 7-5 6-0 loss to the 21st seed Ons Jabeur in the second round.
Wimbledon 2021 Stat #125
Pierre-Hugues Herbert pounded 125 winners in a five-setter against Pablo Andujar in a 5-hour first-round marathon. However, the Frenchman lost the match even as Andujar hit a minuscule 35 winners.
However as fate would have it, the Spaniard gave a walkover in the next match versus Denis Shapovalov due to a rib injury.
Wimbledon 2021 Stat #338
Emma Raducanu ranked 338 stunned the World number 42 Marketa Vondrousova 6-2 6-4 in the second round. The British wildcard is yet to drop a set and will face Sorana Cirstea of Romania in the round of 32. Raducanu is the youngest British woman to reach the 3rd round at Wimbledon since the late Elena Baltacha did it in 2002.
So, dear fans, which among these controversies and stats caught your eyeballs? Do let us know in the comments below.
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