The title is in honour of the triumphant Croatians at the Queen’s Club and the Gerry Weber Open. Maybe a little for the Croatian football team too that has been just amazing so far in the World Cup. It translates to ‘No pain, no gain’.
Borna Coric not only won his maiden grass court title yesterday but inflicted a lot on Roger Federer right before Wimbledon. Coric denied Federer his 10th Halle Open title and ended his 20-match winning streak on Grass. Coric played a solid match and did not let Federer’s success at the tournament make a psychological impact. Federer had a lot to lose while Coric had everything to gain, and both did. They had contested a close match at Indian Wells this year, where Coric had given Federer a run for his money. At this point in his career, this victory means more than just 500 points for Coric. Beating Roger Federer on grass, ending his match-winning streak, in a tournament that he has won 9 times infront of a crowd that wants you to lose, is awe-inspiring. The only other word that I can think of that could sum up Coric’s performance yesterday is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
On the other hand, last year’s Wimbledon runner-up, Marin Cilic beat Novak Djokovic to win the title at Queens. Djokovic has been on a resurrection path since his return and has been consistently into the later rounds of the tournaments that he has played. But, Cilic saw an opportunity against a Djokovic who had last been in a final a year ago and capitalised on it. Some say that had it not been for Cilic’s injury during the Wimbledon final last year, we could have had a different Wimbledon Champion right now. However, Federer did put that murmur to rest when he beat Cilic at the Australian Open this year.
Roger Federer did not seem like his usual self this last week. He was subpar by his own standards and seemed grumpy. Sometimes it felt like he was uncomfortable, more so during his wafer-thin-margin victory over Benoit Paire. He really needs to recoup and be at the top of his game for Wimbledon. He might have failed to defend his title at Halle, yet in terms of points, he was supposed to defend 500 points from last year, while he managed 550 this year. So, not a lot of lows for Federer, just some tweaking around maybe. Even though Federer forfeited the No. 1 ranking to Nadal consequent to his loss to Coric at Halle, he would be the top seed at Wimbledon, as Wimbledon takes into account previous results while deciding the seedings.
Alas, I would like to leave you with this imagery,
“A lush green lawn, surrounded by 15000 people. The only thing greener are the tennis balls on them.
Two people in whites, all eyes on them. Roger Federer about to serve.
Four audible sounds – two bounces, a racket-ball contact and lastly, Reverence!
If there is a heaven on earth, it is here!”
Quote credits: Jahangir and Wikiquotes
Picture credits: Japan Times and The Hindu