Everybody had a reason to be nervous about Sunday's Wimbledon Gentlemen's singles final. The long-suffering British were nervous they'd have to go yet another year without a local champion. Andy Murray, the unenviable object of their stress, had to be nervous that his opponent, Roger Federer, would find a way to vanquish him in a third major championship match and make more history. And Federer was worried that his back would act up as it had begun to do during his quarterfinal match against Xavier Malisse.
To that end, Federer had taken to wearing a black V-neck shirt beneath his white tennis polo. Which, in turn, had begun to worry me. Obviously, the undershirt was there for support, to keep him loose and warm and confident enough to go for his shots. It seemed to work. Down went Mikhail Youzhny in the quarterfinals, then the defending champion, Novak Djokovic, in the semis, then Murray and, with him, all of Great Britain.
For the casual tennis fan, one of the most noteworthy sights of the last week of Wimbledon action was the near-constant sight of ‘80s tennis legend Ivan Lendl. He was seen in the stands, watching on, as his pupil Andy Murray made it all the way to the men's final, only to have his dreams lit on fire and thrown off a balcony by Roger Federer. But did you know Lendl was also something of cine-maniac? It's true! When he is not an eyewitness to Andy Murray coming up short, you can find Lendl in a multiplex, going hammer on popcorn and enjoying the latest blockbuster. So we thought we'd ask the hyper-expressive what he thought of this past week's big blockbuster, The Amazing Spider-Man. Let's all go to the movies!
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports over the weekend.
Roger Federer defeated local hero Andy Murray in four sets to win his seventh Wimbledon title, tying Pete Sampras's record for the most all-time titles. But the champion angered the crowd during Murray's emotional post-match speech when he kept leaning over with a dumb grin and urging Murray to "do the Braveheart monologue." Murray ignored him the best he could, but as he choked up while thanking the crowd, Federer could be heard off camera shouting "freeedoommmm!" and giggling.
Note: Technically it's just "Wimbledon Shop," but technically Sherlock Holmes never said "Elementary, my dear Watson," either, and technically he never said it in a sweet checkered twill deerstalker cap that he picked up at the Wimbledon Shoppe for like £445 including VAT. This place just hauntingly cries out for the extra -pe, and I'm going with feel on this one. Here's some of the loot you can pillage at the 2012 Lawn Tennis Championships.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports since Tuesday.
Phoenix Sun? More like Phoenix done! Steve Nash is headed to the Lakers the Los Angeles Lakers, that is. The Suns point guard worked out a sign-and-trade deal with Phoenix that will send him to L.A., where he'll chase an NBA title with a certain fellow superstar. Maybe you've heard of him: Kobe Bryant.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Monday.
The Atlanta Hawks agreed in principle to trade Marvin Williams to the Utah Jazz for point guard Devin Harris, and sources report that they've also reached a handshake deal with the Nets that would send Joe Johnson to Brooklyn for several expiring contracts. "We're cleaning house," said new Hawks GM Danny Ferry, in his first week on the job. Ferry's "blank-slate" philosophy is so extreme that he even traded his wife of 20 years to Dallas owner Mark Cuban in exchange for three used Macbooks and an aging housekeeper who will do "just about anything."
Even if Wimbledon, as Brian Phillips proved, weren’t a dream inside of a big skull, then Lukas Rosol would still be the man of my dreams, or the man in my dreams, or whatever preposition dream grammar requires. I watched his match against Rafael Nadal after 40 hours without sleep; after taking a seven-hour train ride across northern Europe and spending the night outside an airport McDonald’s; after riding a plane from Amsterdam to fevered California; after he had already won, 6-7 (9), 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, on Thursday. I could see from the start, therefore, that Rosol was a tall and dashing slayer, and not simply Nadal’s second-round opponent, more gristle than meat, with cheap advertising patches on his shirt that hadn’t been properly attached. I could also see from the start that Nadal was toast.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thurday.
Lukas Rosol, virtually unknown in the tennis world, upset Rafael Nadal in the second round at Wimbledon, prevailing with a spectacular fifth set on center court. Things took an ugly turn late in the fourth set when Nadal began to "accidentally" dump clay that he keeps hidden in various parts of his body onto the Wimbledon grass.
1. LeBron James: FEEL THE HEAT
LeBron James! Champion of the NBA! Champion of the late-night talk show circuit! And now — champion of Rankonia! Congratulations, LeBron. I know this means a lot to you. Rankonia Pal Chris Ryan has this week's top nomination:
Here's LeBron James doing the ceremonial David Letterman victory lap that comes with winning a major sports trophy. I love everything about this: Paul Shaffer throwing down some Power Station for the intro music; the genuine, beaming smile on LeBron's face when he walks, like he is genuinely chuffed to be getting a standing ovation; and of course his showing self-restraint by not going HULK SMASH when Letterman opens the interview by asking him if he's going to go back Cleveland. That, LeBron, is what we in the karma business call MARIO CHALMERS'S REVENGE.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Tuesday.
An NCAA presidential oversight committee approved a four-team college football playoff that will take effect in 2014 and run at least through 2025. "I can't wait for the looks on everyone's faces when they realize the new system is just as corrupt and ineffective," said one president, who kept rubbing his hands together excitedly. "Especially the older fans, when it dawns on them that they'll probably be dead before anything changes."