TIME royals

Experience Andy Murray’s Wimbledon Loss Through This Kate Middleton GIF

The Duchess of Cambridge's upper lip was anything but stiff as the reigning Wimbledon champ lost in the quarter-finals

Getty Images (6); Gif by Adam Glanzman for TIME

The usually reserved royals betrayed their country’s stiff upper lip while watching Wimbledon’s reigning champion Andy Murray lose to Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals. The Duchess of Cambridge appeared quite animated during the match, pulling a variety of faces that show just how passionate she is about tennis.

Kate, whose family has already made several appearances at the Royal Box at Wimbledon this week, was clad in a white eyelet dress by Zimmerman, while William wore his usual uniform of pants, shirt and a jacket. She also donned a pair of stylish oversize shades with her tennis whites for the event.

The loss was quite a blow for the great Scot: Murray has made the semi-finals at the Grand Slam event every year since 2008.

 

TIME Wimbledon

The Defiant Outfits Wimbledon Didn’t Want You to See

The dress code at Wimbledon got a little stricter this year, with officials applying the all-white rule even to accessories, including undergarments, wristbands and headbands. Here's a look back at the players who have pushed the boundaries of the dress code throughout the years

TIME tennis

Wimbledon: The Scene Behind the Green

There is more to the famous British tournament than the players.

TIME tennis

4 Things to Watch for at This Year’s Wimbledon

Including a return to the Roger-Rafa rivalry, and Serena's struggles

We know you might be addicted to the World Cup, and who can blame you? It’s been pretty amazing. But if your brain can digest two events showcasing some of the greatest athletes from around the globe, don’t forget about Wimbledon, which starts on Monday. This year’s fortnight should be special. Here are four reasons why:

1. The Roger-Rafa Slam Chase. If Roger Federer is going to win a record 18th Grand Slam — and put a little more distance between him and Rafael Nadal, who has 14 titles, and is five years younger than his longtime rival — odds are the victory will come at Wimbledon. Federer has won seven championships at the British tournament, and his last Grand Slam title came on the Wimbledon grass, when he beat Andy Murray in the 2012 final. Federer won his grass-court tune-up in Halle, Germany, this year; counting him out would be pure folly.

Nadal, on the other hand, has recently had a hellish time on grass. He lost in the first round of that same Wimbledon tune-up. Last year, he fell in the first round at Wimbledon, and in 2012, he was beaten in the second round — and then was sidelined for seven months because of a bum knee. But Nadal tends to surprise. He had the worst clay-court season of his career this year and still took the French Open.

The two-time Wimbledon champ could meet Federer in the semifinals. There might be some hype around that match.

2. Not-So-Dandy Andy. Last year, Andy Murray — of Scotland — ended Great Britain’s tortuous Wimbledon drought, as he became the first British man to win the fortnight in 77 years. He entered that tournament on a bit of a high: he had won the previous year’s Olympic event on the Wimbledon grass, the U.S. Open a few months later, the Miami hard-court tournament in March 2013 and the Queen’s Club Wimbledon tune-up.

But Murray not only hasn’t won a single tournament since last year’s Wimbledon, he hasn’t even reached a final. Murray had back surgery nine months ago and split with his coach, Ivan Lendl, in March; Amélie Mauresmo, the 2006 women’s Wimbledon champ, is his new coach. Will Mauresmo be able to lift Murray’s game and give Great Britain something to cheer about? After England’s World Cup flameout, many fans could use a lift. Top-seeded Novak Djokovic, however, is in Murray’s half of the draw.

3. Sharapova Surging. Ten years ago, Russian teenager Maria Sharapova stunned the globe when she beat Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final, denying Williams a third straight title. Since that breakout event when she was 17, Sharapova has won four more Grand Slams, including the French Open a few weeks ago. Williams was the last woman to win the French and Wimbledon titles in the same year, in 2002. Sharapova hasn’t lifted the Wimbledon trophy since her breakout win a decade ago, and she faces a potential quarterfinal clash against Williams, who owns a 16-2 career record against her rival — though when you dominate an opponent like Williams has dominated Sharapova, can it really be called a rivalry?

4. Serena’s Struggles. The good news for Sharapova: Williams has had a frustrating year. Although she won the hard-court tournament in Miami in March and won on clay in Rome in May, she also lost in the round of 16 at the Australian Open, and made a shock exit in the second round of the French Open, at the hands of Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain. Williams also pulled out of the Madrid tournament in the quarterfinals with a thigh injury. The Wimbledon draw has done Williams, who has won five titles on the west London courts, no favors. When Serena gets written off, however, she tends to dominate. A sixth Wimbledon could be her sweetest.

TIME tennis

Serena Williams Exits French Open in Second Round Shock

Serena Williams French Open
Serena Williams of the U.S. covers her face after missing a return during the second round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Spain's Garbine Muguruza at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris on May 28, 2014. Darko Vojinovic—AP

The U.S. star and top-ranked female tennis player in the world was beaten in the second round in straight sets by Spain's Garbine Muguruza, whom Williams easily bested last year. Williams' sister, Venus, also lost in the same round.

Tennis star Serena Williams, the French Open’s defending champion and No. 1 seed, crashed out of the tournament Wednesday after losing to no.35 seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain.

Williams’ surprising loss in two straight sets marks the first time the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds did not advance to the third round in a Grand Slam women’s singles tournament, Sports Illustrated reports. Agnieszka Radwanska is now the top-seeded competitor following Li Na’s loss on Tuesday.

Muguruza, who was the No. 35 seed, earned her first victory against a top-eight player with her 6-2, 6-2 win against Williams. The women played against each other for the first time last year at the Australian Open, where Williams won 6-2, 6-0 while dealing with an ankle injury.

Serena’s sister Venus also lost during the same round of the tournament. The last time the two did not advance to the third round of a Grand Slam was during the French Open in 2012.

[SI.com]

TIME tennis

Nadal, Djokovic Cruise Through Opening Round as Murray Faces First Match

Nadal of Spain reacts after defeating Ginepri of the U.S. in their men's singles match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris
Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after defeating Robby Ginepri of the U.S. in their men's singles match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 26, 2014. © Vincent Kessler / Reuters—REUTERS

The tennis heavyweights sailed through the opening round of the French Open on Monday as the defending Wimbledon champ prepares to take a crack at the clay today

Rafael Nadal made it look easy, again. The Spaniard was in his element on Monday as he rolled through Robby Ginepri with a commanding 6-0, 6-3, 6-0 win in the first-round of the 2014 French Open.

Also on Monday, the world’s second ranked men’s player Novak Djokovic cruised through the opening match of the tournament with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over unseeded Joao Sousa.

On the women’s side, Maria Sharapova crushed Russia’s Ksenia Pervak 6-1, 6-2 following a rain delay.

On Tuesday, defending Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray will take the court against Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev at Roland Garros.

Murray has beaten Golubev handily in their past meetings in 2008 and 2010; however, the Kazakh appears unusually confident after recently beating Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the Davis Cup.

TIME tennis

Federer, Serena Coast to Second Round in French Open After Nadal ‘Snub’

Roger Federer smiles following victory in his men's singles match against Lukas Lacko of Slovakia on day one of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 25, 2014 in Paris.
Roger Federer smiles following victory in his men's singles match against Lukas Lacko of Slovakia on day one of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 25, 2014 in Paris. Matthias Hangst—Getty Images

The French grand slam got off to a controversial start after returning champion Rafael Nadal was assigned to a secondary court for his opening round match. Meanwhile, world no. 4 Roger Federer and returning women's champ Serena Williams breezed through to the second round after convincing victories

Even after winning eight French Opens, Paris can still be unkind. Just ask Rafael Nadal.

The French Open kicked off this weekend with a touch of controversy after returning champion Nadal was assigned to the secondary Suzanne Lenglen Court for his opening match rather than to center stage at the Philippe Chatrier court, which is the customary but apparently not mandatory venue.

Nadal is set to play his opening match on Monday afternoon.

On Sunday, the world’s number four player Roger Federer breezed into the second round of the competition after delivering a thrashing to Lukas Lacko in a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 rout.

On the women’s side, returning 2013 champ Serena Williams got off to an equally convincing victory on Sunday with a 6-2, 6-1 win over 138th-ranked Alize Lim.

TIME tennis

Tennis Forecast: A Funky French Open

The Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2014 - Day Five
Rafael Nadal of Spain in action against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia during day 5 of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2014 on May 15, 2014 in Rome. Michael Regan—Getty Images

What to make of this year’s French Open, which starts on Sunday? Call it confounding, call it confusing, call it delightfully compelling.

On the men’s side, you’ve got one player, No. 1 Rafael Nadal, who has won eight of the last nine championships. Nadal has 13 career Grand Slams titles, leaving him just four short of Roger Federer’s all-time record of 17 (and one short of Pete Sampras’ tally of 14). Nadal reached the final of the Australian Open, but hampered by a bad back, he lost to Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland. Before Wawrinka’s victory, 34 of the prior 35 Grand Slams titles were won by one of four players — Nadal, Federer, Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray.

Welcome to the club, Stan.

Since then, Nadal — the subject of a feature story in this week’s TIME — has not really been himself. In March, he lost in the third round of the Indian Wells tournament in California; then Djokovic crushed him in the final in Miami. But these were hard-court contests. As usual, Nadal would right himself on clay, correct?

But in three of the four clay-court tournaments before the French Open, Nadal — gasp — lost. Most recently, Djokovic handled him fairly easily in the final in Rome. Nadal hasn’t lost three pre-French Open tournaments on clay since 2003, when he was 16 years old. And now Djokovic owns a four-match winning streak against Nadal. So Djokovic, the world No. 2, is the favorite, right?

But Nadal does have habit of winning the French Open almost every time he sets foot in Paris. See, confounding.

Last year, Nadal and Djokovic met in the semifinals, and they played a classic five-setter which Nadal won. If we’re lucky, they’ll meet in this year’s final, and we’ll truly learn about the state of Rafa’s game. No Roland Garros win, not good.

The draw did Nadal no favors. The two other players who beat Nadal on clay this year sit on his side of the bracket. Nicolas Almagro beat him in Barcelona; he’s a possible fourth round opponent for Nadal at the French. Another fellow Spaniard, David Ferrer, could meet Nadal in the quarters. Nadal beat Ferrer in last year’s French Open final; Ferrer defeated Nadal this year at the Monte Carlo tournament.

Andy Murray is on Nadal’s side of the draw too. Murray, however, has never won a clay court tournament. Wawrinka, who defeated Federer in the Monte Carlo final, is a possible semifinal opponent for Nadal. After winning the Aussie and starting the clay court season with the Monte Carlo victory, Wawrinka seemed ascendant. But he then lost his first match in Madrid — a clay tournament Nadal actually won this year — and Tommy Haas knocked Wawrinka out of Rome, in the round of 16.

Federer’s path to the semis — and a possible meeting with Djokovic — doesn’t seem that fraught. Federer turns 33 this summer, but is eager to win another Slam or two, to further distance himself from Nadal. Look out for Tomas Berdych, an potential quarterfinal opponent for Federer: the Czech has faced Federer just three times on clay, and lost each match. But he’s also beaten Federer two of the last three times they’ve met. Federer did defeat Berdych in the their last bout, the final of the Dubai tournament in early March.

“Ten years ago, I would maybe already become number one,” Berdych said during an interview at the Monte Carlo tournament. “But you know, not with these guys.” Tough luck, Tomas.

While the men’s game is blessed with the “Fab Four” and plenty of other top talents, the women’s game, right now, still mostly revolves around Serena Williams. The defending French Open champ cruised to the title in her last clay court tournament, in Rome last weekend. Serena could meet her sister Venus in the third round, and Maria Sharapova in the quarters.

On the other side of the draw Li Na — the world no. 2 and 2011 French Open winner, and subject of another TIME feature story — enters the tournament on a bit of a downswing. She lost in the quarters on clay in both Rome and Madrid. Serena seems at home in Paris, and is a comfortable pick to win the women’s title.

The same can’t be said for an eight-time Roland Garros champ. Indeed, an intriguing tennis summer has arrived.

TIME tennis

Rafael Nadal: ‘I Doubt About Myself’

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates defeating Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic during day seven of the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament at the Caja Magica on May 9, 2014 in Madrid. Julian Finney—Getty Images

Ahead of the French Open, the tennis star talks to TIME about pressure, confidence and his health

This week’s print edition of TIME includes a feature story on Rafael Nadal, the world’s number one player who is chasing Roger Federer’s record of 17 Grand Slam titles (Nadal has 13). The French Open begins May 25: Nadal has won eight of the last nine French Open titles, but enters this year’s tournament having lost matches in three clay-court tuneup tournaments, something that hasn’t happened since 2003, when Nadal was 16. Below are some excerpts from TIME’s interview with the Spanish superstar:

On preferring five set classics to straight set blowouts ….

“I never like the easy matches. I think that good sportsmen don’t like the easy wins … At the end, if you are winning with a little more drama, it stays in your mind a lot longer than when you are winning easy, no?”

On why he loves Roland Garros, home to the French Open, and playing on clay …

“I always like to play on this beautiful surface that gives you an opportunity to attack, an opportunity to defend. I like this thing. I understand the sport this way. It needs strategy, it needs suffering, it needs good possibilities to make the game interesting, no?”

On the state of his knee …

“I’m still having pain a lot of days. The only thing I wish is that the pain is only minding me when I’m competing. Because I really like to enjoy the rest of the time of my life.”

On confidence …

“I doubt about myself,” Nadal says. “I think the doubts are good in life. The people who don’t have doubts I think only two things: arrogance or not intelligence.”

On whether Nadal can possibly enjoy his epic matches as much as his fans do …

“It’s difficult to understand for somebody who is not on the court. I don’t know if the word is enjoy. But in some way that feeling is great when you are there and are playing well, the opponent is one of the best in the world, you are competing for important things and you are fighting and you resist a little bit more. You need to find another solution, you need to put one more ball in play, with the right determination in that point because it’s the point that can change the dynamic of the match. So all these things, it’s difficult to say you’re enjoying, but it’s, in some way, yes, I will say—I appreciate what’s going on in that moment. Because all my career, all my life, I work hard to be there, and today you feel there, you are healthy, you are able to run, you are able to fight, you are able to play for something that was a dream for you since you were a kid. You appreciate the moment a lot.”

 

 

 

 

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