The Reuters global sports blog
Greg Rusedski on Wimbledon
Following is a question and answer session with former British tennis ace Greg Rusedski.
1. How have you come to be involved with Thomson Reuters?
I joined up with Thomson Reuters just before the AEGON Championships; they’re involved due to their partnership with the LTA. I really enjoyed meeting the various Thomson Reuters guests at the tournament, many of them were obviously huge tennis fans as they were grilling me about my predictions for the week! Thomson Reuters is the Official Statistics and Information Partner to the LTA and we’re really hoping that their technology might be able to help the other coaches and I down at the National Tennis Centre.
2. How important is technology in today’s game?
Technology is very important in tennis we use it for video analysis and biomechanics. It allows us to give our British players every possible edge. With all the stats and information we receive, we can identify patterns of play and areas within the game where we need to improve our players, we can use this information to hopefully beat our opponents.
3. Thomson Reuters presented the LTA’s iPhone app for the AEGON Championships. How is technology today changing the way tennis fans enjoy the game? Are tennis fans becoming more demanding when it comes to staying up to date with news, scores and stats?
Fans always want more information and stats, the iPhone app helps to bring them closer to their favourite players and offers explanations as to why specific players are doing well or playing badly at the time. With all the information available, fans can choose which matches they want to pay particular attention to.
4. Thomson Reuters is involved with the AEGON Championships, how do you think this event differs from Wimbledon?
The AEGON Championships is such an intimate event; it allows tennis fans to get up close to all the players. There is not a bad seat in the stadium and when on site, you feel that you can almost reach out and touch the top players in the world. It’s possible to stand a metre away from Nadal, Murray and all the best players from the practice courts – it really is a great experience!
5. With so many of the seeds losing early at Queen’s do you think this is a wide open Wimbledon or will the cream rise to the top again?
The cream will rise to the top at Wimbledon. The AEGON Championships were very unusual this year, usually the players who win or do well at Queens go on to win the Wimbledon championships. My prediction is that it will be normal service this year with Federer and Nadal in the final.
6. Andy Murray has not won a title this year and has looked a shadow of the player that reached the Australian Open final; do you think he is a viable challenger this year?
Andy Murray has a great draw, we will expect him to get into the second week of the championships for sure. Unfortunately in my opinion he is not playing well enough to win the title and has lost his way over the last months. Hopefully, he will find the form we all saw at the Australian Open, soon!
7. Queen’s showed that serve and volleying can still be a successful formula on grass, do you think we can expect more of this next week?
We will see a little more serve and volleys at Wimbledon because the temperatures are going to be very hot this year. However you should expect to see more baseline rallies as normal.
8. Rafa Nadal looked unbeatable in Paris, is free of injury and couldn’t wait to get to the London grass after Roland Garros. Do you think he values regaining Wimbledon this year as highly as he would a maiden US Open win?
Nadal wants to win Wimbledon and the US Open just as badly, in fact he wants to win every time he steps on court. The US Open might be slightly more special for him at the moment because he has never won it and if he was to go all the way and win it, he would have all four major championships in his pocket, no mean feat!
9. Roger Federer lost to Lleyton Hewitt on grass last week; do you think the pack has caught up with the great Swiss?
I think it is quite amazing how Roger Federer seems to be able to maintain his game. I truly believe that Federer and Nadal still have the edge over all the players in the world.
10. Can you see anyone preventing another all-Williams sister’s final?
I think the only threats they may have are from Sharapova, Henin and Clijsters but even so, I think the Williams sisters will be too strong and it will be an all Williams final… again!
11. Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin have said the fact neither had won Wimbledon played a major part in their decision to return after retiring. Do they still have the game to challenge?
I think they both have the game to challenge, Clijsters won the US Open last year after a comeback and Henin managed to get to the finals of the Australian Open this year. Both are former world number ones and that is why I think that it maybe a little too soon this year.
We also managed to get a few thoughts from Greg following his commentating stint on the now infamous Mahut v Insner game at Wimbledon:
Before the start of the Isner/Mahut match, I joked to my fellow commentator that Isner would win 27/25 in the final set which would have made it the longest final set in Wimbledon history. When I finally finished my commentating stint on court 18, we were locked at 59 all at 9.10pm. It was an amazing match and both players were serving incredibly well, throughout the fifth set it looked like nobody was going to break. The match broke all records: longest match ever, longest set ever, longest amount of games ever, most aces in a match ever in the history of the sport. It’s unbelievable to think that 10 hours later there is no result. We are back today, to finish off the match on day three. What makes it so unusual is that we haven’t had rain at Wimbledon and we’re still here doing it on day three.
What a privilege it is to be part of tennis history but I do believe that they need to put a tie breaker in the final set because whoever wins will not have a great chance to rest and progress in the championships.