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Wertheim's Wimbledon Mid-term Grades
Wimbledon midterm grades
Serena Williams, Roger Federer in fine form, cruising through draw
Posted: Monday June 28, 2004 12:16PM; Updated: Monday June 28, 2004 12:16PM
No. 1 Roger Federer still looks to be the man to beat.
Two weeks into Wimbledon -- whoops, sorry ... we just channeled our inner Ted Watts, the umpire in the Venus Williams-Karolina Sprem match.
One week into Wimbledon, persistent rain has been the dominant theme. But for all of the matches that were cued up and the obligatory calls for a retractable roof, in the end, no one remembers a tournament for inclement weather. Lots of good matches -- particularly on the men's side -- remain for these next seven days.
As of Sunday night, here are our midterm grades. All marks are determined using the University of Rhode Island basketball team curve -- except in this case attendance was mandatory.
Roger Federer: Top seed is very much in form and has yet to be tested.
Serena Williams: See above.
Karolina Sprem: Breakout tournament for the future star from Croatia. Lost in the overblown tiebreaker controversy of her Venus Williams upset was the fact she was blistering the ball every bit as hard as her opponent. And serving better.
Florian Mayer: Little-known German beat Wayne Arthurs, Guillermo Coria and Wayne Ferreira en route to the fourth round.
Amy Frazier: Low-profile veteran, now in her 30s, scores one of the biggest wins of her career, beating Anastasia Myskina in Round 3.
Martina Navratilova: First-round victory at age 47 gives her an instant place in tennis lore. She lost her next match to Argentine Gisela Dulko but capped the week by being named to the U.S. Olympic team.
Andy Roddick: After struggling on clay, he looks to be back in business. Gets a slight demerit for his performance on The Weakest Link.
ESPN: Much like Roddick, the network has made dramatic improvements since the previous Slam. It's choice of coverage has been generally unimpeachable, and the sheer number of hours are tremendous. (Now about that scoreboard graphic. ...)
Goran Ivanisevic: Inimitable former champ was thoroughly outclassed by Lleyton Hewitt in the third round, but he fired up a little something for memories in his first two wins, leaving tennis in style.
Daniela Hantuchova: She was drilled pretty well in the third round by Maria Sharapova but appears to have extricated her game from a vicious cycle.
Wayne Ferreira: South African vet loses to Mayer in round three but sets the record for consecutive Majors played (55).
Venus Williams: Another Grand Slam, another disappointment -- and the echoes from her reign grow ever fainter. But could she possibly have been more gracious in defeat?
Tune-up champs: Paradorn Srichaphan, Michael Llodra, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Mary Pierce were all out by Thursday morning.
Marat Safin: What is more scattershot: his tennis or his press conferences? Another desultory loss, another woe-is-me postmatch soliloquy. There's a fine line between endearing and annoying.
Mardy Fish: We love his game. But has there ever been a player more in need of a Grand Slam breakthrough? Falls -- hook, line and sinker -- to Joachim Johansson, precisely the kind of player he needs to defeat to start living up to his clips.
Ted Watts: 'Nuff said.
Mother Nature: Due for a better performance at the U.S. Open.
Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim covers tennis for the magazine and is a regular contributor to SI.com.