By Sandra Harwitt
It’s the night before Wimbledon and not a creature is stirring. The grass has been given orders to stop growing – tall and weedy is not desired. The All England has put out their flower pots along the wide walks – it adds atmosphere to a place that already has about all the atmosphere necessary to capture the imagination.
Yes, it is all pristine on Sunday night at SW19, but when those gates open in the morn the grounds will be heaving with anxious fans. And they’ll all be wondering the fate of the 2014 Wimbledon. Here are some of the questions that will likely be on their minds:
1- Can Andy Murray win a second straight Wimbledon title? Can Andy Murray win another Wimbledon title — ever? Will British fans have to wait another 76 years for a men’s champion to come along? And will Andy Murray’s nod to a female coach prove to be a long-term or short-term arrangement?
2- Can Rafael Nadal win a third Wimbledon title – the stars have aligned in his favor on two other occasions when he’s been seeded second? How likely is Rafa to cozy up to Roger in the Grand Slam title accounting department. Rafa’s currently at 14 — having just won a record ninth at Roland Garros — and stands three behind the Rog, but a Wimbledon trophy would give him a tally of 15 and put him only three away from overtaking Rog with 18 major victories.
3- Can Roger Federer win one more Grand Slam title for a record 18 in the men’s game? If so, wouldn’t Wimbledon, on his beloved grass, be the place for him to perform such an historic feat? Or is Federer seeing the Fed Express heading down the road and into the sunset?
4- Can Novak Djokovic overcome another disappointment at the French Open, the one Grand Slam he’s yet to conquer, and be game on for Wimbledon where he’s won before? Will Djoker’s guy in the corner — Boris Becker — a three-time past Wimby champion help him out of his funk from France? Is BB really the right guy to shore up Novak’s mental ability to score a win when he’s in the lead instead of squandering opportunities like the one’s he’s seen pass by in the past?
5- Can Serena Williams get revenge for her early French Open exit by winning an 18th Grand Slam title and sixth at Wimbledon in the next two weeks? Is there any chance that Serena will allow hereself to go without a title at a major this year, especially after Maria Sharapova had the gall to win Roland Garros? Now that Serena and coach Patrick Mouratoglou are not canoodling on a person level anymore, how does their coaching relationship continue to remain healthy?
NOTE TO READERS: There’s no doubt that these are questions that inquiring minds would like answers to if possible. The likelihood that they will all be answered in the next fortnight at Wimbledon — not very likely. But we could get an answer or two and that would certainly put a smile or two on the face of at least a few fans.