Federer threat, Murray retirement, Raducanus rise – Wimbledon week one talking points

Kate Middleton greets tennis fans during trip to Wimbledon

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Week one of Wimbledon 2021 has had no shortage of drama, excitement and fairytale stories to follow. From Roger Federer finding form to Andy Murray magic on Centre Court, rarely has there been a better first week at the championships.

Roger Federer is beginning to look a serious threat

Going into this year’s event, expectations for Federer were perhaps the lowest they’ve ever been heading into SW19.

The Swiss great has played very little tennis in 2021 and looked poor during a last-16 exit at the Halle Open on grass.

And those concerns will have been exasperated in his opening match at Wimbledon which got off to a shaky start against France’s Adrian Manarino.

After taking the opening set, Federer fell two sets to one down but was fortunate when his opponent was forced to retire injured.

JUST IN: Andy Murray will never win another Grand Slam after Wimbledon exit – retirement may beckon

Since his opening round wobble, Federer has looked much more assured and is beginning to rediscover some of his silky touch which will not have gone unnoticed by the rest of the draw.

A convincing win over Richard Gasquet in round two followed by a good performance against Cameron Norrie (despite dropping a set) has demonstrated that Federer remains a threat.

He still remains far from his best and there has been nothing so far which will have overly concerned world No 1 and tournament favourite Novak Djokovic, but the 20-time Grand Slam champion will certainly be one to avoid in week two.

Aged 39 the question will be how long can he sustain and potentially find a higher level to go deeper into this year’s tournament.

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Murray hints at retirement despite memorable Wimbledon fightbacks

It’s been a long and painful road for Murray since his ascent to world No 1 at the end of 2016.

The Brit’s body has failed him on so many occasion and has forced him to have multiple surgeries.

But as shown in his opening two matches at Wimbledon this year, he is still capable of producing memorable moments.

In the opening round, he fought off the challenge of Nikoloz Basilashvili before coming back from two sets to one down against Oscar Otte.

And yet it still feels like he is a long way off from where he wants to be and it appears that the strain of trying to return to a higher level is beginning to show.

Speaking after his third round defeat to Denis Shapavolov, he said: “There is a part of me that feels a bit like I have put in so much work the last three months and, you know, ultimately didn’t play how I would want and expect, and it’s like is it worth it?

Is all of that training and everything that you’re doing in the gym, you know, unless you’re able to like practice and, you know, improve your game and get matches and continue, get, you know, a run of tournaments, like, is it worth all of the work that you’re doing?”

Who knows how and when Murray’s career will end but this tournament has demonstrated that he won’t go down without a fight.

Raducanu’s remarkable rise

In what is one of the most surprising Wimbledon runs in recent years, Britain’s Emma Raducanu has soared into the fourth round on her debut.

The world No 338 was awarded a last-minute wildcard and has gone on to beat the likes of former French Open finalist MarketaVondrousova en route to the last 16.

Despite being known amongst British tennis fans as a rising star before Wimbledon, there is no doubt that the 18-year old has gone to the next level to become a name many will remember in the future. 

And with a winnable match next against Aja Tomljanovic, who knows how much further she will go at this year’s tournament.

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