Federer's Wimbledon faux-pas

Jun 27, 2013, 08:09 IST | Ranjona Banerji

Fans on social networking sites enraged after Swiss ace Federer's orange soles draw censure

The controversy over Roger Federer’s shoes continues, with the twitterati up in arms since there is apparently no exact rule about the soles of players’ shoes.

This is quite surprising since there are rules about everything from when to sneeze and to how to walk in a straight line here at Wimbledon! Tweets and comments on news websites ask why grunting is not banned and how the soles of anyone’s shoes make a difference to the rules. Incidentally, Nike claims that the shoes have sold out! So much for that!

Retirements galore
However, the big news on Day 3 of the Championships remains the seven retirements. Topping the list is Victoria Azarenka who fell down and hurt her knee on Day 1. Her pulling out means Flavia Pennetta goes through.

Steve Darcis ‘the giant killer’ said he hurt his shoulder after a fall in the first set against Rafael Nadal and did not even make it to the court. John Isner hurt his knee in the opening game against France’s Adrian Mannarino and retired when the score was one all. Radek Stepanek felt that his thigh injury meant he could not go on and so retired when trailing against Jerzy Janowicz 6-2, 5-3. Marin Cilic did not make it to court either, following a left knee injury, and gave Kenny de Schepper a walkover.

It still remains to be seen if Federer’s shoes will make it to Centre Court or will retire hurt in verboten vermillion.

The sun is ready to rock at Wimbledon, assuming it wins the battle against passing clouds. However, neither Lleyton Hewitt nor Ana Ivanovic managed to find the sun in their games. Hewitt came up against an inspired Dustin Brown who plays for Germany having had a little battle with the Jamaican Tennis Federation. With his long dreadlocks and silken touch, it can only be hoped that Brown goes further and does not succumb to giant-killer-itis which often results in a next round collapse when he plays Mannarino next. Hewitt managed to win the third set in a tiebreak — thanks perhaps to his ‘fanatic’ fan following — but it was not to be.

Ivanonic however made too many unforced errors against Eugenie Bouchard of Canada and lost in straight sets.

It took Mahesh Bhupathi and Justin Knowle four sets in the morning sunshine to defeat Albert Ramos and Leonardo Mayer. The walkways and seats around Court no 8 were packed with fans watching some very clever doubles play in a friendly competitive spirit. Bhupathi’s former partner Rohan Boppana’s doubles match was scheduled later in the day. Bopanna now plays with Edouard Roger-Vasselin. India’s Sania Mirza, partnered with Lisel Huber, was also due on court on Wednesday.

Britain is now convinced that this is Andy Murray’s year to win. Wait and see what happens is the worst policy when it comes to sports forecasting evidently. Several reports, people might remember a fortnight ago, felt that this was Rafael Nadal’s year as well!

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