Baseliners back at Wimbledon

updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
  • Total Shares


A fizzle in the drizzle. A Wimbledon final hackers could appreciate and only the most loyal fans could love. It had as much tension as a snapped string. As much excitement as teatime. The loudest cheer came for a man who somersaulted naked over the net. At least he provided comic relief. Not that anyone expected anything more. Lleyton Hewitt was No. 1 coming in and he's No. 1 going out, brandishing his first Wimbledon trophy yesterday after a 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 drubbing of 20-year-old David Nalbandian, an endearing but overwhelmed Argentine making his debut on Centre Court. If there was little to savour in this sloppy affair, it at least provided a welcome change from the fusillade of aces that ring out most other years. Pete Sampras sometimes served more aces in two games than the seven Hewitt and Nalbandian produced in three sets. On the other hand, they hit more groundstrokes in one rally than Sampras did in a whole match. To the typical weekend player, this felt a little more familiar. Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi and now Hewitt are the only men to win Wimbledon from the baseline in the Open era. The only ones, really, since Bill Tilden back in 1930. This final was the first between two baseliners since Borg beat Connors two straight years, 1977 and 1978. The baseline game may be back on Centre Court. But for how long? (AP)