It’s unprecedented and, frankly, unjust. Though the lads’s and girls’s tours made their move to mark their territory and check out to discourage future bans over political issues, the purpose stripping has clearly been more of a short-term hit to the players than to Wimbledon, which has been bustling with full crowds after a lighter-than-usual first few days and has continued to generate global buzz. (Kyrgios vs. Djokovic won’t hurt there.)
But it surely also has been a Wimbledon stuffed with odd twists and large letdowns, with three leading men’s players, including Matteo Berrettini, withdrawing after testing positive for the coronavirus, and with Nadal unable to play his semifinal against Kyrgios and proceed his quest for the calendar-year Grand Slam. One in all the twists: Elena Rybakina, born and raised in Russia and sometimes still training there, is in the ladies’s final and now representing Kazakhstan. Even the British government was unable to complete the tournament, with British ministers resigning en masse before Prime Minister Boris Johnson took the hint.
Djokovic did should play his semifinal, nevertheless, and the suspense didn’t last way more than a set and a half on Friday before he found his flow against Cameron Norrie of Britain and accelerated to the finish with a victory, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
It was, because it so often is with Djokovic involved, two against one: Norrie and a partisan Centre Court crowd versus Djokovic.
It was loud, often thunderously loud, within the early stages as Norrie took the lead, however it is way less clear which way the gang will blow on Sunday. Kyrgios’s often-confrontational approach and foul-mouthed dialogues (and monologues) run counter to the codes which are typically embraced on the All England Club, whose crowd trends older, particularly on Centre Court.
Kyrgios, who leads the tournament in fines, can also be facing legal trouble, having been summoned to seem in court in Australia on Aug. 2 in relation to an assault allegation from his former girlfriend. He has declined to deal with the allegations at Wimbledon, and on Friday, when his name was mentioned in Djokovic’s on-court interview, there was a temporary flurry of cheers followed by a much louder round of boos.