Even though Queen Serena was on maternity leave during the 2017 Wimbledon Championship, I still had a skin in the competition as Sister Venus Williams was also competing in the Championship and doing quite well. A few weeks before the tournament, Venus was involved in a fatal car accident in which a 78-year-old man died. The police initially released a report suggesting that Venus was at fault only to declare later that Venus was not at fault when the video of the car crash was released. When asked about her views on the car crash, an emotional Venus Williams walked out of a Wimbledon press conference in tears. The estate of the man who died in the accident sued Venus Williams over the accident. In spite of the car crash and suffering from Sjogren’s syndrome, which saps her energy, Venus still managed overcome her opponents and dismantle crowd favorite Jo Konta in the semi-final to reach her ninth Wimbledon final. On the other side of the net was Spain’s Garbine Muguruza who was gunning for her second Grand Slam title and first Wimbledon crown. I was privileged to be at Centre Court and proudly wore my Venus inscribed picture in anticipation of celebrating Venus triumph.
The first set was closely fought and at 5–4 on Muguruza’s serve, Venus broke to a 40–15 lead and had two set points. Venus failed to capitalize on the chance and ended up losing the set 7–5. The second set was a nightmare. I watched in shock as Venus got bageled (6–0). This wasn’t the Venus who I saw watched eight years earlier at the same venue dismantle her sister Serena Williams. Something was not right with Venus in that second set. However, given the challenges that she faced in the build up to the tournament in addition to the request by the family of the deceased man to view her personal records, Venus did remarkable well at Wimbledon. After the loss, I felt like vomiting and had no motivation to watch the remaining matches on Centre Court, so I left and missed out on the classic men’s doubles final, which latest nearly five hours.
The following day, I joined the queue to watch the men’s final on Henman Hill. I was lucky enough to enter the grounds around 12:25 pm, as it was already full to capacity. I later learnt that those who queued behind me didn’t enter the grounds until 5 pm. Roger Federer showed no mercy in defeating Marin Cilic in three straight sets to win a record breaking eight Wimbledon crown and nineteenth Grand Slam thereby cementing his place as the Greatest “male” tennis player of all times (emphasis mine).
The pictures that follow are the images I took during my visit to SW19. In case you are wondering why most of the images are in black and white, it is because of my sorrow at Venus Williams’s loss. In the meantime, I eagerly await the return of Queen Serena at next year’s Australian Open and Venus continuous success at the slams.
Viva Venus, Viva Serena.