Having just been treated by Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to one of the most emotional and entertaining finals we're ever likely to see, I thought it might be a suitable time to give a punt.com round up of opinion (maybe some aftertiming too) from this year's Wimbledon.
Todays match was quite simply emotionally draining to watch, let alone trade. I feel sorry there has to be a loser, clearly Roger was gutted at the end, and no doubt many are circling him posing questions about his status in the game. He's still ranked number one, but Rafa's lead at the top of this years 'race', just got wider, it's a matter of time now till we crown a new World number 1.
I think all year there have been signs that Roger's mental strength under pressure from Nadal and sometimes Dokovic was on the wane. He's been tightening up when it matters the most. It's been all about pressure, we've all got our breaking point, even Nadal choked on two match points earlier.
It's been a slow death by pressure for Roger, he's put up a valiant fight, but he needs a release. Strangely, I feel losing today will probably help him to loosen the baggage. How much baggage needs releasing? I think there's still more to come, perhaps he won't win a grand slam this year, I feel sure he needs to lose (and will) the number one spot, before he can feel free. We all know the different pressures related to being the front runner, to be on top ready to be shot down for so long shows how great he really is.
Nadal got tight today! There were nerves everywhere on center court. He didn't play his best tennis, there were moments where even he wasn't hitting freely, his shots were dropping short, too much spin (when under pressure, go back to what you do best...). What a great kid though, you could tell he was knotted up at the end, and how much Wimbledon meant to him. Pure class, both of them and a great champ.
All of this said, it was a match statisticians wouldn't have made sense of. Nadal two sets up, yet the stats suggested Roger played the better tennis, he was ahead on points, winning more points on serve than Nadal. The big points are the ones that decide things, and this is where Rafa took a grip. At one stage I think Roger was 1/8 break points, Rafa, 3/4.
After the rain break, there was something different in the air however, more penetration on Roger's shots, less so on Rafa's, a genuine feel that the real grass court king had shown up... this, is how to play tennis on the green stuff, suddenly from thinking Roger had little chance, he looked in control (of his nerves more than anything).
My wallet would have been much fatter had Nadal taken this in 3. Due to the liquidity (a Betfair record volume of £49m was matched on this final!), I was able to comfortably swing a big bat at things without much risk. I felt ok about the prospect of losing (or winning) bigger due to the large size of trades, I had prepared mentally for it before I began... the plan, simply stick to what I normally do, but with bigger trade sizes.
I had the memorable position after set one of +£67k Nadal and -£50k Fed! To describe how I traded would take way to long however, and although this position was worth a lot, I ended up not winning as much by the end, having been chopped around so much, no one in their right mind could have 'picked' a winner in that final set. The back and forth nature of my trading resulted in a personal record turnover (£1.5m) too, along with the pain of my betting applications & Betfair website screeching to a near halt under the weight of number of trades to keep track of. The last set was virtually untradeable on the match odds market for me, I had to switch to tournament winner.
If I'm honest I'm still a bit of an emotional wreck after that match, I don't know what to do with myself. There's always this feeling the week after Wimbledon of aimlessness for me. I've immersed myself so much in the two weeks, that resurfacing takes some getting used to...what do I normally do on a Monday? I have no idea.
There's plenty of tournaments this week, but I'm not sure I'll get too involved, there will be some massive downsizing of trades to get used to again.
So what of the rest of the tournament... Personally I had a great one, apart from a silly encounter with the Fed v Ancic match, which I won't go into, suffice to say I layed a vast sum of Fed at shorts looking for a hold or two...cue Ancic broken in the first game. Easy to get over though, since it's just one market and something a bit out of the ordinary strategy wise.
Well done Venus Williams, beating sister Serena can never be easy, but for her it was an exercise in consistency. She was the steadier of the two, Serena more aggressive but at times all over the place. I'm happy for Venus though, she seems a nice girl and gracious in victory and defeat.
Andy Murray had a great performance against Gasquet, but showed the distance he needs to go to beat Nadal. He's surely not far behind in rankings terms now, but a considerable distance away from competing with him on a tennis court. Too strong, too fast, too powerful.
Safin was a bit of a turnup for the books, but then he's always a dangerous floater, if he has a week where he doesn't hit 25 shots a match long of the baseline, this is what happens. Surprising really considering the ball stays low on the grass.
Ivanovic looked a shadow of her French Open self, as if some imposter had been on court for the last 12 months, this was the 2006 version of Ana Ivanovic, shots hit hard for the sake of hard, sometimes a gentle reminder about a net and some white lines is a good idea.
Zheng Jie and Tamarine Tanasugarn did great representing the smaller girls! Two, smaller, feminine versions of Pong the computer game. They demonstrated the success you can have if you make like a wall and get everything back, let the opponent kill themselves off... I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often really, especially with the women.
I'm gonna leave it at that for now, a great championships. I hope the British press let young Laura Robson get on with things quietly for a while too. Only 14 and having the weight of a nation's expectations on her shoulders, she has a good 2 years to go before she can even begin to make real strides in the main draw. Here's hoping she can continue to progress. I won't know what to do with myself tomorrow, if only Wimbledon was on every week.