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The Backhand: Monday Mashup

Stuart Barefoot

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Another weekend at Wimbledon, and as always, it was a good one. Here is this week's Monday Mashup. As always, keep yourself abreast on Wimbledon here. 
 
The odds of The Winston-Salem Open hosting a Wimbledon finalist are looking increasingly better. After Nadal went down to Rosol, the likely favorites to come out of that quarter are Tsonga and Andy Murray. That's not to say Tsonga beating Mardy Fish  (who he faces next) is a given. When they faced each other at the U.S Open last year, Tsonga had to come from behind to win the match. He also won their only other head-to-head match at the 2011 Barclays ATP World tour Finals. This will be the first time they play each other on a grass surface. 
 
 
Julien Benneteau, another player to be featured at the 2012 WSO, raised a few eyebrows when he nearly defeated Roger Federer in the third round at Wimbledon. Benneteau won the first two sets before Federer rallied to win the next three, taking the match, 4-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-1. Had the Frenchmen pulled the upset, it would have lead to an even more bizarre scenario. Kevin Mitchell from The Guardian has a nice analysis of the situation. 
 
 
Heavy favorites struggling to win has been a common theme at Wimbledon this year. Nadal lost, Faderer squeaked by Benneteau, and Djokovic and Sharapova had a a tough go of it as well. Sharapova took down Hsieh Su-Wei 6-1, 6-4 on Friday, but really struggled during the second set. Most of that can be attributed to the weather, since the wind started to pick up, and the Russian phenom seemed happy with her performance. "Considering the conditions, I'm pretty happy with the way I played." Check out more details and brief highlights. Djokovic had to come from behind to beat Radek Stepankek after losing the first set 6-4. The world's best player won the next three sets 6-2, 6-2, 6-2.
 
 
Wimbledon is an outdoor tournament....sort of. The use of the retractable roof is causing a bit of controversy. Many players have expressed concern over the use of the roof, with the most common complaint being that it alter their game plan. Yahoo! sports has a nice little piece on the subject. 
 
 
What's more bizarre than Nadal losing to the 100th ranked player? Only one story could possibly take the cake and it's this.
For the last decade or so, Wimbledon has employed the help of a Hawk to help scare Pigeons away from the skies above the tournament grounds. That could be a problem for a while, as it appears this Hawk has been stolen. Rufus the Hawk was just hanging out in his cage when he was birdnapped from a car sometime in the wee hours of Friday morning. Police are investigating the incident and hopefully find the party responsible. It will be interesting to see the type of person or people involved in the market for a stolen Hawk.
 
 
That's your Monday Mashup, there are supposed to be storms in Triad area, so if you don't have to work toay, staying inside in watching Tennis might be a good option.
 
 
 

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