One word all over the papers today: Henman. Plus the usual companions: disappointment, “end of the dream”, and so on. So let’s just say the better player won. Welcome to the big time, Mario Ancic.<br /><br />Actually, take away the British-centric anguish for a second, and it’s a great story. The old guard of Croatia, Goran Ivanisevic, comes to play a farewell Wimbledon after his glorious win three years ago. In the space of a week his heir-apparent makes a run to the semis (or perhaps further), beating one of the favourites for the title on his own patch along the way, much like his hero back in 2001. Even if you are not a Croat, there is something poetic about it.<br /><br />On the women’s side, much has been made of the lack of quality of the matches. Serana W vs Capriati was a big let down. More of a shame is that Capriati seems to blame the media hype for her performance. See <a href=http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/interviews/2004-06-30/200406301088600125157.html>http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/interviews/2004-06-30/200406301088600125157.html</a><br />If she really thinks that she is under pressure, she should talk to Tim Henman. Or Amelie Mauresmo at the French. Or Agassi and Sampras, who relished their rivalry, and were happy for everyone to talk it up.<br /><br />The lack of quality in the women’s matches is nothing new. For years there has been a dearth of excitement until the semis at the majors. Why? I have no idea. But look back over 5, 10 or 30 years and it’s the same story. True, there is occaisonally the big upset early in a tournament, but they are so rare you can pretty much list them on one hand. Here they are:<br /><br />Graf vs McNeill<br />Hingis vs Dokic<br />Venus Williams vs Sprem<br /><br />Any more?