Today was a big day for ... Switzerland?
At one point, it looked like Roger Federer would flame out of Wimbledon in three sets. He'd been uninspiring, and trailed 0-40 in a game that would have given Alejandro Falla a service game for the match.
This isn't something that happens to Federer all that often—he did have his five-year-long, mind-boggling streak of consecutive Grand Slam semifinals halted at 23 at the French Open, and has won "just" four of the last nine Slams—so when the Swiss machine does get into substantial trouble early in a major, it's a sight to see. (Especially at Wimbledon, where he's lost one match since 2002.)
Federer wasn't necessarily the overwhelming favorite at this Wimbledon, because he still has a fairly difficult draw, with Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic, and Lleyton Hewitt on his side of the bracket and Rafael Nadal looming as a finals opponent. He hasn't quite been Roger Federer all year, either; struggling early against Falla, whom Federer hadn't dropped a set to before today, lends credence to the idea that this might be Nadal's Wimbledon to lose.
But maybe his late heroics are the sign of a sweep to a seventh Wimbledon title? I don't know. He's almost certainly the best tennis player ever, but Federer's form over the last year has been a bit more erratic than usual.
Meanwhile, the Swiss of the pitch were dealing with a letdown following their upset of Spain. Going down a man in the first half on a harsh red card, finally conceding a goal to feisty, all-offense Chile in the 75th minute and losing 1-0 may not be the preferred outcome in Switzerland, but it's not terrible, either. Spain should beat Honduras this afternoon, but unless they fill the net and rack up an enormous goal differential, the Swiss will have a decent chance to advance should they beat Honduras in their final match, because Spain is likely to have its hands full with the Chilean assault.
And, of course, these things were going on at the same time, so the only clockwork being done in Switzerland might have been by bosses resigned to hours of lost productivity. For once, it was probably impossible for Switzerland to stay neutral.â†µ
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