Yesterday a Wimbledon started that, although in appearance it might already seem normal, it is not at all.
I am following the matches of the first day and, as I said, the perception is what I felt every time a new edition of the prestigious Grand Slam began.
The panorama is admirable.
The perfect courts in the first matches that resemble those of a virtual tennis game, with the impeccable grass, with the iconic green walls, free of advertising;
with the colorful appearance of the stands with the most restrained spectators, with the elegance of every careful detail and of the tennis players dressed in pristine white.
But this appearance is misleading.
The decision not to allow Russian and Belarusian players to participate due to the invasion of their country in Ukraine and the consequent reaction of the ATP and the WTA of not awarding points in the third major of the year leaves a tournament, in the best of cases unusual.
This peculiarity will probably make the tennis players without a chance to the title take this once very important sporting event as little more than an exhibition.
Only a small group of players compete with the possibility of taking the title.
The rest, the vast majority, knows how important it would be to add those points that will be denied them.
Even so, who can resist following the development of the matches in the next two weeks?
The squad of great players predicts brilliant encounters.
Spanish fans will be attentive to what our tennis players do even knowing that it is on this surface where we normally have fewer chances of victory.
The characteristics and needs of lawn tennis deviate from our traditional patterns.
The national player is accustomed to a continuous and controlled register, and to rather prolonged exchanges.
In Wimbledon, on the other hand, the main peculiarity is the constant intermittency and the mandatory requirement, in our case, is the change in both the shots and the strategy.
Consult all the texts of TONI NADAL
A few weeks after Rafael won his first Roland Garros in 2005 and lost in the second round of the British Grand Prix, we accepted the challenge and the need to carry out those uncomfortable changes that affect almost more at the level of mentality than at the level of execution.
At that time we decided to modify everything that stood in the way of that surface where only our beloved Manolo Santana had managed to triumph so many years ago.
And that's how in a single year we saw the effort rewarded playing the first final, in 2006 against Roger Federer.
Rafael had to change the handle of the serve, he had to learn to play giving much less spin to his shots, a little less topspin in the rest (especially the first few days, when the grass is still very little worn and the ball slips more) and, perhaps crucially, accept the lack of regularity and not give in to the insecurity produced by a game that can escape you in a few moments.
If you are unlucky to compete against a good server, you can chain many games in which you can barely intervene and you can be affected by the anxiety of losing control and having to take advantage of the few opportunities that are offered to you.
I have no doubt that our players will adapt, they will measure up and they will make us forget, if they are eliminated, that they have offered us a beautiful exhibition in exchange for which they will not receive any points.
Much worse is the situation of those who, without having any responsibility in the terrible conflict that is unleashed a few hours from the beautiful grass of Wimbledon, have been so unfairly banned from the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
You can follow EL PAÍS Deportes on
, or sign up here to receive
our weekly newsletter
Exclusive content for subscribers
read without limits
I'm already a subscriber