It has been 14 years since Roger Federer first left the plush green lawns of Wimbledon with his first men’s singles title. On Sunday, he clinched his eighth crown at SW19. The sporting world has undergone major churning in this period.
Here’s how the sporting scenario has changed ever since Federer won his first ever Wimbledon title — also his first Grand Slam title:
The Centre Court at Wimbledon got a retractable roof in 2009. Not to mention the introduction of the Hawk-Eye technology drastically reduced human error at tennis events.
Other sports too came up with tweaks. Field hockey was still a 70-minute game of two halves in 2003 before the International Hockey Federation (FIH) reduced the duration of matches to 60 minutes. Instead of two halves, four quarters are now played in international competition.
Cricket has also seen the controversial Decision Review System (DRS) being implemented. Not to mention day-night Tests have been introduced to boost the sagging interest in Test cricket. The biggest, or probably the most radical, change to the Gentleman’s Game has been the advent of T20 cricket. It’s a concept which has changed the face of the sport, spawning leagues across every cricket-playing nation.
A rank underdog like Leicester City became the Premier League champions. Back in 2003 they had just earned promotion back into the league after entering administration in October 2002. The euphoria soon faded as they were relegated the next season.
The 14 years since Federer’s maiden Grand Slam title has also been a happy one for Indian sport.
India was yet to win an individual gold medal at the Olympics back in 2003. In fact, KD Jadhav’s bronze medal at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and Leander Paes’ bronze at the Atlanta Olympics of 1996 were the only individual honours for India at the marquee event. Since Athens 2004, however, that has changed dramatically starting with Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s silver medal in double trap. Since then, India has managed to win multiple medals in sports like shooting, badminton, boxing and wrestling. Most importantly, Abhinav Bindra won India its first ever individual gold medal in the 10m air rifle event at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal also ascended to the World No 1 position, a feat which others like PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth have come close to replicating.
2003 was also a year when Lance Armstrong was considered a revered cyclist with five Tour de France titles under his belt after beating cancer. He went on to win two more titles before they were stripped from him in 2012 for doping and for playing an instrumental role in the team-organised doping on his Tour de France-winning cycling squads.
Published Date: Jul 17, 2017 07:33 pm | Updated Date: Jul 17, 2017 07:36 pm