W. Such a magic letter, right? From the peculiar mystery of how a letter made of two Vs came to be known as a "double-U" to its special place as the start of odd words like "woebegone" and "whereinsoever" and "widdershins", well, we think that Bert explains it all...
Now the magic W is front and centre in weekend sports news. That's because two huge international tournaments—the soccer World Cup and Wimbledon tennis championship—are both having their finals smack dab on top of each other!
It's a Double W Weekend Sports Spectacular! Which event should you choose to watch? Let's examine them, head-to-head.
World Cup third place match vs. Wimbledon ladies final
Like many Olympic team sports, the World Cup has a bronze medal, or third place match, between the two losing teams from the semifinals. In this case, those teams are Belgium and England. These teams already played each other earlier in Group G of the tournament, which Belgium won 1–0. But at that time, both countries had already qualified for the knockout rounds, so they rested many of their best players.
It won't be the same thing this time around. Sure, playing for third place isn't the same as going for gold. But these are two evenly matched and talented teams playing for their country on the global stage. You can bet that stars like Harry Kane and Kevin de Bruyne will put their best foot forward.
Meanwhile at Wimbledon, the ladies final has the makings of a true classic. Back in 2016, Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber played a close title match here, which Serena won 7–5, 6–3. Early that year, the pair faced each other in the Australian Open final, which Kerber won to capture her first Grand Slam title. Kerber then won the U.S. Open in September over Karolina Pliskova and finished 2016 as the number one player in the world.
Now, two years later, we get a rematch between two champs looking to get back on top. Serena, who has just returned to tennis after becoming a mom in 2017, is pursuing an incredible eighth Wimbledon title. And Kerber, after losing her way a bit in 2017, is feeling more and more like the person who was the best in the game not that long ago. Who will win this best 2-out-of-3 Grand Slam final showdown?
World Cup final vs. Wimbledon men's final
When the World Cup started, many people chose France as the most talented team out there. We even picked 19 year-old Kylian Mbappe in our eMag as one of the breakout stars of the tournament. All of that has come true, and it's not because we're geniuses. France is just really, really good. They're in the final because they deserve to be, and, if we're honest, they haven't even really had to push themselves much to get there.
But Croatia in the final? Okay, it's not the strangest thing ever. They have some stars, especially Luka Modric, a midfielder who plays at super club Real Madrid. But few imagined it would happen. And yet, after two games that went to penalty shootouts and another that went to extra time, this tiny nation has a shot at ultimate glory. All that's left? Beat one of the best teams on the planet.
At the same time, Wimbledon will be trying to decide their men's champion. This will be a match played after two very long semifinals. One was between two literal giants, six-foot-eight Kevin Anderson and six-foot-ten John Isner. The match between these outrageous serving machines lasted an unreal six and a half hours! Anderson finally claimed victory in the 50th(!) game of the final set. In case you're wondering, most sets last somewhere between 6 and 10 games. Even more nuts? Anderson's previous match, where he beat number one player, Roger Federer lasted over four hours!
If Anderson can still stand after playing nearly 11 hours of tennis in just two matches, it doesn't get any easier. That's because he plays the winner of the semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. These are two of the best players in the history of tennis, and have already won five Wimbledons between them. So, uh, which guy is he playing? As of this moment? We don't know!
That's because the Anderson-Isner match went so long, that Nadal-Djokovic didn't have enough time to finish theirs! They're still playing it this morning as we post this! What?
Anyway, if the players can ever get to it, Sunday's final should be epic!
UPDATE! It will be Novak Djokovic, who just beat Nadal at 10:30am EST. His match was only 5 hours played across two days. Easy peasy! Get your rest, Novak. You'll need it Sunday against Anderson!