The order is rapdly fading

A sports era ended yesterday in London. Roger Federer not only lost, but lost in straight sets, at Wimbledon. The score of the last set was 0 to 6.

If you had all that in Vegas, you can afford to break out the good stuff today and celebrate. Not too many saw it coming.

At age 39, and playing on some creaky knees that recently went under the knife, Federer just couldn't keep up with Hubert Hurkacz, a 24-year-old from Poland.

With Federer fading, and with Rafael Nadal (age 35) a loser in the semis in Paris and not even fit to play at Wimbledon, the time of the "Big Three" in men's tennis has pretty clearly ended. We now move into the next phase, which is Novak Djokovic Against the Kids.

Djokovic, who is 34, advanced to the British semi-finals with a straight-set win over the unseeded Hungarian Marton Fucsovic, who is 29. Djoker's opponent in tomorrow's semis will be Denis Shapovalov, age 22, of Canada, who defeated Russia's Karen Khachanov, age 25, in five sets.

The other semi-final will pit Hurkacz against Italian Matteo Berrettini, age 25, who bested Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, age 20, in four sets. When you do the math, Djokovic is about a decade older than the average of the other three semi-finalists.

And there are other young players who bombed out at Wimbledon this year, but will fight the Djoker another day. Sascha Zverev (24 years old), Stefanos Tsitsipas (22), and Daniil Medvedev (25) did not play well on the English grass, but they'll be hell on wheels on the hard court in New York. Another name that belongs in that group is Dominic Thiem (an old man at 27), who is out with a wrist injury at the moment.

Anyway, with the pandemic screwing everything up last year, the end of Big Three domination has come suddenly this summer. Father Time is undefeated.

Meanwhile, it's on to the semi-finals for what the Wimbledon suits still call the "ladies'" singles tournament. The world no. 1, Australian Ash Barty, faces 2018 Wimbledon champ Angie Kerber of Germany, and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic battles Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus. The betting favorites are Barty and Sabalenka. But Federer was favored yesterday, too.

What the heck, in the spirit of equality, here are the women players' ages: Barty 25, Kerber 33, Pliskova 29, and Sabalenka 23. I'd love to see Kerber and Pliskova in the finals. But the oddsmakers are telling me that the two older players are going home tonight.