The 133rd Wimbledon Championships ended with Novak Djokovic claiming a fifth title after the longest-ever men’s final, and Simona Halep earning her first. Here are my entirely serious winners, losers and highlights from the fortnight.
It’s now Wimbledon no.5 and career major no.16 for the 32-year-old. He just keeps going and has now won four of the last five grand slams. The world no.1 recovered from two match points down, lasted until the final set tie-break, and then seized it. Djokovic’s mental strength is legendary and who knows how many majors he’ll finish with. He’s quickly closing in on Fed’s record of 20.
One of the great final performances from a player. The 27-year-old only offered THREE unforced errors and protected her serve brilliantly against someone who had beaten her nine times before. Now, after three lost major finals, Halep has won two on the bounce. Much respect Simona.
After almost five hours of action in which he played most of the best tennis, I just can’t put the 37-year-old in the losers section. He’ll certainly rue those two championship points missed, but what a tournament for the Swiss. After a (very long) rest, he’ll move on to the US Open series feeling as good as ever.
WTA Breakout Stars
The tournament was lit up by the arrival of 15-year-old Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff. Only stopped by Halep in the fourth round, Gauff played well beyond her world ranking of 313. We’ll hear a lot more from her. Also a word for Karolina Muchova. The 22-year-old made her first grand slam quarter-final and beat one of the favourites, Karolina Pliskova, along the way.
Simona Halep’s Mum
After winning, Halep said this about her mother who was in the player box: “It was my mum’s dream. She said when I was 10 that if I want to do something in tennis it is to play in the Wimbledon final” She must be just a little bit proud now. A few tears were certainly shed. Hard to keep in the waterworks. Maybe she even cried too.
The Aussie lost in the second round to Rafa Nadal and it turns out that he was down at a Wimbledon local the night before. Cue this exchange at the post-match press conference:
Journalist: “Do you regret going to the pub last night? Do you think you would have played a bit better if you hadn’t?”
Kyrgios [deadpan]: “No. You look way too excited to ask that question. You must have a really boring life.”
During the men’s doubles final on Saturday, the Hollywood star had a great ole time in the royal box. The camera couldn’t ignore Harrelson as he swigged wine and was stunned by this brutal nut shot on poor Nicolas Mahut:
The cut to Woody Harrelson here is the best directing you'll see all year.
Tennis should only be shown after the watershed. pic.twitter.com/IFkLqDAhEK
— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) July 13, 2019
That final will sting for the 23-time major winner as she still searches for just one more. It is, of course, remarkable that the 37-year-old keeps finding herself in grand slam finals given all she’s been through. But this fierce competitor must be pretty fed up with these opportunities lost. Can she find the level of tennis required to win the US Open? One thing’s for sure, the other top women won’t hand it to her.
The Next Gen + Dominic Thiem
We’re still waiting for a breakthrough, particularly at Wimbledon. You have to go back to 2002 for a men’s champion who wasn’t called Roger, Rafa, Novak or Andy. Thiem, Stefanos Tsitispas and Alex Zverev all lost in the first few days here. Will we see deeper runs from them in New York? The men’s tour could do with it.
This event will leave a sour aftertaste for the Czech. One of the favourites for the event, Pliskova lost in the fourth round to her younger and lower ranked compatriot Karolina Muchova. Pliskova is still the best WTA player around who hasn’t won a major. Expect her to rebound at Flushing Meadows.
It’s all grand calling Djokovic’s celebrations “cringeworthy” and Nadal “super salty” on a podcast, but the Aussie could do with some better results on-court. Kyrgios hasn’t made a grand slam quarter-final since 2015 and is yet to break the top 10. There must be an exciting US Open run in him somewhere. I would love to watch it.
Robert Lindstedt’s Head
The Swede made the mixed doubles final with former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. During their run, Lindstedt took two blows to the head from…his partner’s serve. Here’s one:
The unthinkable just happened. AGAIN.
— Alex Theodoridis (@AlexTheodorid1s) July 10, 2019
There just not as good as Wexford ones. There, I said it.