Wimbledon Wrap: What we’ve learned from this year’s tournament

Roger Federer (Lindsey Parnaby/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

SO Wimbledon is over for another year. Roger Federer and Garbine Muguruza will fly home today with their trophies and a mountain of memories from a special fortnight.

But before we allow the All England Club to start thinking about 2018, WIMBLEDON WRAP assesses what we’ve learnt from this year’s tournament.

 

Roger the Great

Roger Federer celebrates beating Marin Cilic (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

HE was the favourite beforehand but Roger Federer was even better than anyone could have imagined this Wimbledon. Not only did he win his eighth men’s singles title here and his 19th Grand Slam overall, but he did it without dropping a set. That was better than in any of his other seven victories and he is the first man to do so at Wimbledon since Bjorn Borg in 1976. And all this at the age of 35 – an astonishing effort. He had the most effective serve, his groundstrokes were great and his volleys were clinical, yet all the while doing it in a style which delighted his legion of fans.

 

Garbine could be new Queen of Wimbledon

Garbine Muguruza won the women’s title yesterday (PA)

THERE was a feeling of a changing of the guard in Saturday’s ladies final. Venus Williams had defied age to reach another final and represent the Williams family on the biggest stage, but she couldn’t hold off the power of Garbine Muguruza. The Spaniard had lost to Serena in 2015 but she looks ideally placed to pick up the mantle when Venus and Serena call it a day. She is tall, athletic and powerful and it’s up to her to demonstrate how much she wants to be the best.

 

Survival of the fittest

FITNESS was a huge issue running throughout the fortnight. It was immediately brought to light with the two opponents retiring from matches on Centre Court on the first Tuesday when clearly unfit. The theme continued with Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic limping out on the same day and Marin Cilic complaining of injury issues during his demolition at the hands of Roger Federer. The Swiss’ revival this year came about after taking six months off last year and missing the recent clay-court season. We know tennis is a tough, physical sport but it seems to be getting tougher. The season is long and the demands on the body are enormous. Coming up with a schedule which ensures the best players are fit and in peak condition for the Grand Slams is the biggest challenge the sport faces.

 

Konta lit up the women’s draw

JO KONTA’s run to the semi-finals was the best thing that could have happened in the women’s draw. If being picky, it would have been amazing if she had won Wimbledon, but that can wait. Her presence on quarter-finals and semi-finals day was crucial for the tournament and gave those days a buzz which has been missing for too long. Konta was also involved in three gripping matches which was a great part of the story, as we all love a bit of drama along the way. The good thing is at 26, this performance has whetted her appetite for more and there are plenty more years for her to leave us with more special Wimbledon moments.

 

Best men’s match: Gilles Muller v Rafa Nadal

In a men’s draw shorn of many classics, this stood out like a beacon and was a Wimbledon match for the ages. Muller produced the performance of his career, while Rafa fought as if his life depended on it. But it was somehow fitting that the Luxembourger took it 16-14 in a final set that lasted over two hours.

 

Best women’s match: Garbine Muguruza v Angelique Kerber

Jo Konta had three very strong shouts, but the quality on show here was outstanding. Kerber pushed the Spaniard all the way in three tight sets before Muguruza’s more attacking style saw her through. It was also the win that gave her the belief that she could become Champion. The only flaw was that the match deserved a better stage than Court 2.

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