Tennis

What we learned from Wimbledon

Euro 2020 final between England and Italy at Wembley stadium was the most talked-about sporting event over the last weekend, but before the final took place, there were some other sporting events.

One of the major sporting events that took place was at the All England Club, where the men’s and women’s final of this year’s Wimbledon took place.

The most prestigious grand slam event returned after it was postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and as usual, fans were treated to two weeks of high-quality tennis.

At the end of the two weeks, Novak Djokovic continued his dominance on the men’s tour, while Ashleigh Barty took home the Women’s crown in the absence of defending champion Simona Halep, who missed the competition due to an injury.

With the event done, ABZ takes a look at some of the talking points from this year’s competition.

Djokovic to achieve the inevitable: Going into the tournament, the Serbian was the clear favourite, but more importantly, he had the chance to go level with his rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. 

Djokovic did not let the opportunity slip as he breezed through his opponents to claim his 20th grand slam title. The 34-year-old sealed the title after beating Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in four sets on Sunday afternoon. 

Novak Djokovic wins Wimbledon men's singles title, equals Federer and  Nadal's all-time Grand Slam record | Tennis News - Hindustan Times

With the win, Djokovic is now the first man since Rod Laver to win the first three grand slams of the year, having won Roland Garros and the Australian Open. 

The Serbian now has 20 majors along with his rivals, but it’s now inevitable that he’ll end up surpassing the other members of the big three. 

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer 20 Grand Slams Stats | ATP Tour  | Tennis

He looks unstoppable at the moment, and he’s the best player in the world by a distance. Also, given Nadal and Federer are a year and six years older than him, respectively, it’s only a matter of time before Djokovic moves past them. 

The 34-year-old could take the outright lead by winning next month’s US Open, and with a chance to also win the calendar slam at stake, Djokovic’s victory looks inevitable. 

Serena should face reality: Another chance to equal Margaret Court’s 24 grand slam haul is gone for Serena Williams. After losing in the fourth round of the French Open, Serena entered her favourite slam event, where she’s a seven-time champion. 

Wimbledon 2021: Serena Williams out after suffering ankle injury during  first-round match | Tennis News | Sky Sports

But after six games in her opening match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, her tournament was over due to an injury. It was a disappointing way to go out, but it means another chance to win 24 is now gone.

It may now be time for Serena to accept the reality that she might never equal Court’s record. She turns 40 in September and is out of the top ten, which means her chances of winning another slam just got more difficult. 

Serena needs to understand that she might not win the elusive 24, but that doesn’t diminish her GOAT status. Irrespective of where she ends up, the American will always be the greatest of all time. 

Age may have caught up with Federer: If Serena needs to face reality, then Federer may also have to accept that old age has caught up with him. 

The Swiss missed a year of playing due to two knee surgeries. Before Wimbledon, Federer had played just eight matches all year in an attempt to manage his body. 

Roger Federer loses in Wimbledon quarterfinals to Hubert Hurkacz - Sports  Illustrated

However, he entered Wimbledon with renewed hope after winning three matches at Roland Garros before pulling out of his fourth-round match. 

Federer survived an early scare in his first match against Adrian Mannarino as the French man took a 2-1 sets lead before retiring in the fifth set due to an injury. 

The Swiss star took that as a wake-up call, and he eased through his next three matches. However, Federer’s run ended in the quarterfinals following a straight-set loss to Hubert Hurkacz, who had beaten Danill Medvedev in the fourth round. 

While a quarterfinal exit is still a good result for a 39-year-old that had only played eight matches after two knee surgeries, it’s the manner of the defeat that suggests Federer may be done.

The 20-time grand slam winner showed no fight in the third set as he was handed a bagel. Federer looked uninterested in the third set, which was the same situation in his loss to Felix Auger Aliassime in Halle.

Federer has always defied logic, but he turns 40 next year, and after two knee surgeries, it may be game over for the player that made us all a fan of the sport. 

Next Gen fail again: It’s a shame to all the players seen as the future of the sport that in another grand slam, it’s a player from the older generation that came out on top yet again. 

At the start of every grand slam event, questions are always raised on whether one of the next-gen can finally end the dominance of the big three, but the answer remains no. 

Medvedev beats Struff Wimbledon 2021 The Championships, Wimbledon 2021 -  Official Site by IBM

While the likes of Berrrettini, Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime impressed, one of the big three still won the title. Djokovic’s win now means the last time all the big three played at a grand slam event, and one of them did not win, was at Wimbledon in 2016. 

Although Dominic Thiem won the US Open last year, he never faced a member of the big three as both Federer and Nadal missed the event, while Djokovic was disqualified. 

A lot has been said about how the next-gen players are unlucky to be playing in the big three era, but that’s not a good excuse for their failings on the big stage. 

It’s an embarrassment to these next-gen players that the major events are still won by players in their mid-30s. 

Good to see crowds back: After a year of playing in empty stadiums due to the coronavirus pandemic, fans are finally back cheering the players. 

The Australian Open and French Open had limited crowds, but the atmosphere at Wimbledon was different. The first round to the quarterfinal had a half-capacity crowd, but the semifinal and final saw a full capacity crowd, making the matches unique. 

Covid-19 is still out, but it’s good to see Sports gradually returning to normalcy again. 

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