The Fortnight at Wimbledon

wimbledon 2016

With The Championships coming to a close, we’ve witnessed a series of upsets and triumphs over these past two weeks! Dreams and hopes of some have been shattered while those of the others have shone bright, with some unexpected wins. Records were broken, history was made, champions were crowned and glory was gained, all of this and more happened during the fortnight.
A withdrawal announcement from Nadal and a no-show from Sharapova, owing to her ban, showed us how unpredictable things can be before a tournament. Federer looked rusty, Murray and Djokovic seemed confident (thanks to their wins at Queens and Roland Garros respectively) while Serena seemed determined. This is pretty much how The Championships began.
But as the days progressed, we witnessed some epic shockers with Stan Wawrinka bowing out in the second round itself, to a very charged Juan Martin Del Potro. Stan lost in four sets – an upset I didn’t expect and I’m sure, many didn’t either! Stan didn’t play well and Del Potro took his chances, resulting in the loss. In the women’s draw, reigning French Open champion, Garbine Muguruza suffered a straight sets defeat to Cepelova in the second round.
Next up was Novak Djokovic. Considering the form he was in, no one expected him to lose to Sam Querrey, but that is exactly what happened! I guess, even the best have their ‘off days’. Djokovic was trailing two sets down when play for the day was called off. When he came back the next day, everybody, including Federer thought that he will fight back and win. He did take one set off Querrey though, giving rise to a lot of hopes, but slumped to defeat in the fourth. Alas, his dream of completing the Calendar Slam did not come true. Querrey and Del Potro’s dream run didn’t continue as they too eventually lost to Cilic and Pouille in the quarter-finals and third round respectively. Top seed, Serena Williams cruised through her rounds, looking as firm and determined as ever. Her elder sister, Venus, too seemed in great form as she marched into the quarter-finals.
With Djokovic out and Nadal not competing, the chances of Federer clinching the title seemed brighter. All eyes and hopes were now on him, to rightfully claim his eighth Wimbledon title.
As you can see, the draw now contained the likes of Cilic, Raonic, Federer, Berdych, Murray and Tsonga in the quarter-finals. Tsonga lost an epic-five setter to Murray, while Federer beat Cilic in a thrilling five-setter comeback. Berdych and Raonic had relatively easy victories, winning in straight sets and four-sets respectively.
Semifinal and final days are always tense, not only for players but for fans too. The Semifinal showdown read Federer vs. Raonic and Murray vs. Berdych. Match one was clearly more exciting than Match two and it did prove to be so too.
Federer vs. Raonic was filled with drama, anxiousness, hope, athleticism, mental strength and so much more. Not to forget, the brilliant tennis the two men played. The crowd cheered for only one man- Roger Federer, who unfortunately (and I say this with a heavy heart), lost to Milos Raonic in five sets. Raonic played great, but I shall be partial and say, Federer fought harder and thereby deserved to win.
The Murray vs. Berdych match was pretty much one-way traffic from the very beginning, with Murray proving to be the better of the two. In the women’s draw, Serena Williams enjoyed a straight sets victory over Elena Vesnina, but unfortunately, sister, Venus lost to Angelique Kerber, ending hopes of an ‘all -Williams final’.
It was now time for the final showdown; the final battle for the most prestigious crown in tennis! Serena Williams vs. Angelique Kerber was a final for the history books. Serena was playing for her 22nd Grand Slam, while Angelique hoped to be the next German woman to lift the trophy after Steffi Graf. Graf, I must add, held a special place in the women’s final, for both finalists were either aiming to equal her record or join her as a Grand Slam champion.
Serena held her guard and clinched the title, halting Kerber’s dream for a bit. She has equaled Steffi’s record and with the way she is playing, I think she can add a few more Slams into her pocket, making her possibly, the greatest female tennis player ever.
The men’s final on Sunday saw Andy Murray face Milos Raonic. After watching how Raonic beat Federer in the semi-finals, I thought he’ll go all out with his serves and shot-making in the final. But, alas, that was not meant to be, for Murray enjoyed a straight sets victory against a tired (or probably nervous) Raonic, who somehow failed to find his footing throughout the match.
At the end of two weeks, we saw Andy Murray and Serena Williams emerge as Champions of Wimbledon 2016.
Until next year, here is a goodbye from Wimbledon.

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Namita Kamdar

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