The Brits can exhale a long, deep sigh of relief. Their drought at Wimbledon is finally over.
After knocking on the door last year when he faced Roger Federer, Andy Murray finally broke through by taking care of No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic in the championship of Wimbledon over the weekend.
British players had been on a staggering 77-year drought from winning a title at Wimbledon, making Murray’s victory one to remember for local tennis fans. The raucous crowd was certainly excited to see their countryman raise the trophy at center court.
What might be considered just as appealing is the fashion in which Murray won. He disposed of Djokovic in three straight sets. Djokovic has made a name for himself for finding a knack at staying alive and winning epic five-set matches. Unfortunately for him, despite a surge late in the third and final set, he was unable to get any momentum going to challenge for the title.
Coincidentally, both Djokovic AND Murray had to survive five-set thrillers in order to get to the championship.
Murray battled against Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals after falling down two sets to none. When it looked grim, Murray made his move and downed Verdasco. From then, it appeared to be smooth sailing for the No. 2 player in the world.
For Djokovic, his nemesis was Juan Martin del Potro, who took the top-ranked player into five sets during the semifinals, but Djokovic escaped with the victory.
With a Wimbledon victory FINALLY under his belt, the question remains on what is next for Murray, who was considered among the top four players along with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic. Some say the true mark of a superstar is achieving that elusive No. 1 ranking, which Murray will have to continue chasing Djokovic for.
Federer’s fall from grace?
Roger Federer won at Wimbledon last year, and this year couldn’t have been more of a contrast. Federer fell in the second round already to Sergiy Stakhovsky. After being bounced prematurely from the French Open, Federer is descending in the rankings and now sits at No. 5. For a long time, Federer was among the infamous top four players, a spot now taken by David Ferrer.
Rafa not much better
Before you start ragging on Federer too much, two-time Wimbledon champ Rafael Nadal did not fare much better. In fact, his performance was worse. Nadal fell in the opening round already to the obscure Steve Darcis of Belgium, who took the match 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4. Was the knee injury cropping up again or was Rafa just plain off?
A lot of parity on the women’s side
French player Marion Bartoli took the women’s title, but not before the big guns fell out of the running early. No. 1-ranked Serena Williams fell on Day 7, when she lost to Sabine Lisicki. In hindsight, the loss wasn’t too bad, especially considering the fact that Lisicki reached the finals before being pummeled by first-time champ Bartoli.
No. 2-ranked Maria Sharapova didn’t last long, either, and Victoria Azarenka withdrew because of injury. This set the table for a championship that consisted of two first-timers.