There were two deserving champions at Wimbledon this year – Serena Williams and Andy Murray.
Both were challenged along the way: Williams in the second round by fellow-American Christina McHale who pushed her to 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-4 and Murray by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who took him to 7-6(10), 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1 in the quarter-finals.
In the finals both executed at a superior level against quality opponents as Williams beat Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3 and Murray downed Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(2).
There was disappointment for Raonic after his loss but no shame as he played his first Wimbledon and first Grand Slam final against a man who was playing in his 11th, and his fourth major final at Wimbledon if you count the 2012 Olympics at the All England Club.
Raonic had two character-building wins on his way to the final – his first-ever comeback from a two-sets deficit against David Goffin in the quarter-finals and then his first ‘Big Four’ victory in a Grand Slam by rallying to oust Roger Federer in five sets in the semifinals.
It was a fine fortnight for him and will certainly peak interest in how he performs at Rogers Cup in Toronto in two weeks and longer term at the Olympics and the 2016 US Open.
It was an up-and-down Wimbledon for Genie Bouchard (pictured above while playing Dominika Cibulkova in the third round.) She had an encouraging 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 victory in Centre Court over No. 19-ranked Johanna Konta in the second round before losing to arguably the hottest player in the tournament, Dominka Cibulkova (until she ran out of gas in the quarter-finals against Elena Vesnina following a 9-7 in the third-set win over Agnieszka Radwanska in the round-of-16) by a 6-4, 6-3 score.
The good news for Bouchard is her ranking moved up from No. 48 to No. 40 and strong results over the summer could get her a Top 32 seed at the US Open.
It was a tough Wimbledon for Vasek Pospisil – defending 360 quarter-finalist points from 2015, he was beaten 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round by Albert Ramos Vinolas and his ranking dropped 55 points from No. 44 to No. 99. He says he’s feeling that his game is about to break out and that would certainly be timely because he has close to 200 points to defend from four summer events last year – Atlanta, Washington, Montreal (Rogers Cup) and Cincinnati – heading into the 2016 US Open.
Playing in a mind-boggling 22nd Wimbledon, Daniel Nestor reached the second round with British partner Dominic Inglot where they were beaten 7-6(0), 6-4 by eventual runners-up Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France.
But the 43-year-old Nestor, with Inglot, did win the pre-Wimbledon ATP 250 event in Nottingham to push his record of at least one title a year to a remarkable 23 years.
And he is back up to No. 11 in the doubles ranking – just 30 points (4730 to 4700) behind No. 10 Horia Tecau. The irony here is that a No. 10 ranking back on June 6th would have gotten him into Rio, which would have been the sixth Olympic Games of his career.
Like Nestor, Gabriela Dabrowski won a pre-Wimbledon grass-court event. She and partner Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain captured the title at the WTA International series tournament in Mallorca. At Wimbledon, after beating Genie Bouchard and Sabine Lisicki in straight sets, Dabrowski and the nearly 34-year-old Martinez Sanchez were ousted 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 in a close second-round match by the Spanish duo of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja.
They are a pair of thirty-somethings and were the surprise of the men’s doubles tournament at Wimbledon. Knocking off defending champions Horia Tecau and Jean-Julien Rojer in the first round, Adil Shamasdin, 34, and his British partner Jonathan Marray, 35, reached the quarter-finals where they were beaten by Treat Huey of the Philippines and Belorussian veteran Max Mirnyi.
Shamasdin moved his ranking up from No. 117 to No. 85 and his share of the team prize money was a healthy 22,000 pounds – or $37,000 Can.
Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., won the Wimbledon junior boys title with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory in the final on Sunday over Alex De Minaur of Australia.
If it hadn’t been for a case of nerves in the opening set of the final against the 17-year-old Australian, Shapovalov, 17, would probably have won more convincingly. Seeded No. 5, his toughest test was in the semifinals – a 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 win over top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas after the Greek served for the match at 6-5 in the second set.
A rangy, 6-foot lefthander, Shapovalov has a single-handed backhand and an aggressive game from the baseline. He is also a good volleyer and has a combative, confident match-playing temperament. It will be interesting to follow his transition to the pro tour where he already has an ATP ranking of No. 372. His ATP debut is next week in Washington at the ATP 500 CITI Open.
Shapovalov and partner, 15-year-old Félix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal, were unable to repeat their victory at the 2015 US Open junior boys event, losing the Wimbledon final on Sunday 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to Kenneth Raisma of Estonia and Tsitsipas of Greece.
Shapovalov was playing his sixth set of the day on No. 1 Court and later said he was a little fatigued and blamed himself for not being as sharp as he should have been in the final set.
It was a tough loss for Auger-Aliassime but some consolation for Tsitsipas who was the top seed at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in singles and was beaten in both places by Shapovalov.
Here are a bunch of fun pictures that didn’t make it into the blogs from Wimbledon.
This was a total fluke shot. Genie Bouchard was practicing on the Aorangi courts on a lower court behind a fence on the Saturday before Wimbledon and this picture was supposed to be of her – until Ernests Gulbis popped into the frame!
Nick Kyrgios is very popular with many young tennis fans. This is how he looked practicing at Aorangi just before Wimbledon 2016 began.
There was quite a kerfuffle about the Nike dress that Genie Bouchard and several other players wore at Wimbledon this year. Here’s what happens to it when Bouchard really throws herself into a shot.
The guest list for the Royal Box is made available to the media every day – here’s what the list looked like on Sunday as Milos Raonic met Andy Murray in the men’s singles final.
French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza and coach Sam Sumyk were on court working together on the Saturday before Wimbledon. They had some sort of disagreement (below) – and that led to a rather abrupt end of their practice session.
(More Wimbledon pictures next week.)
There’s an OXFAM second-hand shop in Wimbledon Village and this card was one of the best on sale there during the Wimbledon fortnight.