Wimbledon winners and losers: Featuring Andy Murray the pundit and pretenders to the throne
Now that Wimbledon 2018 is done and dusted, it is only right that we look at the winners and losers.
Beating Serena Williams is one thing, but beating her so convincingly in a Grand Slam final is on a completely different level.
After the highs of 2016 came the lows of 2017 when she failed to make it past the fourth round of the four majors, but we can safely say that we are now seeing the Kerber of 2016 again.
While the other top women’s seeds tumbled around her, the German produced steady, if unspectacular, tennis throughout the tournament and dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title.
Kerber has been the most consistent performer in Grand Slams this year as she also reached the Australian Open semi-final and French Open quarter-final.
At the rate she is going, you wouldn’t put it past her doubling up again this year and winning the US Open.
It wasn’t the trophy she was hoping for, but it was damn good to see the American playing in another Grand Slam final following the birth of her daughter.
At Wimbledon she was on point from the word go and this really was the “old Serena”, but we should not forget that this was only her fourth tournament since she returned to competitive tennis.
And perhaps that was telling during the final as she couldn’t really keep up with Kerber, who made her do all the running.
It wasn’t to be in terms of a 24th major trophy, but it was quite clear that the rest of her rivals on the WTA Tour are quivering in their boots.
Heck, Madison Keys even admitted on the back of her shock early exit that she was distracted by a possible clash against Williams.
Much like the “old Serena”, this was the “old Djokovic” we saw at Wimbledon – and that meant he was heavily backed using the Best tennis betting offers.
The Serb’s “me against the world” mentality worked a treat throughout the tournament, but it was especially evident during his third-round victory over British No 1 Kyle Edmund.
When the Centre Court spectators got on his back, that’s when we saw Djokovic at his best and after that he was a completely different player.
He has followed in the footsteps of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal by winning a Slam after spending lengthy periods on the sidelines due to injury.
He is now also up to 13 Grand Slam titles and you expect him to surpass Pete Sampras’ 14 and move into third in the all-time list behind Federer (20) and Nadal (17).
Many thought his run to the 2017 US Open was a fluke, but the South African proved at Wimbledon that he can mix it with the best on his day regularly.
It was the mental strength that helped him to come from two sets down against Roger Federer in the quarter-final and then he had to pull off something special again against John Isner in the semi-final.
Unfortunately he couldn’t do it a third time in the final against Novak Djokovic, but spending more than 20 hours on the court was always going to take its toll.
Anderson is up to a career-high of five in the ATP rankings and there is no reason why he can’t go on another magnificent run at this year’s US Open.
Who knows it could be third time lucky in terms of winning Grand Slam finals.
Andy Murray the BBC pundit
We hope we see him on the tennis courts for years to come, but Andy Murray has a future as a BBC commentator once he hangs up his racket.
His analysis of points and matches were insightful, there was plenty of humour and he even revealed his love for Love Island.
It was a bizarre exit for Federer. He was in total control and had a match point. To lose from there is uncharacteristic and it led to questions about whether or not this the start of the decline.
Of course everyone is hoping he still has a few years of brilliant tennis left in him, but whether we like it not, he will go into decline at some point and it might not be pretty.
For now, though, he is set to return to SW19 in 2019.
With no Murray, it was left to Kyle Edmund to carry the British hopes in the men’s singles while Johanna Konta was leading the pack in the women’s draw.
However, by the end of the first week all the British players had been eliminated in the singles.
Sure Edmund was unfortunate to run into eventual winner Djokovic in the third round, but Konta really is on a steady decline and she has dropped to No 50 in the world.
This could well be taste to life after Murray on the big stage.
Pretenders to the throne
Another Grand Slam, another failure for the next generation.
Alexander Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov, Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios and Denis Shapavolov have all been touted as future major winners, but not one of them made it into the second week at Wimbledon.
Instead it was 33-year-old John Isner and 32-year-old Kevin Anderson leading the battle against the likes of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
It was a massacre in terms of the seeds in the first week at Wimbledon and by the time the quarter-final arrived there were no top-10 seeds left.
Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Garbine Muguruza, Sloane Stephens, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Garcia, Karolina Pliskova and Venus Williams were really not at the races at Wimbledon 2018.
Was it fatigue? Were they just unlucky? No one knows, but it wasn’t a great advert for women’s tennis.
In the end they were “saved” by the fact that England didn’t get to the World Cup final while on Centre Court it wasn’t the Federer-Nadal final that everyone expected.
However, the Wimbledon chiefs did themselves no favours by not being willing to move the gentlemen’s final in order for it not to clash with the World Cup final.
Instead they allowed spectators to use their mobile phones to keep up to date with scores.
Then there was the changing of Serena Williams’ title to “Mrs” Williams following her marriage to Alexis Ohanian.
Even though Williams still hasn’t decided how she wants to be addressed, Wimbledon organisers stuck to their guns and just went with “Mrs. Williams”.
The decision not to move the second semi-final to No 1 Court despite the Anderson-Isner match taking six and a half hours also caused some headache as it meant Djokovic and Nadal had to come back on Saturday.
Tradition is important, but sometimes common sense needs to prevail.
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