The story from Wimbledon: Featuring Emma Raducanu’s debut, Nick Kyrgios’ missing shoes, Novak Djokovic’s brilliance
Wimbledon made a memorable return to the sporting calendar after last year’s Championships were cancelled due to the pandemic.
There were spectators – capacity crowds by the end of the fortnight – to watch some new stars, and some familiar faces, on the lawns of SW19.
Novak Djokovic wrote another chapter of tennis history by winning a sixth title and drawing level with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on 20 Grand Slams.
Ashleigh Barty ended a four-decade wait for an Australian women’s champion with a three-set victory over Karolina Pliskova.
Picture of the tournament
Roger Federer headed into the Wimbledon sunset, maybe for the last time, after his straight-sets quarter-final defeat by Hubert Hurkacz.
Quote of the tournament
Shot of the tournament
Monfils doing Monfils things out there 😲
— ATP Tour (@atptour) June 28, 2021
Gael Monfils. Because, why not?
Star of the tournament
Teenager Emma Raducanu shot to fame on the biggest of stages as she became the youngest British woman to reach the second week. The 18-year-old received messages of support from Liam Gallagher, Marcus Rashford and Prime Minister Boris Johnson during her run to the fourth round. Sadly her brilliant campaign ended when she was forced to withdraw with breathing difficulties during the second set of her clash with Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.
Tweet of the tournament
Get on the Les Dennis tday and get behind Emma Raducanu celestial talent
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) July 5, 2021
Match of the tournament
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 30, 2021
No modern-day Wimbledon feels complete without some late-night Andy Murray drama and the Scot provided it on the first Wednesday. It says a lot about where the two-time champion’s game is now that the rollercoaster 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory did not come against a Djokovic, or a Federer, but a German qualifier – albeit an inspired one – in Oscar Otte. The sight of Murray, 16 years after his Wimbledon debut, dipping into those bottomless reserves of willpower being roared on by a deafening crowd under the roof on Centre Court simply never gets old.
Murray ran into Canadian steamroller Denis Shapovalov in the next round, while there was another third-round exit for Dan Evans, to American youngster Sebastian Korda, and Federer ended Cameron Norrie’s campaign at the same stage. As well as Raducanu there were teenage kicks for Jack Draper, who took the first set off Djokovic in the opening match on Centre before bowing out in four. Katie Boulter gave the second seed and eventual semi-finalist Aryna Sabalenka a real fright, eventually going down in three sets, but there was a tearful first-round exit for Heather Watson, who lost 8-6 in the third to Kristie Ahn.
Villain of the tournament
Wimbledon convention dictates that the women’s fourth-round matches are played earlier on Manic Monday, given the quarter-finals are the following day. But the schedulers put Raducanu third on Court One, after the match between Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alexander Zverev, which predictably went to five sets. Raducanu eventually stepped on to court at around 8pm, which was great for the broadcasters but not for her chances of progressing.
Hero of the tournament
Never change, Nick 😂
— ATP Tour (@atptour) July 3, 2021
Nick Kyrgios completed his unlikely journey from the bad boy of tennis to the darling of Wimbledon. He thrilled Court One with a late night rollercoaster against Ugo Humbert, took advice from the crowd on where to serve on match point against Gianluca Mager, forgot his shoes before facing Augur-Aliassime and delighted Court Two with his fledgling mixed doubles partnership with Venus Williams. Sadly his run in both the singles and doubles was ended by injury, but it sure was fun while it lasted.
Disappointment of the tournament
Serena Williams’ latest bid to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand sSam titles ended prematurely after she suffered an injury in her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. The slippery surface was a feature of the first week of the Championships and Williams was the highest-profile victim as she fell awkwardly and hurt her ankle, forcing her to retire from the match.
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