Novak Djokovic won his Record-breaking 20th major title and Ashleigh Barty made her childhood a dream becomes true by taking home her first Wimbledon trophy. It was a monumental tournament for both players, who are currently number 1 in the world rankings, and an eventful 14-day event at the All England Club.
We learned that from the third major of the year – and what we can look forward to at the Olympic Games and the US Open.
Make way, Roger and Rafa
The GOAT race is on officially on.
Federer greeted him at the elusive club shortly after the game.
Congratulations Novak on your 20th major. I am proud to have the opportunity to play tennis champions in a special era. Wonderful performance, well done!
– Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) July 11, 2021
After winning, Djokovic credited the two for making him the player he is today.
“I have to pay a big tribute to Rafa and Roger,” said Djokovic. “They are legends of our sport and they are the two most important players I have ever met in my career … They have helped me to see what I have to do to improve, mentally, physically and tactically to be stronger become.”
Now it’s up to one of the Big Three to stand out with a record-breaking major title No. 21. What does that mean exactly for Djokovic?
“That means that neither of the three of us will quit,” said Djokovic with a laugh. “That’s what I think it means.”
But it seems Djokovic will be the group’s favorite as he is still in his prime and Federer and Nadal have shown signs of vulnerability lately.
While he said his status for the Olympic Games remains undeterminedThere is a considerable amount of history to be written when Djokovic goes. A gold medal would take him a major away from finishing the Golden Slam – something that only Steffi Graf could manage. It’s also one of the few remaining titles he has yet to win. In 2008 he took home a bronze medal, but never made it to the Olympic final in three appearances.
No matter what he decides or how he feels when he makes up his mind, Djokovic takes part in the US Open with the chance to complete the calendar slam and join Rod Laver (1968) as the only man in the Open era who accomplishes such a feat. Graf (1988) and Margaret Court (1970) are the only women who made it. In 2015, Serena Williams won the first three majors but lost in the semifinals in New York.
So, yes, Djokovic will have a number of ways to cement his name on the record books during the remainder of the 2021 season – and beyond – to bolster his case for the best of all time.
“I hold myself [the] and I think I’m the best, otherwise I wouldn’t confidently win over slams and make history, “said Djokovic on Sunday.” But whether I’m the greatest of all time or not, I’ll leave this debate to “other people.”
Knocking on the door
While Djokovic is still the man to beat and has been the most dominant player on every surface this season, he has met three opponents in his grand final this year who are not called Federer or Nadal and who all showed highlights to have.
Berrettini, 25, stunned Djokovic by winning the first set on Sunday after initially falling into a 5-2 hole. Stefanos TsitsipasThe 22-year-old won the first two sets against Djokovic in the final at Roland Garros. Daniil MedvedevThe 25-year-old didn’t achieve his best level in the final of the Australian Open, but he has now reached two big finals and has taken number 2 in the ranking this year. Including a handful of other young players, including Wimbledon semi-finalists Denis Shapovalov and Hubert Hurkacz, the next generation seems to be facing a breakthrough in the near future.
Matteo Berrettini makes a comeback to take Novak Djokovic’s first set.
After Djokovic said Federer and Nadal made him a better player, seven-time major champion and ESPN analyst John McEnroe speculated that someone like Berrettini could learn a similar lesson from Sunday’s defeat.
“Can he look at someone like Djokovic and learn what to do to improve?” McEnroe asked on the broadcast. “The way Novak learned from Roger and Rafa – that is the key. Which players will rise and understand what it takes and ” to do what it takes? “
Players under 30 are a combined 0-8 in the major final against the Big Three, but nothing lasts forever, right?
After suffering a hip injury ahead of the French Open and having to give up her second round match at Roland Garros, expectations for Barty, the world number 1, were dampened ahead of Wimbledon. She spoke openly about how much the title would mean to her – she even wore a scallop-hem skirt to round 50 at the All England Club and needed three sentences in her opener against Carla Suarez Navarro.
However, as the tournament progressed, Barty’s level rose to claim her second major title and first at Wimbledon with a 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova on Saturday.
how it started: how it works: pic.twitter.com/CBkVRuxYgS
– Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 10, 2021
“To be successful here at Wimbledon, to make my greatest dream come true, was absolutely incredible,” said Barty after the win. “The stars have aligned for me in the last fortnight. Incredible that it falls on the 50th anniversary of Evonne’s first title here too.”
Barty, who expanded her dominant position in the top ranking with the win, is one of three women who have won several Grand Slam titles since the beginning of the 2017 season, alongside Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep. While Osaka has proven she’s the best hard court player on tour, Barty could have joined her in the upper echelons of the WTA elite with her all-surface skills. She will certainly be in conversation with the candidates for the Olympic Games and the US Open.
Do you expect the unexpected … or not?
On paper, it wouldn’t be surprising that the No. 1 seeds win the Wimbledon title. Also, three seeded players, including two in the top 10 and a former champion, would not reach the semi-finals. But women’s tennis has been defying expectations lately, and unpredictable competitors have become a common topic. Just last month there were four first-time major semi-finalists at the French Open.
What can we take away from returning to the expected at All England Club and what does it mean for the future?
Probably not much.
While the depth in women’s football is unparalleled and there is more parity and chance for surprises, the top women always have the best chance of holding their own. Not to mention, in the nearly two years after the event was canceled and the 2020 turf season, very few had the opportunity to play on the turf, which makes the Tour veterans’ experience all the more valuable during the fortnight.
It will be fascinating to see who gets promoted – and who doesn’t – during the US Open hard court series and the final major of the year. Angelique Kerber, who lost to Barty in the semifinals, said any event was wide open at the time.
“[In] Women’s tennis, I think there is such a great opportunity for everyone, “said Kerber after her quarter-final victory.” Regardless of the tournament, you have to be ready from the first round. “
Father time remains undefeated
Serena Williams and Roger Federer both entered the tournament with high hopes and expectations. Many considered Wimbledon to be the best chance the 39-year-old couple had of winning another major, having played several of their titles over the years (seven for Williams, eight for Federer).
No one went away with the desired result.
Williams slipped during her first round game and injured his right leg. She had to retire out of the match at 3 All in the first set and left the pitch in tears after sharing an emotional moment with the audience. Federer, who took part in his fifth event for over a year after two knee operations, made it to the quarter-finals before falling in straight sets against Hurkacz, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0. Williams didn’t speak to the media after her disappointing exit, but Federer did, and he was candid when asked if this was his last Wimbledon.
“I don’t know,” said Federer. “I really do not know it. I had to regroup. … I am actually very happy that I made it here and that I was actually able to play Wimbledon at the level that I have achieved after everything I’ve been through.
“Of course I would like to play it again, but at my age you just never know what’s coming up.”
Federer is still listed as part of the Swiss team for the Olympics but was non-committal after his defeat and said he needed time to make up his mind. Williams announced not to play before Wimbledon.
Now there are more questions than answers for both players, starting with: Where will they play next? And how much longer will we see these two legends competing?
It was a full rush!
Center Court held out capacity from the quarterfinals, making Wimbledon the first major since the pandemic began. Needless to say, it was a welcome sight – and sound – for gamers and those watching at home. Djokovic called the atmosphere “electric” during the finale.
“I love playing here,” said Jabeur. “I love the energy. I always say the UK audience is great. Even if you play a UK girl, they are always happy but respectful to support what is great here. I love that about them.
“I love how the center is [Court] was full. I love how people encourage both sides. I think Wimbledon is one of my favorite Grand Slams right now. “
The Olympics recently announced that no spectators will be admitted, but the US Open expect 100% of the capacity for the duration of the tournament. It is the first Grand Slam that has been fully attended since the Australian Open 2020. The US Open 2020 had no fans on site.
Next stop: Tokyo
The next event for many gamers is the pandemic delayed Tokyo Olympics. A number of stars are eliminated including Williams, Halep, Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Sofia Kennina and Nick Kyrgios, but the nine-day competition will continue to be packed with big names and highlight-worthy tennis in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
Andy Murraywho reached the third round at Wimbledon, is the reigning gold medalist in the men’s singles and will try to defend his title. Monica Puig, the champion in women’s singles, will not play after shoulder surgery. All four women’s semi-finalists at Wimbledon and three of the four men are due to participate.
While Djokovic’s attempt for the Golden Slam at the Games will get a fair share of tennis attention if he chooses to leave, Osaka’s return to competition after retiring before her second round match at the French Open and skipping Wimbledon will be another headline generator.
Since she won her first major title at the US Open in 2018, Osaka has been considered one of the biggest stars to watch out for in the Olympics as she represents Japan. And although almost two months have passed since her last game, she remains a medal favorite as the event takes place on a hard court.
Singles and doubles start on July 24th, mixed doubles on July 28th. The medal games take place from July 30th to August 1st.