Roger Federer and Serena Williams, who will both turn 31 this year (Roger next month and Serena in September), both proved in London that they’re still forces to be “reckoned with;” both earning an additional Wimbledon crown.
Roger defeated Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 7-3, 6-4 to earn his 7th Wimbledon title (tying Pete Sampras’ record) and record 17th Grand Slam win. Not to mention, Roger regained the #1 ranking from Novak Djokovic, after two years in Rafa and Novak’s shadow. Runner-up Andy Murray became the first Brit in the final since 1938; the last Brit to win the Wimbledon crown was Fred Perry back in 1936.
Serena Williams earned her 5th Wimbledon Singles title (she’s now tied with Venus), her 14th Grand Slam SINGLES Title and 29th Grand Slam Title overall. Serena defeated Agnieszka Radwanska Saturday 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, certainly not a bad performance after losing in the first round of the French Open! (By the way, both French Open Singles Champions fell early at Wimbledon – Rafael Nadal lost in the first round to Lukas Rosol, and Maria Sharapova lost in the 4th round to Sabine Lisicki).
But Serena then went on to win the Wimbledon Doubles Title, as well. She and Venus routinely defeated Czech partners Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-5, 6-4 to win their 5th Wimbledon Doubles Title together. The sisters now own 13 Grand Slam Doubles Titles, and are 13-0 in Grand Slam Doubles Final appearances.
Congrats to Jonathan Marray, he became the first Brit to win a Doubles Title since 1936, defeating Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau with Danish partner Frederik Nielsen 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 6-3. Marray and Nielsen were wild card entries in the tournament.
Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond won the Mixed Doubles title 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 over Leander Paes and Elena Vesnina.
After making it to both the Australian and French Open Finals this year, Bob and Mike lost in the semifinals at Wimbledon. With Mike’s Mixed Doubles win, he earned his 3rd Grand Slam Mixed DOubles title and his 14th Grand Slam Title overall (four shy of his Brother Bob, who has won 7 Mixed Doubles Titles). The Bryan Brothers have won 11 Grand Slam Titles together in 21 Finals appearances.
Lisa Raymond is now a 5-time Mixed Doubles Champion, and 11 time Grand Slam Champion in 22 Grand Slam finals appearances.
This week, the grass season continues in Newport, Rhode Island at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. John Isner will defend his title. There are also clay events in Germany, Croatia and Sweden.
The Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series gets underway a week from today with the Atlanta Tennis Championships. Over seven weeks of hard-court tournaments, both the men and ladies will compete to earn the most points leading up the U.S. Open. Should the top-finisher in the U.S. Open series then go-on to win the 2012 U.S. Open, that player will earn an additional $1-million in prize money. Roger Federer won $1.4-million after winning the U.S. Open in 2007, and because he’d also finished on-top in the U.S. Open Series, he added an additional $1-million to those earnings. $2.4-million is still the biggest paycheck in tennis history.
Obviously, the tennis stakes are high for the remainder of the Summer, because this is also an Olympic year. Wimbledon hosts the 2012 London Games staring July 28th through August 5th.
But wait, there’s more! (AHH!) World Team Tennis starts tonight…with the Sacramento Capitals in Boston to play the Lobsters, the Orange COunty Breakers in Washington to play the defending champion Kastles, and the Kansas City Explorers in Springfield, MO to play the Lasers…
I will be with Don West in Springfield at Mediacom Tennis Stadium for the Laser’s broadcast on MC22, and look forward to seeing John-Laffnie de Jager’s new team featuring: Timea Babos, Devin Britton, Maria Sanchez and Amir Weintraub take on Tetiana Luzhanska, Nick Monroe, Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi and Chanel Simmonds of the Kansas City Explorers. With his partner Julien Rojer, Pakistan’s Qureshi took the current Wimbledon Champions (Marray and Nielsen) 5-sets in the 3rd round at this year’s tournament. Bob and Mike Bryan are Explorers again this year, but won’t be making the trek to Springfield for tonight’s match.
There’s no doubt, it’s going to be a busy Summer for the tennis fan. I look forward to seeing some of my neighbors at the Lasers matches in Springfield, and can’t wait for the start of the 2012 U.S. Open in New York. With all the rain that plagued both Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year – maybe it’s our turn to get a break from Mother Nature. Fingers crossed!