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Reflections on Wimbledon 2018 – a year of shocks and surprises

After a drama-filled and sunny tournament, we look at some of the main talking points from this year at the All England Club. 

NEW YORK- SEPTEMBER 6, 2016: Twelve times Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia in action during his quarterfinal match at US Open 2016 at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York

Longest Men’s semi-final in history

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson broke records beating the US’s John Isner in six hours forty minutes, making this year’s semi-final the longest in history. The winner of such an epic was always going to have a tough time in the semi-final. Anderson had very little time to gather himself and rest to face his opponent in the final and when this happens to be none other than Novak Djokovic, you can only be on your best form.

A tenacious final once Anderson found his form

It was hard not to feel a little sorry for Djokovic on Sunday, with the crowd firmly behind Anderson. The Serb’s popularity has been in flux the past few years and despite his 13 Grand Slam title wins, he has never quite achieved the same level of likability as Nadal or Federer. Despite this, he came through to win in straight sets, though Anderson found his drive and adrenalin in the third and final set, putting on a nail-biting performance for Centre Court. His normal weapon, (a serve that can hit up to 155mph), was not on his side and Djokovic was able to use the fact that he’d rested a day more than Anderson to his advantage. One thing that will certainly stand out in this final though will be the jovial screams coming from Djokovic’s three-year-old son Stefan in the stands, who stole hearts, cheering on his father as he won the tournament.

Kerber triumphs over a hindered Williams

The endearing Angelique Kerber was able to take advantage of a mistake-ridden game played by Serena Williams in the Women’s final on Saturday, though how the American force of nature managed to reach the final after very recently becoming a mum was admirable and incomprehensibly impressive – an inspiration to all mums out there. Kerber is the first German woman to win the title since her hero Steffi Graf in 1996.

Shock exits – should Wimbledon change their game? 

There were a few shock exits at the start of the tournament, with so many seeds being defeated so early on. In the women’s draw, only one of the top ten seeds remained by day three, with names like Venus Williams, Madison Keys and Simona Halep being beaten early on.

In the men’s draw, sisxteen seeds made it through to the third round, the lowest number since 2003 when this number was fifteen. It is thought that ‘false’ rankings have been a significant contributor to this, as when players return from injury, they have fallen down the rankings and are left to face high-seeded players to whom they are very likely to lose. One such example was Grigor Dimitrov (seeded 6), playing three-time Grand Slam winner- Stan Wawrinka (seeded 224) in the first round, resulting in huge contender Dimitrov crashing out of the competition so early. Should the LTA decide to address this, we could be looking at history that could change the sport forever.

Looking ahead to the US Open

Andy Murray is expected to return from injury in time for the US Open, though we’ve seen just how difficult it can be to find form again after injury whilst following the rehabilitation of Novak Djokovic. Djokovic has won the US Open twice before and is expected to stay on track. His new position of 10th in the rankings will surely give him the confidence to climb back up to a position that reflects his outstanding abilities and maybe this is his moment to show us the personality he has sometimes lacked on court in the past.

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