Final thoughts on Wimbledon 2017
Originally published on 16/07/17 00:00
1) Garbine Muguruza loves the big stage
Muguruza has won just two titles in the last three years – Roland Garros and Wimbledon. The 23-year-old struggles to produce her best on a regular basis but she is capable of raising her level at the majors.
The Spaniard is a relentless attacking force when in full flight however she has little to fall back on when her destructive groundstrokes fail to hit the target. She completed her Wimbledon preparations by suffering a humbling 6-1 6-0 defeat to Barbora Strycova in the second round of Eastbourne, and few would have predicted what would follow in SW19.
In her final duel with Venus Williams, Muguruza cracked the ball 6mph harder when staring down break-point or seeking a breakthrough. Her refusal to back down in tight situations is partly why the Spaniard will likely add to her major haul in future years.
2) Rafael Nadal will not win Wimbledon again
The ‘King of Clay’ arrived at the All England Club brimming with confidence after completing ‘La Decima’ in Paris just weeks before. He had not been beyond the quarter-finals at the penultimate Grand Slam of the year since 2011 but injuries had contributed to his woes.
Nadal was irresistible in the first three rounds as he swatted John Millman, Donald Young and Karen Khachanov aside with the minimum of fuss. The first player he encountered with serious weaponry, though, bundled him out the competition.
Gilles Muller ended Nadal’s hopes in five pulsating sets. The Spaniard has always been vulnerable at Wimbledon against big-hitters – especially in the first week when the grass is lush – but he is now unable to aborb the heavy-blows like he once did.
If Nadal was ever going to recapture his best grass-court form again, it was going to happen this year.
3) Andy Murray needs an extended break
Watching the defending champion hobble around Centre Court using his racket as a walking stick was a sorry sight. The world No.1 was in obvious discomfort in his quarter-final defeat to Sam Querrey and he exited the tournament he adores with a whimper.
It’s been a miserable year for Murray and he has been plagued by injury and illness. He still appears to be feeling the effects of a hectic end to the 2016 season and he desperately needs to rest his weary limbs.
It might mean missing the US Open, but it’s time for the 30-year-old to think about the long-term.
4) Johanna Konta shows her quality
The British No.1 was one of the pre-tournament favourites despite only ever winning one main draw match at Wimbledon.
There was enormous pressure on the No.6 seed but she was excellent from the first ball of the championships. The combination of power and precision helped take the 26-year-old to the last four however she came unstuck against a rampant Venus Williams.
It was a valiant effort from Konta and she will have opportunities in the future to lift the iconic Venus Rosewater Dish.
5) Roger Federer wins 8th title easily
Federer is the third man in the Open era to win multiple Grand Slams without conceding a single set. The Swiss previously achieved the feat in 2007 at the Australian Open but few would have believed a 35-year-old could replicate the achievement.
The 19-time major winner dropped serve just four times in the tournament and his longest match was 2 hours and 20 minutes against Tomas Berdych. It was a fortnight of spellbinding tennis from the fleet-footed Swiss and he won an unprecedented 8th title at a canter.
Federer may have been outstanding, but the majority of top players failed to produce their best in SW19. There was an opportunity for a new name to emerge and reach the latter stages, but the youngest competitor in the quarter-finals was 27-year-old, Milos Raonic.