Djokovic Wins Record-Equalling 20th Grand Slam And Sixth Wimbledon Title

Serbia's Novak Djokovic speaks as he holds the winner's trophy after beating Italy's Matteo Berrettini during their men's singles final match on the thirteenth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 11, 2021. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic speaks as he holds the winner’s trophy after beating Italy’s Matteo Berrettini during their men’s singles final match on the thirteenth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 11, 2021.
Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Novak Djokovic won a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title and sixth Wimbledon on Sunday with a four-set victory over Italian slugger Matteo Berrettini with rival superstar Roger Federer hailing the achievement as a “wonderful performance”.

The world number one triumphed 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to move level on 20 majors with Federer and Rafael Nadal.

His win also put him three-quarters of the way to the first calendar Grand Slam of all four majors since 1969.

“I could definitely envisage that happening and I hope I will give it a shot. I’m in great form and played well and having my best form at Grand Slams is my number one priority,” said Djokovic.

A sixth victory at the All England Club for Djokovic, who was playing in his 30th final at the Slams, added to his nine Australian Opens, two Roland Garros titles as well as three at the US Open.

Should he win a fourth title in New York in September, he will become just the third man in history after Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) to complete the calendar Grand Slam.

“It was more than a battle. He is a true Italian hammer I felt it on my skin,” said Djokovic of Berrettini.

Of sharing the record with Federer and Nadal, he said: “It means none of us three will stop. Roger and Rafa are legends, they are the reason I am where I am today.

“They showed me what I needed to do to get stronger, physically, tactically and mentally. Over the last 10 years it has been an incredible journey that’s not stopping here.”

Federer — who bowed out in the quarter-finals while Nadal did not play — tweeted his congratulations.

“Congrats Novak on your 20th major,” said Federer, an eight-time champion at Wimbledon.

Federer praise

“I’m proud to have the opportunity to play in a special era of tennis champions. Wonderful performance, well done.”

Djokovic also now has 85 career titles while he has become the first man to break the $150 million prize money barrier.

A gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics could give him the first ever Golden Grand Slam by a male player.

“Novak is a great champion, he is writing history on this court,” said Berrettini.

Djokovic overcame a nervy start to break for 3-1, which he stretched to 5-2.

He even had a set point in a marathon eighth game which the Italian saved after eight deuces.

Reinvigorated, he broke Djokovic when he served for the set and then dominated the tiebreaker which he sealed with his fourth ace of the contest.

The top seed stormed to a 5-1 lead in the second set on the back of a double break.

Berrettini, bidding to be Italy’s first men’s Grand Slam winner since Adriano Panatta at the 1976 French Open, clawed his way back to 4-5, saving three set points, but Djokovic this time served it out for a set apiece.

Djokovic struck first again for a 2-1 lead in the third set and fought off three break points in the sixth game, a show of defiance which brought watching Hollywood star Tom Cruise to his feet.

That was Berrettini’s last chance of the set as Djokovic served it out in the 10th game.

A weary Berrettini then served up a double fault on break point to hand Djokovic a 4-3 lead in the fourth set.

Djokovic kept coming, sprinting from the back of the court to pull off a wondrous pick-up and he held on for 5-3.

Berrettini, hoping to be Italy’s first singles champion at Wimbledon, saved two championship points in the eighth game.

But he was powerless on the third as Djokovic swept to his place in history.

“It is not the end, it is the beginning for me,” said Berrettini.

“Without my family, friends, and team all this would not have been possible so I just say Grazie Grazie.”

AFP

Ashleigh Barty Beats Pliskova To Win First Wimbledon Title

Australia's Ashleigh Barty kisses the winner's Venus Rosewater Dish trophy after winning her women's singles match against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova on the twelfth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2021. Glyn KIRK / AFP
Australia’s Ashleigh Barty kisses the winner’s Venus Rosewater Dish trophy after winning her women’s singles match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova on the twelfth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2021. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Ashleigh Barty won her first Wimbledon title on the 50th anniversary of fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s maiden crown, beating Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 in the final on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Australian — who wore a specially-designed dress in tribute to Cawley’s iconic scallop one she sported in 1971 — adds the Wimbledon crown to her 2019 French Open title.

“It took me a long time to verbalise, to dare to dream it and say it,” said Barty, who was also fulfilling a childhood dream.

“I didn’t sleep a lot last night, I was thinking of all the what-ifs. I hope I made Evonne proud.”

It was the first women’s Wimbledon final to go to three sets since 2012 when Serena Williams beat Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska.

Barty is also the first top seed to win the women’s title since Williams in 2016.

Barty had looked like cruising to victory after soaring into a 4-0 lead over her opponent — the Australian’s start so blistering that she won the first 14 points.

However, 29-year-old Pliskova steadied herself while Barty faltered when she served for the match at 6-5 in the second set.

The Czech broke and then swept the tiebreaker to take the final into a decider.

Barty got the break for 2-0 in the final set and despite one or two wobbles she got herself over the line sinking to her knees, her hands over her face in disbelief.

Australia's Ashleigh Barty celebrates winning against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova during their women's singles final match on the twelfth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2021. AELTC / Simon Bruty / POOL / AFP
 Barty celebrates winning against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova during their women’s singles final match on the twelfth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2021.
AELTC / Simon Bruty / POOL / AFP

 

She wiped a couple of tears away before climbing up to the player’s box, just like her compatriot Pat Cash did when he won the Wimbledon men’s title in 1987.

Victory would taste sweeter too as only last month she retired from the French Open in the second round due to a left hip injury.

“This is incredible,” said Barty, the third Australian woman to be crowned Wimbledon singles champion in the Open era (Cawley and Margaret Court (1970) the others).

“I have to start with Kaja (Karolina Pliskova).

“Congratulations on an incredible tournament to you and your team. I love testing myself against you and I’m sure we’ll have many many matches.”

‘I never cry..now’

Barty is masterful at remaining poker-faced on court and she managed to restrain her emotions largely at the presentation ceremony.

However, once off court she sobbed as she hugged her boyfriend Gary Kissick.

For Pliskova, it was more heartbreak as the former world number one fell at the final hurdle in three sets in the 2016 US Open final.

At one point with Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise looking on it looked feasible, though, that she could pull off mission impossible in winning the title.

However, her previously superb weapon — her serve that had only been broken four times prior to the final — deserted her when she most needed it.

So did her emotions as Pliskova — the fourth Czech woman to appear in a Wimbledon singles final in the Open era — spoke after receiving the runner-up trophy.

Her tears, though, did not compare to those shed by her late compatriot Jana Novotna when she lost in the 1993 final and had to be consoled by the Duchess of Kent.

Perhaps of some consolation to Pliskova is Novotna picked herself up after that defeat and won the title in 1998.

“I never cry, never, and now,” said Pliskova stepping back a bit.

“I want to say Ash [Barty] played an incredible tournament, I fought to make it difficult for her but she played very well so congrats to her.

“I want to thank all my team. All the success goes to them, without them I would not be here, and my family of course.

“No matter which trophy I have we have had an incredible two weeks here.”

Djokovic Reaches 50th Grand Slam Quarter-final

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning against Chile’s Cristian Garin during their men’s singles fourth round match on the seventh day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 5, 2021. PHOTO: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Novak Djokovic reached his 50th Grand Slam quarter-final on Monday with a straight-set victory over Chile’s Cristian Garin at Wimbledon.

World number one Djokovic eased into the last-eight at the All England Club for the 12th time, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, and will face Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics for a place in the semi-finals.

“Confidence levels are very high after winning the French Open,” said Djokovic.

“It was one of my biggest wins in the circumstances — two five-setters, two four-setters in the second week.

“They took a lot out of me but they also gave me wings.

READ ALSO: England Ready To End Semi-Final Jinx At Euro 2020, Says Southgate

“The further I go in the tournament, the more comfortable I feel and I look forward to the next challenge.”

Djokovic, chasing a sixth Wimbledon crown and a record-equalling 20th major title, is halfway to a calendar Grand Slam.

Only two men have swept all four majors in the same year with Rod Laver the most recent back in 1969.

Djokovic broke serve five times on Monday and hit 28 winners, twice as many as his 17th-seeded Chilean opponent.

Fucsovics became just the third Hungarian man and first in 73 years to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

The 29-year-old, ranked at 48 in the world, defeated Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.

Fucsovics blasted 41 winners past Rublev as he reached his first quarter-final at the Slams.

He is only the third Hungarian man in history to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon after Bela von Kehrling (1929) and Jozsef Asboth (1948).

AFP

Federer Marches Into Wimbledon Fourth Round For 18th time

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Britain's Cameron Norrie during their men's singles third round match on the sixth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 3, 2021. Ben STANSALL / AFP
Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Britain’s Cameron Norrie during their men’s singles third round match on the sixth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 3, 2021. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Roger Federer moved into the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the 69th time on Saturday, overcoming a raucous home crowd and the last British man in the draw Cameron Norrie in an entertaining 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 win at Wimbledon.

Federer kept his dream alive of a record-extending ninth singles title.

On the women’s side, Australia’s world number one Ashleigh Barty will hope to follow suit as she bids to add the Wimbledon title to the 2019 French Open crown.

The 25-year-old needs to reassure her fans on Saturday she can win the title on the 50th anniversary of fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s first Wimbledon crown.

Victory over 64th-ranked Katerina Siniakova, who is in the last 32 for the third time in her career, will pitch her into a fourth round clash with French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova.

Krejcikova has been under the radar but battled through to the Last 16 beating Anastasija Sevastova of Lativa 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 7-5.

Federer said this Wimbledon held special significance for him.

“I hope there is a little bit more left in me as this one is special for it is the last slam before I hit the big 40,” said Federer, the third oldest man to reach the Last 16 in the Open era.

Norrie follows two-time champion Andy Murray and British number one Dan Evans in exiting in the third round.

Federer’s half of the draw looks more treacherous than defending champion Novak Djokovic’s with two of the younger generation Daniil Medvedev and Germany’s Alexander Zverev potentially lurking further down the line.

‘It’s disgraceful’

Second seed Medvedev faces 2017 Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic seeking to join Zverev in the fourth round.

Zverev ended big-serving Taylor Fritz’s impressive campaign — 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) — given he exited the French Open in a wheelchair due to a knee injury.

The match of the day on the men’s side was a damp squib as fiery Aussie entertainer Nick Kyrgios retired with an abdominal injury tied at one set all with stylish Canadian 16th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The maverick that is Kyrgios did not have the best of starts as he had left his shoes in the locker room.

“One minute I thought I was professional, got my racket, got my clothes, walked out here so confidently and then bang, I forget my shoes in the locker,” said Kyrgios on court before the match.

Despite the disappointing end to his singles campaign — his mixed doubles campaign with Venus Williams must be in doubt — the 26-year-old said he had rediscovered his love of the sport.

“Coming out here (Court One) and having this support has given me a second wind,” he said.

Barty is quite the opposite to her compatriot rarely showing her emotions on court however she is playing.

She takes the positives from her ability to scrap it out and win against Anna Blinkova in the second round.

“You have those days where some days you feel like you’re eight-foot-tall and can’t miss the box,” she said.

“Other days you feel like you’re three-foot-nothing, just getting over the net is a bit of a battle.

“That’s half the battle in sport, is being able to find a way when it’s not feeling all that great.”

Were Barty to stay in three foot mode then either Coco Gauff or 2018 champion Angelique Kerber could benefit.

Gauff and Kerber will meet in the last 16 after the American teenager breezed past Slovenian Kaja Juvan while the German had a tough three-setter against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.

Gauff is not the only teenager making her mark at Wimbledon this year.

Britain’s Canada-born 18-year-old Emma Raducanu, who moved with her Romanian father and Chinese mother to England aged two, produced a brilliant display to beat the experienced Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-3, 7-5.

Raducanu — the world number 338 at the start of the Championships — only sat her school leaving exams in April.

She next faces Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic who accused her opponent Jelena Ostapenko of “lying” when she took a medical time-out at 0-4 down in the final set of their third round clash on Saturday.

“I think it’s disgraceful behaviour from someone that is a Slam champion,” said the Australian who completed a three-set win.

 

AFP

Murray Gives Brits A Lift With First Wimbledon Singles Win Since 2017

Britain’s Andy Murray serves against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili during their men’s singles first round match on the first day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 28, 2021. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

 

 

Two-time champion Andy Murray won his first Wimbledon singles match since 2017 on Monday with a four-set triumph over Nikoloz Basilashvili and hailed the Centre Court crowd which carried him to victory.

Murray, the champion in 2013 and 2016 but who has fought a long battle with hip and groin injuries in recent years, triumphed 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 over the 24th seeded Basilashvili.

“It has been extremely tough, even in the last few months,” said 34-year-old Murray.

“It was not the most serious of injuries but it was frustrating not to be able to get on the court.

 

Britain’s Andy Murray reacts after winning the first set against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili during their men’s singles first round match on the first day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 28, 2021. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

 

“I have had so little momentum over the last few years but kept on going to the gym and trying to get back to do it again.”

Now ranked a lowly 118 in the world, former number one Murray will face either Oscar Otte of Germany or France’s Arthur Rinderknech for a place in the last 32.

His last appearance in the singles tournament at Wimbledon four years ago ended in a five-set loss to Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals.

A long-standing hip problem, which required surgery, then pushed him tearfully to the brink of retirement.

 

Britain’s Andy Murray returns against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili during their men’s singles first round match on the first day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 28, 2021. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

 

It was a roller-coaster evening for Murray who let slip a 5-0 lead and two match points in the third set.

That led to a delay in proceedings to allow for the Centre Court roof to close.

But Murray broke in the first game of the fourth set to send him on his way to victory.

“There was some fatigue there and I was just trying to just sort of not get too amped up or too hyped up,” he said.

“The crowd definitely were into it. I think people are just desperate to be out watching sports or going to the theatre, whatever — people just want to go out and do stuff and have a good time.

“I realised the last 18 months not to take moments like that for granted. You know, enjoy those things that we love doing.

“I think everyone was into it today. It was a really good atmosphere, and it didn’t feel like the crowd was half full.”

 

Britain’s Andy Murray celebrates after beating Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili in their men’s singles first round match on the first day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 28, 2021. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

 

Wimbledon, which was cancelled last year, is operating at just 50% capacity until the finals weekend when 15,000 people can attend the championship matches.

Three-time major winner and back-to-back Olympic gold medallist Murray said he intends to keep playing.

“I keep on being asked will it be my last match or my last Wimbledon,” he said.

“I don’t know why I keep on being asked. I want to keep on playing. I enjoy it and I can still play at the highest level.

“Basilashvili is ranked 28 in the world and I beat him.”

Basilashvili was generous in defeat.

“It’s an unbelievable effort for him after surgery, after so many comebacks to come back and fight,” he said.

“He fights unbelievably, and I was expecting that. We all know that how big a fighter he is on court.”

Osaka Withdraws From Wimbledon, Eyes Tokyo Olympics

In this file photograph taken on February 20, 2021, Japan’s Naomi Osaka reacts after a point against Jennifer Brady of the US during their women’s singles final match on day thirteen of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. Paul CROCK / AFP

 

Japanese star Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon, her agent confirmed Thursday, weeks after the world number two pulled out of the French Open citing her struggle with depression and anxiety.  

“Naomi won’t be playing Wimbledon this year,” Osaka’s agent Stuart Duguid said in an email to AFP. “She is taking some personal time with friends and family.

“She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans.”

On Wednesday, Wimbledon organisers said the 23-year-old four-time Grand Slam champion was expected to take part in the championships, which start on June 28.

“At this point in time she’s entered into the championships and we haven’t received confirmation that she won’t compete,” All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said.

Osaka has been in the spotlight since withdrawing from the French Open.

She was fined $15,000 and threatened with disqualification from Roland Garros after she refused to honour mandatory media commitments.

French Open organisers protested that they had treated her with “care and respect” after they were accused of being heavy-handed.

Osaka lost in the third round of Wimbledon in 2017 and 2018 and bowed out in the first round in 2019. Last year’s tournament was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Earlier Thursday, two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal also announced he would be skipping this year’s tournament as well as the Olympics in order “to prolong my career”.

Wimbledon is the second tournament Osaka has withdrawn from since abandoning her French Open campaign after one match.

She also withdrew from a WTA tournament in Berlin following Roland Garros.

READ ALSO: Christian Eriksen: Denmark Midfielder To Have Defibrillator Implanted Following Cardiac Arrest

: Naomi Osaka of Japan wears a protective face mask with the name, Ahmaud Arbery stenciled on it after winning her Women's Singles third round match against Marta Kostyuk of the Ukraine on Day Five of the 2020 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 04, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP
File photo: Naomi Osaka of Japan wears a protective face mask with the name, Ahmaud Arbery stenciled on it after winning her Women’s Singles third round match against Marta Kostyuk of the Ukraine on Day Five of the 2020 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 04, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP

 

The Japanese star is expected to be one of the faces of the Tokyo Olympics, where she will be targeting a gold medal for the hosts.

Osaka is one of the most exciting talents to emerge in women’s tennis in recent years, and had already won four Grand Slam titles — the 2018 and 2020 US Opens and the 2019 and 2021 Australian Opens.

Osaka, whose father is Haitian, has also been a prominent social activist.

Last year during her victorious US Open campaign, she wore customised face masks onto the court before each game bearing the names of African-American victims of racial injustice.

However she startled the tennis world on the eve of the French Open by announcing she would not participate in tournament press conferences.

She later revealed that mental health issues were behind the decision as she pulled out of the tournament saying she did not want “to be a distraction.”

“The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that,” she explained.

AFP

 

 

Wimbledon Cancelled Due To Coronavirus – Organisers

Victoria Azarenka, Wimbledon, serena williams

 

Wimbledon chiefs on Wednesday cancelled the Grand Slam tournament for the first time since World War II as the coronavirus wreaks further havoc on the global sporting calendar.

“It is with great regret that the main board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the committee of management of the Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” the organisers said in a statement.

The cancellation of the only grasscourt Grand Slam tournament leaves the tennis season in disarray.

All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt said the decision had not been taken lightly.

“It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by world wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships.”

READ ALSO: COVID-19: UEFA Postpones All International Matches Scheduled For June

The decision also prompted the ATP and WTA to cancel the grass court swing in the build-up to Wimbledon meaning the tennis season will not now recommence until July 13 at the earliest.

AFP

Djokovic Beats Federer To Win Fifth Wimbledon Title

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates beating Switzerland’s Roger Federer during their men’s singles final on day thirteen of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 14, 2019.
Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Defending champion Novak Djokovic claimed his fifth Wimbledon title on Sunday beating eight-time champion Roger Federer 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 13-12 (7/3) in the longest ever final and settled by a historic tie-break.

The 32-year-old Serbian saved two match points as he took his Grand Slam tally to 16, four off Federer’s overall record.

Djokovic’s victory extends to 11 successive Grand Slams won by the big three, himself, Federer and Rafael Nadal.

READ ALSO: Wimbledon Men’s Final – Five Facts

At 4 hours and 57 minutes, it was the longest final at Wimbledon.

Stan Wawrinka was the last player outside the trio to win a Grand Slam, the 2016 US Open beating Djokovic.

The last player to win a Grand Slam aged under 30 was Andy Murray, who won the 2016 Wimbledon title aged 29.

AFP

Wimbledon Men’s Final – Five Facts

 

 

Five facts on Sunday’s Wimbledon men’s singles final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer:

‘Big Three’ dominate

— With Djokovic and Federer in the final, the winner of Sunday’s match will extend the streak of Grand Slam titles won by the ‘Big Three’ of the pair plus Rafael Nadal to 11 straight major titles. Since Federer won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003, just five Grand Slam finals have been contested by pairs of players outside the ‘Big Three’.

Golden oldie Federer

— At 37 years 340 days, Federer is bidding to become the oldest player in the Open era to win a Grand Slam men’s singles title.

Ken Rosewall is the only 37-year-old to have won a major singles title in that time – he won the 1972 Australian Open aged 37 years 62 days.

30-somethings still special

— The champion will extend the streak of Grand Slam titles won by players aged 30 or older. The last 12 Grand Slam titles – including at Wimbledon this year – will have been shared between players aged 30 or older.

Djokovic chases fifth Wimbledon title
— Defending champion Djokovic is bidding to win his fifth Wimbledon title and equal Bjorn Borg and Laurie Doherty in fourth place on the all-time list. He is also chasing a 16th career major.

Federer to level Navratilova with nine?

— Federer is bidding to become the second player in history to win nine Wimbledon singles titles after Martina Navratilova who won nine women’s singles. Federer is also after 21st career Grand Slam title.

AFP

Mochizuki Makes Grand Slam History For Japan At Wimbledon

Japan’s Shintaro Mochizuki celebrates win. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Shintaro Mochizuki made history on Sunday becoming the first Japanese player to win a boy’s Grand Slam title, beating Carlos Gimeno Valero of Spain 6-3, 6-2 in the Wimbledon final.

The 16-year-old, who was playing just his third grass court tournament, follows 1969 girls singles title winner Kazuko Sawamatsu in triumphing at the grass court Grand Slam.

Mochizuki said he had learned a lot from his compatriot, 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori.

“He’s really nice,” said Mochizuki. “He gives me a lot of advice.

“Like sometimes I practice with him. I learn from him a lot. Yeah, he’s smart.”

Nishikori, nine times a Grand Slam quarter-finalist, took to Twitter almost immediately to fete his compatriot.

READ ALSO: Hamilton Wins Record Sixth British GP, Extends F1 Lead

“Huge congrats to @ShintaroMOCHIZU! Such an amazing tournament,” tweeted the Japanese star, adding a thumbs up icon, a flexed bicep icon and several Japanese flags.

However, it is not 29-year-old Nishikori who is his idol.

“Roger Federer, I love watching him on TV, yeah,” he said.

“I don’t want to copy him, but I love watching him.”

Mochizuki said he had been mindful of his implosion at the French Open when he led 5-2 in his semi-final only to lose.

He said the pivotal moment had been when he was a set up but break points down early in the second set and managed to hold.

“In the first set, I got broken twice,” he said.

“I wanted to hold my service game a lot. It was good. I played really tough.

“He had some break points, but I just tried my best to hold my service game.

“Yes, it was really important game for me.”

Mochizuki admitted not being used to playing in front of so many people on Court One had made him reluctant to perform in front of them.

“I’m shy, so I was like, Why do I have to do that?” he said.

“But it was fun. It’s so many people were there. I was a little bit nervous.”

However, once out there he rather enjoyed playing to his audience, with one jump smash being a special crowd pleaser.

“It was a big chance to do that, so I just did it for fun,” he said.

“It was easy ball. I just wanted to make people have fun watching me.”

AFP

Miss Congeniality: Halep Proves Nice Girls Do Win

Romania’s Simona Halep celebrates beating US player Serena Williams during their women’s singles final on day twelve of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 13, 2019.
GLYN KIRK / AFP

 

Simona Halep handed Serena Williams her most lopsided Grand Slam final loss to clinch the Wimbledon title on Saturday and there will be few more popular champions.

Humble and grounded, Halep had already showed incredible resolve to win the 2018 Roland Garros title having lost all three of her previous Slam finals.

She further endeared herself by announcing before that Paris final that she “would be okay” if she lost again, as “no-one would have died”.

Halep, 27, is only the second Romanian woman to win a major after Virginia Ruzici claimed the 1978 French Open. Ruzici is now her manager.

Before her 2018 Roland Garros breakthrough, Halep had suffered three agonising defeats when one set from glory at the majors.

She lost the 2014 Roland Garros final to Maria Sharapova and the 2017 championship match in Paris after leading Jelena Ostapenko by a set and 3-0.

Her third came earlier in 2018 against another perennial underachiever on the biggest stage, Caroline Wozniacki, in a marathon match in sweltering conditions at Melbourne Park.

Halep became world number one in August 2017 and her 2018 French Open win over Sloane Stephens made her the first player to win her first Grand Slam title while holding the top ranking.

A huge star in her home country — Halep has appeared on the front cover of Romania’s ‘Elle’ magazine and opened a restaurant called ‘SH’ in her hometown of Constanta, which lies on the Black Sea.

“The fact that I am able to win maybe will give an inspiration also to Romanians, the kids, that it’s possible, even if you come from a little country, it’s possible if you work and if you believe.”

One of the main reasons why Halep had to wait so long to lift a major title was her relative lack of power when compared to the game’s other big stars.

But she has found compensation. “I’m fast, though, no?”

Halep, who Sports Illustrated once described as an ‘anti-diva’, now has $33 million banked from her career.

But she has not been seduced by the glitter of the sports world.

On Saturday, she made a point of thanking her mother for inspiration while light-heartedly winning the hearts of the All England Club.

“My mom said when I was 10 that if I want to do something in tennis I have to play in the final at Wimbledon,” she told Centre Court.

“I had lots of nerves, my stomach wasn’t very well.

She added: “I said at the start of the tournament that one of my motivations was to win and become a lifetime member of the club!”

Her folksy charm has also seduced hardened reporters.

She only follows two people on Twitter — one is former coach Darren Cahill and the other, bizarrely, is three-time world snooker champion Mark Selby.

“I have no idea how you play snooker. But I appreciate him,” said Halep.

“He’s been in Romania a few times. I met him. Also I have a snooker ball signed from him. That’s why I follow him.”

Halep has also expressed a childlike delight in the British royal family, confessing she’s a particular fan of the Duchess of Cambridge.

“Kate’s my favourite,” said Halep as the object of her regal affection looked down from the Royal Box.

But there still remains a steely streak, illustrated by the decision she made 10 years ago to undergo breast reduction surgery.

“It’s the weight that troubles me. My ability to react quickly, my breasts make me uncomfortable when I play,” she once said.

“I didn’t like them in my everyday life, either. I would have gone for surgery even if I hadn’t been a sportswoman.”

[UPDATED] Halep Shocks Serena To Win Wimbledon Title

Romania’s Simona Halep poses with the Venus Rosewater Dish trophy after beating Serena Williams during their women’s singles final clash at Wimbledon, on July 13, 2019.
GLYN KIRK / AFP

 

Simona Halep torpedoed Serena Williams’s latest bid to capture a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam on Saturday when she stormed to a sensational victory in a 56-minute Wimbledon final.

The 27-year-old Romanian captured her second career major with a 6-2, 6-2 victory adding a maiden Wimbledon — the first for her country in both men’s and women’s singles — to her 2018 Roland Garros triumph.

Defeat for 37-year-old Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon champion who won the last of her 23 Slam titles at the 2017 Australian Open, meant her attempt to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record for major wins was put back on ice until at least the US Open.

“My mom said when I was 10 that if I want to do something in tennis I have to play in the final at Wimbledon,” said Halep.

“I had lots of nerves, my stomach wasn’t very well. I have never played a better match.

“I said at the start of the tournament that one of my motivations was to win and become a lifetime member of the club.”

Williams bluntly admitted she had not been at the races against a superior opponent.

“She played out of her mind. I was like a deer in the headlights,” said Williams.

Williams was undone by 26 unforced errors to Halep’s two.

Williams may have kept Halep waiting to go on the court but if she hoped that would upset her opponent it did quite the opposite.

Indeed the Halep fan who burst into song — waving a Romanian scarf from the 2015 Rugby World Cup — singing “We love you Simona, we do!” served to give her the boost to rattle Williams from the start.

A flashing forehand crosscourt set the tone and she broke her in the first game.

She broke again to lead 3-0 — things clearly not going Williams’s way when a Halep shot clipped the net and went over but the American’s shot also clipped the net but failed to go over.

Already 3-0 down after eight minutes, Williams was completely at sea and by the time Halep served to lead 4-0 Williams had won just six points.

She finally got on the board with her next service game but Halep had little trouble in sealing the set which included another remarkable point from the Romanian.

The 27-year-old raced to retrieve an incredible get which sneaked over the net and Williams was only able to put her shot into the net.

Williams — who has let slip opportunities to equal Court’s record in last year’s Wimbledon and US Open finals — appeared to at last get fired up in the first game of the second set.

She let out a long yell at the ground when she won a point on her serve and another on the next point.

However, that was a rare show of her fiery side as Halep broke her to lead 3-2.

Halep rubbed in her superiority to break her again for 5-2 — two powerful serves earlier in the game had Williams saying why was I not able to do this earlier — and took the match and the title with aplomb with the first of her three match points.

She sank to her knees a broad smile on her face before rising to hug Williams.

Her victory also gave Halep’s favoured royal Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, bragging rights over sister-in-law Meghan, Duchess of Sussex — they were sitting beside each other in the Royal Box.

Meghan is a close friend of Williams.

AFP