After Roland Garros, the tennis world turned its attention to Wimbledon 2009. Perhaps to help us forget about the economic woes and, certainly, to usher in the summer, we were treated to another glorious green grass tournament. If the French had a bad tournament, the US contingent of tennis players did themselves proud on the grass courts and, on the men’s side, like the U.S. men’s football (soccer) team at the 2009 Confederation Cup, were proud losers in both of the hotly contended finals. On the women’s side, the Williams willed it all.
Wimbledon 2009 Men’s Singles Winner: Roger Federer (world #2 but top seed at this year’s Wimbledon) outlasted a highly determined Andy Roddick (seeded #6) on a score of 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 in a 4H16 match that, with hindsight, turned in the second set tiebreak in which Roddick squandered four points to go up 2-0 sets. The historic men’s final, featuring the longest ever 5th set (1H35) in a final and the highest number of games (77), brought Federer to the summit of 15 Grand Slam titles, eclipsing in six years what the on-hand Pete Sampras (14 titles) achieved in 12 years. Little known fact: the man who has 12 titles whom Pete beat and who is now 3rd on the all-time list? Roy Emerson. In winning Wimbledon again, Federer reclaimed in the process the #1 world ranking. Roddick’s game, to his credit, was at its best and it was only in the 30th game of the 5th set that he was broken for the first time in the match, after having held 37 times consecutively. Surprisingly, in this match, Federer (27 years old) out-aced Roddick (26 years old) by a wide margin, as he hit a career high 50 aces to Roddick’s 27 — even if Roddick had a tournament high 187. Roddick has now lost three Wimbledon finals, all to Federer, his seeming nemesis. Final stat that I liked: since his first title in 2003, Federer has won 30 of 34 tie break sets at Wimbledon. Now that’s called clutch play.
Of note, in the men’s draw, one must also tip one’s hat to the great tournament by homegrown Andy Murray (#3), if only that he was stubbed out by Roddick in a quality semi-final Battle of the Andy’s match. I also would call attention to a stirring tournament by the unseeded Aussie, Lleyton Hewitt, who walloped Juan Martin Del Potro (5) in straight sets (6-3, 7-5, 7-5) and then came back from 0-2 down (for the sixth time in his career) to beat Radek Stepanek 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. The Hewitt-Roddick match was also another great match, where Roddick evened the career matchup 6-6 in a veritable 3H51 5-set slugfest 6-3, 6-7 (10), 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-4. The final good word goes to Tommy Haas (#24), the 31-year old ‘veteran’ whose form surged at Roland Garros and clearly extended into Wimbledon. His 3rd round 5-set triumph over Marin Cilic was only trumped by his 4-set dumping of the 22-year-old number 2 seed Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3 in the quarter-finals.
Wimbledon 2009 Men’s Doubles Winners: The returning champions, Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serbian Nenad Zimonijic (#2) saw off the top seeded Bryan twin brothers (USA) in an exhilarating match which featured many “huge” points where literally all four men were exchanging multiple blows and volleys at the net. The four set thriller was settled with just one break in the second game of the fourth set. The final score: 7-6 (7), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3), 6-3.
Wimbledon 2009 Women’s Singles Winner: After having battled through a 3-hour grind in the semi-final against Elena Dementieva (#4) and staved off a match point, Serena Williams (#2) took it to her sister Venus (#3) in straight sets, 7-6 (3), 6-2 to win her 3rd Wimbledon singles title and 11th Grand Slam, one less than Billy Jean King on the all-time leader board (still way back from the record 18 singles titles by Navratilova and Evert). Serena avenged her loss to Venus in 2008; moreover, each of Serena’s 3 Wimbledon titles has come at Venus’ expense. Serena now holds a 6-2 edge in Grand Slam finals against her sister. Great stat: This was the third time that Serena has won a Grand Slam having fought off match points in prior rounds.
Wimbledon 2009 Women’s Doubles Winners: Whereas the American Bryan brothers were not able to pull off the Men’s Title, the American Williams sisters stormed to victory 7-6 (4), 6-4 over the Australian duo, Samantha Stosur and Renée Stabbs. In so doing, the Williams siblings won their 4th Wimbledon doubles title and 9th Grand Slam doubles victory overall. For Serena, that meant that her Wimbledon winnings eclipsed GBP 1 million ($1.4 million) at GBP1.08 million. (I didn’t check to see if by any chance Serena also played in the mixed, but I doubt it).
Wimbledon 2009 Mixed Doubles Winners: Mark Knowles (Bahamas) and Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Germany) seeded 9th beat top-seeded Leander Paes (India) and Cara Black (Zim) 7-5, 6-3.