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Wimbledon 2018....

...characterised especially by unremitting sunshine and the stamina of the over-30's.  Our Tennis Correspondent, Carole Markham, reports...

 

Prior to Wimbledon all eyes were on Andy Murray at Queens;   had he recovered from his hip surgery?  Would he be able to play at Wimbledon?  Shortly after losing in the first round at Queens he withdrew from Wimbledon, saying he would next play at the US Open

British hope would now be focused on the much improved British No1s:  Kyle Edmund  and Johanna Konta.  

Djokovic was showing signs of getting back to form at Roland Garros but the main money was on a Federer / Nadal final.

The opening day was blessed with fine weather.

The first week saw the women seeds drop like flies.

Eight British women entered the tournament,  but only Johanna Konta, Katie Swan and Katie Boulter made it through the first round but all fell at the second hurdle.

Four British men entered:  three lost in the first round, with Kyle Edmund winning through to the second and indeed third round. In the third round he played Novak Djokovic losing in four sets;  a valiant effort.

The second week continued with good weather;  all matches were on schedule until the second Wednesday. 

Roger Federer    played Kevin Anderson in a thrilling five setter!

Anderson won 2/6, 6/7, 7/5, 6/4, 13/11 

 

Kevin Anderson then played John Isner in the semi-finals beating him 7/6, 6/7, 6/7, 6/4, 26/24 in 6 hours 36 mins the longest semi-final in the open era   

Isner,  you may remember, had played Mahut in the longest match at Wimbledon winning 70/68 in the fifth. There is a plaque on court 18 documenting this epic match.

The length of this match delayed the start of the Nadal/Djokovic match which then has to be played over two days. Djokovic won 4/6, 6/3, 7/6, 3/6, 10/8

This year’s final made history in that it was the first in the open era to be played by men over 30 years of age:  Kevin Anderson (32) against Novak Djokovic (31)

Anderson was clearly not playing well in the first two sets - probably due to fatigue;   he improved in the third,  but too late to claim the set.   

The women’s final predictably had the newly-returned (after becoming a mother) Serena Williams who played Angelique Kerber. Both of these contestants were also 30 or over. Kerber was the victor.  

 

The future of British tennis is looking good!

15 year old Emma Raducanu  and 17 year old Anton Matusevich    both made it through to their quarter finals.

16 year old Jack Draper   won his semi-finals match against the junior number one seed in a long match winning 7/7, 6/7, 19/17 but sadly lost in the final.

In the men’s doubles quarter finals we had British representation in the form of Murray(GBR)/Soares, Nielsen/Salisbury (GBR) and Inglot(GBR)/Skingur.

However none made it through to the next round.

It was unfortunate that the British pair of Jay Clarke and Cameron Norrie met Murray and Soares in the third round where they lost 4/6, 7/5, 7/5, 4/6, 20/22.

In the ladies double Heather Watson playing with Tatjan Maria lost in their quarter final match.

The mixed doubles pairings of Jamie Murray (GBR) and Victoria Azarenka played the British pair Jay Clarke (GBR) and Harriet Dart (GBR) in the semi-finals with the Murray partnership winning.   The young British pair won the crowd over with their obvious love of the game and winning smiles.

Alfie Hewitt got through to the wheelchair single semi-finals but lost to his long term rival Olsen.

He did however win the men’s doubles wheelchair final with his partner Gordon Reid for the third year running. The match was played on court 3 which meant they had quite a large crowd watching.  

The Brit Lucy Shuker and her partner Sabine Ellerbrock lost the ladies wheelchair double final to De Groot and Kamji.

This year I think will go down in history for a number of reasons:

 - The endless sunshine.

 - The stamina of players over 30 years of age who can continue to play at such a high level.   Not to mention Wayne Ferreira who at 46 years old hit the fastest serve of all time at Wimbledon at 146mph!   

- The ongoing debate as to whether or not there should be a fifth set tie break.

- It seems nonsense to have players in the final too tired to play their best because of long matches.

- The success of our junior players.    I shall look forward to following their progress at next year’s tournament.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carole Markham