By A. Balaji
This July was a very special month, both in the eyes of football and tennis fans. While Russia hosted the 2018 football World Cup, the All England Club, for the 150th year, hosted The Championships, which entailed to be one of the most memorable editions in years. This year's tournament was filled with plot twisters, and amazing comebacks both in the men and women draw. The Men's draw witnessed an unbelievable return to the men's professional tour by ex no 1, Novak Djokovic, who fought all the odds to reign for the fourth time in the Gentlemen's singles championship. While the women's draw saw two known faces return to a Grand Slam final in style. Angelique Kerber found her way back to another Grand Slam final, after having a frustrating 2017, and made the moment count after beating none other than Serena Williams. Williams, although defeated, finished her fairy tale as a winner in all ways, after making an incredible return to Wimbledon after nearly dying during the birth of her first child.
Nobody, even the Serbian tennis star, expected him to advance to the finals and win the prestigious trophy after being set in the same side of the draw together with Nadal and Del Potro. The three played beautiful and highly entertaining matches glueing everyone to the centre - court when they played. The real highlight of this draw was the high-class matches between Nadal and Del Potro, and Nadal and Djokovic. Nadal's match against Del Potro was a clash between two ‘monsters' in the tour, with both tennis players putting the ball into the court and not giving up until the last ball. Triumphant Nadal went on to the Semifinals with Djokovic, who pulled off all the stunts in his 3 sets to 1 victory against homeboy, Kyle Edmund to set up a memorable semi-final with the Spaniard. Both players fought valiantly and Djokovic rose out as the victor, defying all odds with his place booked in the final.
However, nobody in their right minds would expect the South - African, Kevin Anderson, to surprise the defending champion Roger Federer in a match that already seemed settled. Anderson managed to save a match point, to finish off the match in an epic and unforgettable match. While the other side of the draw produced breathtaking matches with tennis titans in court, this side gave chance for the upcoming sensations. The 2018 edition of Wimbledon witnessed the longest and tallest ever match on centre - court, where Isner and Anderson battled for a spot in the final. The match went on for 6 hours and 36 minutes, providing the last set, filled with thrill and emotions that ended with the score of 26 - 24 for the South African. Anderson set up an unexpected final with the ex no 1, with few hopes of victory after being taken to the limit in his two previous matches. Although he lost in straight sets, reaching the final was already a great accomplishment for the 32-year-old, who would have never dreamt of a final in Wimbledon.
The women's draw was also filled with let downs and amazing comebacks. The first upset of the Ladies draw was the world no 1, Simona Halep, who was left bewildered by Chinese wonder-kid, Su - Wei Hsieh. The sensations: Sloane Stephens, Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki and Makarova all left in the first 3 days of play, opening the draw for the future stars. Not one of the top 10 made it to the quarterfinals, paving the way for ex-number 1 Serena Williams to set up a rematch of 2016 final with Germany's Angelique Kerber. Serena was aiming for her 24th Grand Slam title which would level her off with Margaret court's titles. However, it was Kerber's turn to rewrite history and be the first German to win Wimbledon since Steffi Graf in 1996. Although Serena didn't end up triumphant in this edition, she finished her Wimbledon campaign as an inspiration for many mothers playing tennis at a professional level, due to her grit and perseverance to return back to win more and more titles. In her post-match interview, she wrapped up her two weeks with the following words: "To all the moms out there, I was playing for you today, and I tried," Serena said, voice quivering with emotion, on the court.
Overall, The Championships Wimbledon was a very successful tournament as a whole opening its lawns to thousands of tennis fans eager to see tennis played on the majestic courts of the All England Club. Specifically, in the men's draw, Djokovic's return to top-level tennis meant an end to Federer and Nadal's Grand slam supremacy for the past 6 editions. The tournament as whole proved to be very crucial to pick out the promising talents and those who are losing their touch in the sport.