What a weekend of sport that was! I’ll admit my focus was pretty much exclusively on Wimbledon, but it was hard to miss the fact we were doing well in the cricket, and there were a handful of motorsport events to also catch the eye. But the tennis held me in thrall for the full weekend.
I’m not a huge fan of the men’s game anymore, it’s too whippy and too long, but I couldn’t help getting invested in the Federer/Djokovic rematch. I’m sort of in the camp that thinks it’s a bit disappointing to end up with the same names in the finals all the time. Djokovic, Nadal and Federer, if it’s not one it’s the other. But you can’t take anything away from the fact that these guys are incredible, and that’s why they’ve managed to sustain such success.
That final set on Sunday was some brilliant tennis between two guys who have seen it all, done it all and still want more. Emotions were high, fatigue was setting in but they were still going after every point. And they had to! Two sets each, 12 games each, a tiebreaker to decide who is victorious this time. But in the end, it was us who won as we got to see a great match.
The women’s final was something different but no less exciting for me. I’ve been a Halep fan for a while now and whilst I’ve been bored by Serena’s dominance in the past, it’s impossible not to have respect for her as a tennis player and as a woman. So the two faced off in a match which felt imposing – Halep was supposedly relaxing this year after her first Grand Slam win in 2018, but found herself in the final on grass against a woman who had beat her more times than not in past meetings. Meanwhile, Williams is looking for another title to add to her collection and to seal the deal on what has been an impressive comeback.
Unfortunately, Williams didn’t seem to be on it in the final, but Halep was an absolute rocket. She was everywhere around the court, managed to get to every ball and really piled on the pressure. It might be easy to look at a 56 minute championship match and feel short-changed but I don’t know how you could when such magnificent tennis was on display. I’ve never seen Halep play like that, not even when she was a grand slam winner sitting at number one in the world.
As always, with sport, it’s the stories that make the tournaments unmissable, and Wimbledon was stocked with them. Cori Gauff’s incredible run, Andy Murray’s return from injury, the antics from certain players, the meltdowns from others. It was all in there, and I wanted more. I didn’t get to watch as much as I wanted, but I listened as often as I could on Wimbledon Radio, and culminated with a weekend in front of the TV cheering on specific names and faces, but ultimately revelling in the success of tennis as a whole.
Roll on next year!