This is a roundup post to bring you the highlights of 2017’s Wimbledon Championships, featuring singles Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza’s road to victory, the best players and matches throughout the tournament, and more.
The Champion: Garbine Muguruza
The Finalist: Venus Williams
At the age of 23, Garbine Muguruza is a two-time Grand Slam champion! The Spaniard saved her best for the last as she fended off the challenge of Venus Williams in straight sets, 7-5 6-0. The first set was absolutely tight with nine straight holds, before Williams had the chance to break to secure the set at 5-4 40-15. The turning point was when Muguruza was able to win a huge rally on set point when Williams was attacking the Muguruza forehand, which was a bit vulnerable during the early stages. Garbine then held to 5-5, but surprisingly, Venus didn’t win another game. The American seemed physically tired and was trying to shorten the points, but it resulted in many unforced errors and her ventures to the net weren’t really convincing. A little sad that the second set was wrapped up with a bagel but it was a great tournament for both players.
Doubles Champion: Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina
Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, known as ‘Makarena’, captured the Wimbledon doubles title, beating Chan Hao-Ching and Monica Niculescu in a double bagel!
The Surprise Package: Magdalena Rybarikova
It has been a dreamy six weeks for Magdalena Rybarikova, amassing an 18-2 win-loss record during the whole of the grass court season. During this swing, she won two ITF titles in Surbiton and Ilkley, made the semifinals of the WTA tournament in Nottingham (the last time she won back-to-back matches in a WTA event was in Indian Wells last year) and reached the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time ever, eventually making it all the way to the semifinals, beating Karolina Pliskova enroute. She fell in the last four to Garbine Muguruza (recap of that match HERE) pretty quickly but overall Rybarikova would have never dreamed such kind of thing would happen to her so quickly after her two surgeries. The Slovak is back into the Top 35 and here’s hoping she can continue to impress on the WTA circuit!
The Comeback Kid: Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta eventually reached the semifinals, losing to Venus Williams, but her road enroute to that result was nothing but smooth. Konta endured a three hour and ten minute tussle against Donna Vekic, before capturing a three-setter against Caroline Garcia. Konta was two points away from losing to Simona Halep in the quarters, but used her mental strength to fight back as she recorded a second straight win over the Romanian.
The Bust: Karolina Pliskova
Most picked Karolina Pliskova to capture the Wimbledon title, but it wasn’t to be as she fell to Magdalena Rybarikova in the second round. It wasn’t that a bad week for the Czech as she will reach the top of the rankings after Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep both fell before the semifinals.
The Serving Queen: Venus Williams
The serve was arguably how Venus managed to reach all the way to the final. Venus’ average first serve speed is 105mph while the second serve averages at 90 mph in the first six matches. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to produce the booming serves against Muguruza!
The Net Expert: Garbine Muguruza
Muguruza ventured to the net a total of 54 times into the net against Angelique Kerber in the fourth round, winning 35 of them!
The Defence Masterclass: Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki’s fitness shone through as she edged a three-setter against huge hitter Anett Kontaveit in the round of 32.
The Best Young Gun: Ana Konjuh
Ana Konjuh was one of the two teenagers (Ostapenko) to make it to the second week. It wasn’t to be for the Croatian though as she lost to Venus Williams in straights. Her route was nothing but simple, moving past former finalist Sabine Lisicki, Irina-Camelia Begu and then a huge win against Dominika Cibulkova.
Most High-Quality Match (that I watched): Garbine Muguruza d. Angelique Kerber
Kerber played one of the best matches of the year and was gold on the passing shots but Muguruza who insisted on the net venturing tactic eventually paid off. It was such a high-quality one! (Recap of that match HERE)
Johanna Konta d. Donna Vekic
Most WTA matches usually end up with a ton of breaks but this one only had six of them in a three hour and ten minute epic! Konta hit 55 winners to 21 unforced errors while Vekic also had decent numbers, making 42 winners to 24 unforced errors. Vekic cried a little at the end but she played a really good match. Konta going to hug Vekic was also a good touch.
Most Dramatic Match: Johanna Konta d. Simona Halep
Konta showed a lot of mental toughness to outlast Halep in three sets. Halep was two points away from the match in the second set but Konta just wouldn’t give up.
Jelena Ostapenko d. Elina Svitolina
Ostapenko needed eight match points to fend off Elina Svitolina! It was really, really dramatic in the second set but the match definitely wasn’t the most high quality.
Comeback Match: Johanna Konta d. Simona Halep
Five thoughts from & after Wimbledon 2017
1. How long will Karolina Pliskova retain the No.1 ranking?
Pliskova is officially the World No.1, but she has a ton of points to defend having won the Cincinnati title last year and made the US Open final. She has been the most aggressive consistent player on the tour this year but with the added pressure, can it continue? We’ll see…
2. How long can Venus Williams’ longevity in the game last?
Williams was looking physically tired in the second set of the final and she leaked so many errors in that set, eventually ending up in the bagel. Enroute to the final, Venus actually only dropped one set so it was a little surprising to see her so sluggish. Now at 37, how long can her longevity in the game last?
3. Can Garbine Muguruza continue to perform the way she has done in Wimbledon?
Now a much more confident player with her second Grand Slam title, will it continue to be all ‘ups’ for the Spaniard? I believe Muguruza will continue to blow hot and cold as her aggressive game can go haywire, but with the right tactics and her forehand more steady, she could go on to win more big things…
4. When will Simona Halep’s breakthrough in a Grand Slam finally happen? And when will she finally get that No.1 ranking?
Does Halep even want that No.1 ranking? It almost seems like she doesn’t want it now! In the French Open, Halep was just three games away from the top spot and her first Slam title, but we all know how it happened. In Eastbourne, Halep needed to make the final and in the quarters, was up a set and break over Caroline Wozniacki but faded away. This time in Wimbledon, it was already as close it could be for the Romanian as she was just two points away from securing the win over Konta and the No.1 ranking, but it just wasn’t meant to be again… Halep’s mental toughness has improved but it needs to be improved even further if she is to win a Grand Slam in the future.
5. Can Angelique Kerber turn the tide during the U.S. hard court swing?
The glimpses of 2016 were there for Kerber in the match against Muguruza as her passing shots were on fleek and hitting the lines. Hopefully she’ll be able to play that kind of game during the hard court season especially with the No.1 ranking off her shoulders now!
That’s it for this Roundup post. I’ll probably not be posting too much this week but I should be back for Bastad!
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