GAME, SET AND MATCH – WIMBLEDON 2011

The winner of Sportsmart and Wilson’s tennis sponsorship program, Scott Lyons, provides regular blog articles on his favourite topic – tennis …

Another year has passed, and two new Wimbledon Singles Champions have been crowned- Petra Kvitova and Novak Djokovic!

Few would have tipped Kvitova to take out the women’s singles prior to the tournament, however; she was seeded eighth and made the semi-finals last year, so was no real outsider. Kvitova has an all-round tennis game- a big serve, big ground shots, the ability to come to the net, and crushing returns! She is also left-handed which made her a difficult competitor for many opponents.

In the women’s final she played a near faultless match to convincingly defeat tournament favourite Maria Sharapova. At just 21, we can expect Kvitova to really continue to rise in the tennis world and may be an unstoppable force in times ahead. However, given she was “lesser known” and came through to win Wimbledon, pressure will undoubtedly continue to grow on world number one Caroline Wozniacki, who is yet to win a grand slam tournament.

On the men’s side of the draw we witnessed some fantastic matches which lead to the final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Many believed Federer was nearing his career best form throughout the tournament, before surprisingly falling to Tsonga, who played unbelievable tennis through all of his matches. He quite easily could have taken out Djokovic in the semi-finals. Andy Murray again failed to deliver his best when it mattered, and all of Britain was let down again!

In the final there was some very high quality tennis played, but probably not as explosive as what would have been expected. The ability to rally from both players was amazing, but both could have benefitted from flattening more shots out rather than conservatively spinning them back in play. Nadal has been battling an ankle injury throughout the tournament and I think it made a slight difference. He was unable to put much weight on his ankle when hitting his backhand, which not only lead to more unforced errors, but also lead him to slicing the ball back in play when we are so used to seeing him crush the same ball for a winner. Take nothing away from Djokovic though, as facing Nadal who is trying to out-rally you is arguably just as hard as facing Nadal who is trying to hit winners against you. All in all though, Djokovic’s ability to turn defence into attack was the difference, and he is now a Wimbledon Champion and the new world number one!

On another note, the future of Australian tennis is looking strong, with Bernard Tomic making the Quarter Finals, which is an unbelievable effort. What is more, is that he could have beaten the eventual winner Djokovic, as stated by Djokovic himself. At eighteen he still has lots of improvement to come as well. For the first time ever we also had Australians winning the Wimbledon boys and girls singles titles. If all our young talented players can make the transition to the professional level, then Australian tennis is looking good once again!

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