As summer seems to have gone into hiding, Wimbledon comes to a close with some fabulous finals
By Katie Garner
You wouldn’t have expected that settling down on the sofa with some delicious chocolate popcorn and the BBC blasting the trademark green and purple of Wimbledon, would be so incredibly tiring. Despite the fact that it is the super athletic tennis professionals who are charging around centre court, quite frankly, cheering them on is knackering me out! The tension of supporting and believing the lucky player you have selected definitely makes watching sport a lot more interesting, nail-biting and generally exciting.
The Ladies Singles Final on Saturday was pipped as being a bit of a whitewash. Yes, big swinger Serena Williams was predicted the winner, as the mainly unknown number three seed Agnieszka Radwanska has a completely different style of play. What Radwanska lacks in pure muscular power, she more than makes up for with finesse, flexibility and very crafty shot placement. Her serving however was pulled apart by the experienced Serena, who aced her way out of any trouble in her service games. Radwanska actually reminded me a bit of Betti Spaghetti dolls, the way she would crouch down low to deal with incoming body shots and then spring back up on her bendy legs, ready for the next shot. Granted, the first set went entirely Williams’ way – she’s a power house and there is no denying that. But what you want in a final is not a free ticket, but to earn your victory. Everyone wanted a match on their hands and Radwanska delivered in the second set by stealing it from under Williams’ nose. Taking it to a third and final set ensured decent viewing, as Radwanska grew in confidence and Williams began making a few more mistakes.
Despite Radwanska’s continued lobs on the back line and drop shots sneaking into mid court, Williams wanted to win, and win she did, with a gorgeous service action and muscles bulging with every swipe at the innocent bouncing ball. It may have been a predictable outcome, but I definitely think that Radwanska made Williams work for her win. She really came into her own during the longer rallies, her fitness and movement generally seeming better than Williams, who was definitely panting and breathing rather heavily after the longer sessions. I think this is how Radwanska managed to take the second set. At the end of the day though, Serena Williams played a great game and gave a brilliant performance that earned her a 5th Wimbledon victory, to equal sister Venus’ achievements.
I think we would all be lying if we said that the Mens Singles Final this year wasn’t causing a bit of a stir. After facing defeat in three Grand Slam finals previously, Scot Andy Murray had finally got himself a spot in a Wimbledon final, after being tantalizingly close for years. However, it was never going to be smooth sailing as his opponent was Roger Federer – six times Wimbledon Champion and 16 times Grand Slam winner. Gulp – never an easy task. Murray took the bull by the horns however, as he stepped out on court all guns blazing, breaking Federer’s very first service game, and the first game of the match. He stormed his way to winning the first set, trying to direct his shots to Federer’s weaker backhand. Federer was never going to roll over though, and easy pickings he most definitely isn’t. Federer sneaked the second set by winning the final two games, when it had been going with serve. The end of set stats almost identical, it was actually a lot closer than I think a lot of people expected it to be at this point.
The third set saw Federer take advantage of Murray beginning to lose his cool. Bad luck such as slipping at the net, and landing awkwardly on his ankle seemed to put Murray in a grumpy mood and a stroppier frame of mind, while Federer stayed cool, calm and collected. This ultimately is what saw Federer win the third set with his usual style and line smacking class. As the game developed further and further, Federer continued to step up his game, becoming more and more smooth as the games stacked up next to his name. A true champ and his seventh Wimbledon title in his incredibly emotional hands. A truly great final that I thoroughly enjoyed.
It feels very strange that Wimbledon is now over, and we have to go tennis-less for a little longer…not that much longer as the Olympics will soon be hitting London, with the tennis kicking off on the 28th July. Gotta love our racket sports!