by Graham Pierrepoint
While stars of tennis may come and go, it is the most enduring ones who have proven to be the most entertaining – as this year’s Men’s Wimbledon Champion Roger Federer has proven. While the Women’s Champion, Garbine Muguruza, has only been professional for a relatively short time – proving to be a worthy legend of the future against veteran Grand Slam claimer Venus Williams last week – Federer has proven himself to be one of the oldest – and safest – hands in the game. After years of uncertainty, and without a trophy at Wimbledon in five years, this was the comeback that many were waiting for – and which likely took plenty by surprise.
This year’s Wimbledon tournament has seen a number of big names fall early, particularly in the Men’s brackets. Reigning champion Andy Murray was unable to see off 24th seed Sam Querrey in the quarter finals – while Novak Djokovic, a regular winner at the tournament, left the competition due to injury, allowing Tomas Berdych to face Federer. It’s injury that has beset many of the big players this year – though Rafael Nadal, whose career has had ups and downs due to physical problems, held his own in a marathon battle against Giles Muller. Muller would clinch it, only to be beaten by surprise finalist Marin Cilic in the next round.
Federer beat Cilic in three straight sets in what was an incredible – if surprisingly short – match. A tearful Cilic conceded to the 35-year old Grand Slam collector, whose return to form seems to have inspired the champion to continue playing. For Federer to be back at the top of his game at the age of 35 is pretty incredible – and the Swiss sensation has eluded to sticking around for a while yet.
Tennis is as unpredictable as it ever was – and while Djokovic and Murray are likely training to recover from the injuries that beset them this year, Federer will now be on the crest of a wave – opening up a year of racket action ahead that could prove to solidify him as one of – if not THE greatest of all time. For Women’s Champion Garbine Muguruza, too, the world is her oyster – as a Wimbledon win is often a gateway towards bigger successes elsewhere.
So spare a thought for the unfortunate Murrays, Cilics, Nadals and Djokovics – and rejoice – Federer is back, and he means business.