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By Rohit Sharma
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It is a very satisfying feeling for a writer to see his/her predictions come true at the end of the most awaited events of the year. Wimbledon, for one is unparalleled in terms of legacy, history and prestige. Same holds true for the Williams and Spanish Hegemony that saw the finish line with yet another set of winner's trophy. About two weeks ago, many tennis critics, myself included, predicted Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal's victory at SW19, and a fortnight later, things happened just as EXPECTED. When it comes to Wimbledon, why does legacy matter so much?
Roll of Honour -
Men's Singles - Rafael Nadal (Click here to enjoy the Men's Singles Final commentary)
Women's Singles - Serena Williams (Click here to enjoy the Women's Singles Final commentary)
Men's Doubles - Jurgen Melzer/Philipp Petzschner
Women's doubles - Vania King/Yaroslava Shvedova
Mixed Doubles - Cara Black/Leander Paes
Boys' Singles - Marton Fucsovics
Girls' Singles - Kristyna Pliskova
The Winners -
The 2010 Championships will be remembered for Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal's astonishing achievements on both personal and record books levels. Where Serena pocketed her 4th Wimbledon and 13th overall major title, Rafael Nadal re-affirmed his supremacy in the men's competition by claiming the second Grand slam of the year. However, the most unexpected victories came from the doubles arena where the Williams winning streak of 4 consecutive slam crowns was ended with unseeded Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova walking away with the top honours. Men's doubles too, did not see the coronation of the top seeds and first time finalists Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner claimed the biggest Grand Slam prize of their career. Seasoned campaigners Leander Paes and Cara Black won the Mixed doubles trophy which was duly expected out of them.
The Upsets -
Roger's shocking loss most certainly tops the list of upsets at this year's Wimbledon. The six time champion opened his bid under severe struggle and came through some of the finest comeback matches, just to see his run end by a talented Czech (and eventual finalist) Tomas Berdych. Neither of the 2009 finalists could return to the final this year as American Andy Roddick gave way to young Chinese Yen-Hsun Lu. Five time champion Venus Williams' loss to first time quarterfinalist Tsvetana Pironkova did not bring a feeling of surprise or shock for most of the fans and critics. The American suffered some of the most embarassing losses of her career this year and an exit at SW19 did not make much of a difference. It also brought an inevitable question to the fore - Have Venus and Federer lost their shine?
The Royal Visit -
The 2010 Championships also welcomed HRH Queen of England after 33 long years. Queen Elizabeth II enjoyed the Centre Court match between Jarkko Nieminen and Andy Murray and met all the top seeded players including the Wlliams sisters, Federer and Roddick. Duke of Kent, who also happens to be the President of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, was present during the trophy presentation of both Men's and Women's Singles Final. The Royal visit certainly added to the popularity and the history of the most prestigious Grand Slam event of the Tennis Calendar.
The Never-ending match -
The first week at the Championships was all about the never-ending match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. As the Frenchman saw an unfortunate end to the 11 hour plus match, American John Isner continued to bask in the glory of the elusive win despite losing handily in the very next round. The match featured a whopping 215 aces and a final set scoreline of 70-68 spanned over three days. The match has already broken numerous records in the history books.
The Records -
Well, as a natural progression to our discussion in the previous section, we talk about the records made and broken during the 2010 Wimbledon. First things first - Serena Williams broke Billie Jean King's record of 12 major triumphs by claiming her 13th Grand Slam title on the green grass. Nadal too emulated Andre Agassi and Ivan Lendl for the number of majors won -8. And then there was the popular victory of US-Kazakh pair of Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova who became the first unseeded team to lift the women's crown. For the first time, a semifinal line-up in women's draw featured two players outside top 50 in the rankings. And then there was the fantastic Isner-Mahut marathon, which broke almost all the time-line records ever created. The classic became the longest match ever played in the history of the game. The tussle also broke the record of most number of aces hit in a single match (215). The match featured the longest final set in the record books - 70-68. It also became the match with most number of games played (183).
Story of the Championship -
Czech star Tomas Berdych became the undisputed story of the Championship after upending six time champion Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. Berdych continued his solid form with a win over No.3 Novak Djokovic before falling to the Spanish Storm- Rafael Nadal. Berdych had some impressive results earlier this year but no one predicted such a phenomenal run with a consecutive win over Wimbledon legend Roger Federer (his first being in Miami).
Overall, the 2010 Championships at Wimbledon will be remembered for endurance, self belief and surprises that made the fortnight memorable in more ways than one.
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