The Beginning of the End for Venus?

At 37 years old, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams is pushing herself to unprecedented physical limits. For a regular person, you would think that it is time to throw in the towel by now.  This year alone, she has made it to the finals of two Grand Slams (Australian Open and Wimbledon) and to the semifinals of the U.S. Open. It was announced this week that she has qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore on October 22-29.   Despite having a good season by the average player’s standards, Venus has championship pedigree and is not satisfied with anything less than winning. However, with the rising talent in the WTA and the impending return of her sister Serena, Venus has missed her window of opportunity to win another Grand Slam.

We witnessed the beginning of the end for Venus at her 2017 U.S. Open semifinals match against Sloane Stephens.  That match should have given Venus the wake up call she needed to realize that it’s time for her to give it up. But instead, Venus is still trying her hardest to get back to the top. It’s clear that Venus is trying to make a come back with the work that she has put in this year alone. Even so, she only made her way to #5 in the WTA ranking, as 23-year old Garbiñe Muguruza makes it to #1.

Venus will be making her first WTA Finals since 2009. The fact that it has taken her over a decade to come back should say a lot and prove even more that her time has passed. It’s time to give it up and pass the torch to the next generation! At this point, will she every make it to the top? Only time will tell.

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2017 Wimbledon Recap

Men’s Final Recap
Roger Federer has been crowned Wimbledon champion for a record eighth time after cruising through his 11th final at the tournament.
The Swiss player eased his way to his 19th Grand Slam title, beating Croatian Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in just one hour and 41 minutes on Centre Court.
Federer lifted his arms above his heads after serving an ace to win the final in straight sets.
Cilic seemed overcome by emotion during the clash, breaking down in tears during the change over after losing the first three games of the second set.
The 28-year old placed a towel over his head as he was attended to by his support team, before receiving a standing ovation as he returned on court.
Federer becomes the first man to win eight Wimbledon titles and at 35 years old, the oldest man in the Open Era to lift the trophy.  Even at his age, he shows no signs of slowing down.
Women’s Final Recap
An inspired Garbine Muguruza stormed to her first Wimbledon title on Saturday, blowing away American Venus Williams 7-5, 6-0, with the performance of her career after tight and tense early exchanges.
In the first women’s final played under the Centre Court roof, a high-quality first set gradually built towards a captivating conclusion after both players began with two comfortable service holds.
Muguruza saved two set points in the 10th game — the first a 19-stroke rally that ended when Williams netted a forehand. The Spaniard broke in the following game with another lung-bursting rally that concluded with a forehand error from Venus.
An astonishing defensive lob in the next game took Muguruza to two set points, the second of which she converted.
That three-game sequence seemed to break the resolve of Venus who was trying to become the oldest woman to win Wimbledon in 109 years.  She lost the second set 6-0 in an astonishing turn of events.
The 23-year old Venezuela-born Muguruza sealed her second Grand Slam victory after a successful challenge of a Williams forehand that sailed just beyond the baseline.  After her challenge was confirmed, she broke down in tears, overcome with emotion at the magnitude of her victory.
Gentlemen’s Doubles Final 
Playing under a closed roof for the final 20 minutes because of darkness, Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo won the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon on Saturday by beating Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 13-11.
The match lasted 4 hours, 40 minutes — only 21 minutes shorter than the longest men’s doubles final in history.
Women’s Doubles Final
The complete opposite of the men’s doubles final, the women’s final was a short one with Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina taking the trophy after a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Chan Hao-ching and Monica Niculescu. This was one of the shortest finals in Wimbledon history, as it took only 56 minutes for Makarova and Vesnina to secure the victory.

 

Wimbledon Recap 7/11/17

Roger Federer cruised into the third round of Wimbledon with a win in straight sets over Dusan Lajovic. The Swiss won 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Centre Court on Thursday evening.

Earlier, former world no.1 Novak Djokovic continued his superb form with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 win over Adam Pavlasek.

There was no joy for the Brit Kyle Edmund who was knocked out in straight sets by Frenchman Gael Monfils.

Novak Djokovic belatedly advanced to the 2017 Wimbledon quarterfinals on Tuesday after a 6- 2, 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over Adrian Mannarino. This win allowed the Serb to clinch a spot in the final eight after their fourth-round duel was postponed. Djokovic and Mannarino were scheduled to face off on Monday evening, but the match was pushed back after Gilles Muller required close to five hours to pull off a memorable upset of tournament front-runner Rafael Nadal.

Garbine Muguruza def. Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

Key stat: Muguruza made 38 more unforced errors (50-12) than Kerber, yet both women won the same number of points (101) in the match. How? Muguruza hit 55 winners to Kerber’s 27.

Key moment: By breaking Kerber in the final game and ultimately winning the match, Muguruza ended a streak — she had lost all four previous matches at Wimbledon in which she had lost the opening set.

Venus Williams def. Ana Konjuh 6-3, 6-2

Key stat: Williams dominated with a strong and accurate service game. She converted 86% of her first serves in this match and struck seven aces. Again and again, she drew free points either with outright winners on serve, or by forcing easy mistakes from her opponent. That kind of ball striking appeared to add confidence to her entire game.

Key moment: This match was relatively even until early in the second set, when Konjuh’s wheels came off. Just when the 19-year old Croatian needed to up her game, she began losing the range with her powerful groundstrokes. She missed long, in the net, and wide. When Konjuh didn’t lose easy points with unforced errors, Williams was hitting winners or drawing unreturnable balls with her own strong ground strokes. Konjuh went down 5-1 in a flash, and the uphill climb was simply impossible to overcome.

The Biggest Upset So Far Key stat:

Key stat: This match lasted for four hours, 48 minutes of high-drama tennis and was the longest match of the tournament. Nadal also cracked a career-high 23 aces, but it wasn’t enough. The 34-year old Muller finally won on his fifth match point. Key moment: There were so many key moments, but in the end Nadal would lose the final game after back-to-back forehand errors. It was the deepest five-set match of Nadal’s career, but in the end, he will have to wait until the U.S. Open to try to win multiple majors this season.

Quarterfinals Preview

Heading into the quarter finals, the final 8 have showed that they’re all ready to battle for the title. Andy Murray, 2-time Wimbledon champion, faces the 24th seed American Sam Querrey. Gilles Muller faces off against Mario Cilic after defeating Nadal in a gruesome 4-hour, 48-minute battle. Milos Raonic faces the top contender for the title, Roger Federer and last but not least Tomas Berdych will try to fend off former world no. 1 Novak Djokovic.

Top 5 Moments In Men’s Wimbledon History

5.  Goran Ivanisevic: From Wild-Card to Win

In 2001, Goran Ivanisevic became the first player to win a Grand Slam having entered the tournament as a wild card and to date, he is the only male entrant to have won a Grand Slam singles title as a wildcard. He defeated former and future World #1 players Carlos Moyá, Andy Roddick, and Marat Safin as well as Fredrik Jonsson and Greg Rusedski to reach the semifinal. He also beat home favorite Tim Henman in a rainy, five-set semifinal, setting up a match with the previous year’s runner-up and former U.S. Open champion Patrick Rafter. It was Ivanišević’s first singles final since 1998. In a match lasting just over three hours, Ivanišević defeated Rafter 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 2–6, 9–7. Two months shy of his 30th birthday, Ivanišević became the lowest-ranked player win Wimbledon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-12nmtlhn4

4.  Andy Murray Wins for Britain After a 77-year Drought

After seven decades without a men’s champion, the Scot had the nation in tears of joy when he took the title in 2013. For 77 years, they only had Fred Perry as a winner and the search for his successor was a conversation starter in the early summer days at the All England Club. Finally, after a flurry of booming serves and full-stretch forehand winners, Andy Murray brought the crown back to Britain. Murray, a 26-year-old Scotsman with a rolling gait and a deep competitive streak, put a convincing end to the long drought in singles for the British men at the tournament. He managed it by defeating Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 seed, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PYyEDl1bJk

3.  Sampras’ Unceremonious Exit

Pete Sampras was the No. 6 seed and expected to easily beat No. 145 George Bastl as they walked onto Court No. 2, a cramped stadium known as the “Graveyard of Champions.” Alas, Sampras lost, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4.

He stayed seated while Bastl celebrated, then shuffled off with his head down. He insisted he would return, but never played singles at Wimbledon again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZzfJYV9C0o

2.  John McEnroe Gives the Most Famous On-court Quote of All Time

“You can’t be serious, man. YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS. That ball was on the line. Chalk flew up. It was clearly in. How can you possibly call that out? He’s walking over. Everybody knows it’s in in the whole stadium. And you call it out? (Pause) You guys are the absolute pits of the world, you know that?”

Boom! Penalty point from the elderly chair umpire. Emotions at Wimbledon run high, one of the many reasons we love it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekQ_Ja02gTY

1. The Heart-Stopping Nadal-Federer Final

Commentator Tim Henman described the match as “undoubtedly the greatest match he had ever seen,” and that doesn’t even do it justice. It had appeared at one stage as if Nadal was going to win the final in straight sets, but then Federer came back into it, and the Spaniard had to gather himself in the decider. In the fourth-set tie-break, Nadal had held two championship points, but Federer saved them both, on the second hitting a backhand pass down the line to deny Nadal. Many players would have turned in on themselves after such a disappointment, but Nadal steadied his nerve for a 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 victory that was twice interrupted by rain. Nadal became the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980, to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same summer, as well as the first Spaniard to win at the All England Club since Manuel Santana in 1966.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC3kHR2SgV4