It was a tale of two different stories for Roger Federer and Venus Williams this championship weekend. Both grass court specialists came into their respective finals with momentum and experience on their side. Yet only one walked away with a championship trophy.
Roger Federer, without question, has been the dominant player of the season. He won the first grand slam of the year in Australia and then went on to win the two biggest titles hardcourt tournaments (other than the US Open) in America. Roger skipped the clay court season, knowing that surface belonged to Rafael Nadal, which allowed him to be ready for the surface he is the most dominant on, grass. A great idea!
At Wimbledon, Roger showed his prowess for the grass, making it all the way to the finals without breaking a sweat and losing a set. He defeated worthy opponents such as Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic (the player he lost to last year) and Tomas Berdych. Though Roger didn’t face another member of the big four (Murray, Djokovic, Nadal), he did face a player whom he lost to in a grand slam semi and who was on the brink of defeating him last year in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, Croatian, Marin Cilic.
Cilic, was having a great grass court season and he appeared to be a real threat to Federer. However, that was not to be the case. In the first set Cilic fell while trying to get to a ball and though it looked harmless at the time, Cilic’s movement would be hampered throughout the rest of the match, allowing Roger an advantage, he almost certainly didn’t need. Roger took control of the match and won handily in straight sets 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. Roger now has eight Wimbledon titles, second behind Martina Navratilova’s nine. Federer has 19 grand slam titles overall.
After the match Roger said, “I always believed that I could maybe come back and do it again. And if you believe, you can go really, really far in your life, and I did that. And I’m happy I kept on believing and dreaming and here I am today for the eighth. It’s fantastic.”
On the women’s side, Venus Williams was unable to complete her fairy tale run at the finals. Venus, came into the championship match, with the knowledge that she only lost to her sister Serena in the finals of Wimbledon. Therefore, she knew she had a great chance of winning her sixth Wimbledon title against former finalist Garbine Muguruza.
It was a tight first set, where both players faced tremendous pressure on their reliable serves. Both ladies saved break points in the early games of the set. Then at 5-4, Venus had several opportunities to break Muguruza for the set, but Muguruza scrambled and fought tooth and nail and saved two set points. Venus would then blink the next game, giving the break to Muguruza. Wasting no time, Muguruza served out the set.
In the second set, Muguruza took full control and Venus perhaps dispirited from losing the opening set after having her chances won not win a single game. Muguruza won nine straight games, defeating Venus in a dominant fashion 7-5, 6-0. This was Garbine’s second grand slam and Garbine can now boast that she beat both Venus and Serena in a grand slam final (Muguruza beat Serena in the French Open final last season).
After the match, both ladies had nice words for each other. Muguruza said about Venus, “It’s great to go out there and play somebody that you admire. I knew she was going to make me suffer and fight for it.” Venus said about Muguruza, “”She competed really well. So, credit to her. She just dug in there.”