2012 Wimbledon Review
2012 Wimbledon Review
Now the dust has settled we can reflect on what has been one of the best and most exciting Wimbledon Championships in many a year. Not in a long time has the nation been so gripped with anticipation and hope, and viewing figures going through the roof and into the night. Records were smashed, and so were many a rackets! At the end of the day the two champions used their experience and showed why they are both now Tennis Legends. We are sure that at the end of the year we will look back at these Championships as one of the major sporting highlights in the year.
The tournament started off with four men vying for the title. Many thought it would come down to Djokovic v Nadal final, but could Murray raise those British hopes, or could Federer still show us his class and fight off the younger challengers. On the Women’s side it was wide open. Sharapova came in riding high from winning the French Open and returning to world number 1, whilst Azarenka and Radwanska were having fantastic 2012 seasons. Kvitova returned as champion, but eyes would also be on the Williams sisters who have been so successful on the grass courts at SW19.
The first day threw up the first shock of the tournament with former champion Venus Williams crashing out to Vesnina. Venus looked a shadow of her former self and now the calls of retirement cannot be far behind. Elsewhere on the women’s side there were strong victories for the seeds, as well as plucky Birt Heather Watson. As we rolled into week 2, only one women was looking strong and a potential champion and that was the relatively unknown third seed Radwanska from Poland. Few would of picked her at the beginning of the tournament but her guile and grace on the court made a few people stand up and think. Favourite Sharapova fell to Lisicki in the 4th round, and then reigning champion Kvitova was beaten in the Quarters. The semi final line up saw Serena Williams, who nearly fell in the 3rd and 4th round, beat the powerful Azarenka, whilst the impressive Radwanska continued her remarkable success beating the German surprise run Kerber. The final had Williams as clear favourite, and she stormed the first set 6-1. However, after a short rain delay and roof closing, the Pole came back into it winning the second set 7-5. The final set saw Serena show her true class as she rode out 6-2 to win her 5th title.
On the Men’s side the biggest shock came in the 2nd round, when the much fancied Nadal got shocked and outplayed by the unknown Rosol of Czech Republic. The nation was gripped by a fantastic match, which many thought would be over within a quick three sets. At the end of a fantastic game, a new hero was born. However, his run didn’t last long when he was knocked out in the next round. Elsewhere, Djokovic looked good, whilst Federer and Murray dropped the odd set and looked injured at times, but were battling through. The bottom half of the draw now open it cleared the way for Tsonga to possibly make an appearance in the final. The gap was also spotted by Ferrer who put Murray to the test in a enthralling Quarter Final game. The semi final saw Federer beat a oddly erratic Djokovic and Murray bless the nation with a first Wimbledon finalist since 1938 by beating Tsonga. The final came and people lived in hope that we could finally see that home nation winner. After winning the first set and looking good in the second that hope looked like it would turn to reality. However, another rain delay meaning closure of the roof, saw Federer come out and demonstrate why he is the best ever player. A teary Murray charmed the nation in defeat but then the crowd rose to a truly magnificent champion.
So how did we fair with the rest of the Brits? Well we had 5 participants in the 2nd round which put smiles across the LTA if only for a day. Baltacha showed guts and Keothavong looked impressive in the 1st round until both were beaten in the 2nd. Johanna Konta looked impressive in her first major tournament under the British banner, and Laura Robson will rue mistakes whilst leading Schiavone in the first round. The future does look a bit rosier on the Women’s side with Heather Watson making the 3rd round, the first time we’ve had that in a decade. With her, Robson, Broady and Konta, it looks like we will still survive when Baltacha and Keothavong decide to call it a day. On the men’s side, only James Ward made the 2nd round beating world no. 35 Andujar before being beaten in a exciting and close game against 10th Seed Fish of USA. There were a few glimmers of hope but again the hopes were left to Murray.
However, one Brit did capture the nation and bring home a title. This was the doubles specialist Jonny Marray who with his partner Neilsen from Denmark won the Men’s Double Championships, thus becoming the first Brit in 76 years to do so. The Wildcard entrants had only been in three tournaments before Wimbledon but showed guts and class by making the final and earning themselves £130,000 each.
So records were not just broken at these Championships, they were smashed. Murray and Marray brought hope and excitement to a nation begging for a champion. We were treated to some of the best tennis in a long time, and some of the closest games we’ve ever seen. And fittingly, the last moment of the Championship had Federer matched Sampras’ Wimbledon titles and then overtake him in the number of weeks at world number 1. Its been said before and will be said again, Federer is the best the world has ever seen.