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Wimbledon 2021- Return Of The The Tennis "Ball"

(Topic created on: 12-07-2021 01:54 PM)
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Wimbledon 2021- RETURN OF THE TENNIS "BALL"

 

After a year’s absence it is great to see the hallowed lawns of SW19 in action again.  The championships were permitted to run as a test event with 50% capacity in the first week and it has now been confirmed there will be 100% capacity from the quarter finals onwards on the show courts.    Somewhat mixed feelings about this, though proof of double vaccinations or negative lateral flow test is required. 

 

Anyway whilst I have a guaranteed ticket for 2022 I decided it was too soon to be in crowds this time and did not try for tickets which were al being sold online.  All tickets had to be purchased in advance, the Wimbledon queue not in operation this time.  Anyone who has been watching on Tv may have thought it looked pretty full but  seats towards the back have been empty which I thought was a bit pointless.   However at these test events they are seeing how things go without social distancing.

How Ticketing works this year:  https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/tickets/2021_tickets_faqs.html 

 

Anyway on to the Tennis!  The initial  story was of some absent players, noteably Rafael Nadal who failed this time to retain his French title(losing to Djokovic in the semis) decided to skip both the grass season and the Tokyo Olympics.  He felt the clay season has been exerting and after discussions with his team took this decision in order to extend his career.  Naomi Osaka after pulling out of The French after 1 round due to mental health reasons and her wish not to do press conferences (which created some controversy though many including myself felt she had sufficient support or understanding ) also decided she would not participate at Wimbledon but would be back for the Olympics.  Later on Dominic Thiem the current Us champion and Simona Halep the Wimbledon holder pulled out due to injury. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jun/17/rafael-nadal-decides-against-playing-wimbledon-tokyo-o...  On the eve of the Championships Johanna Konta was forced to pull out as one of her team tested positive for covid.

 

 

Usually quite a few players will rent houses rather than staying in a hotel but this time are having to remain in a bubble and all are required to stay in a Westminster hotel, even if they live in London.   Some information reported here https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/tennis/wimbledon-tennis-players-strict-coronavirus-bubble-park-plaz...

 

I do not work for Samsung or make Samsung Products but provide independent advice and valuable contributions.


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Womens Semis

In the first semi Barty again doing a lot of damage with slice, variation and low balls.  However  Kerber was fighting hard and exerting pressure in the 2nd and went up a break early in the 2nd. Defence  creating  results but also coming up with more winners.  However Barty upped the wheels came off  with a few loose shots when Angie served at 5-3.  Into went into a breaker with Barty having a much better start and at 6-0 the match was over though Kerber won 3 points before Ash sealed it.

in the 2nd semi it was very much a matter of first strike tennis and few extended rallies (32 aces between them but Sabalenka ahead  on 18)   However Karolina Pliskova was returning better though Aryna Sabalenka  would often come up  with an ace or unreturnable.   However there were a few chances where the czech failed to connect. Frustration  mounted as 8 break points came and went  and she gave the Belarussian the chance as Sabalenka took the first 7-5.    However rather than fading Pliskova regrouped and  had a strong serving display in the 2nd  whilst returning well.   She took the opportunity taking the 2nd over the no2 seed 6-4.  The 3rd was very similar, pliskova got early break and was very solid, never gave Sabalenka much of a shot to come back and served out the win. 

https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2021-07-08/unflappable_pliskova_through_to_saturdays_f...

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/08/ashleigh-barty-outplays-angelique-kerber-to-reach-firs...

 

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Men's Semis

Djokovic was certainly tested by the Canadian Dennis Shapovalov  before reaching his  7th final  but for the underdog it was a case of missed opportunities.  Shapovalov came out swinging  with strong serve and some thunderous groundstrokes combined with forays into the net at times when he had the opportunity.  However  serving for the set at 5-4 there was a lack of first serves  and Djokovic took advantage and with stronger play took the breaker 7-3.   This proved pivotal and whilst Novak was not finding his best form consistently would often step up on the key points.   However Denis  failed to capitalise on some chances and with his big game  sometimes over presses and against the world no1  felt he had to take it on.   Nonetheless only making one of 11 break points seems a bit careless, though Djokovic's conversion rate was only 30%. Whilst being a bit from his best Novak prevailed 7-6,7-5,7-5.

The semi between Berrettini and Hurkacz in the initial stages somewhat disappointed.   Matteo as has often been the case these championships strong on serve and the forehand with some impressive net play.   However Hubert was a bit tense and in the 2nd set where he failed to win a game out of rhythm and form.  However he got his power game going in the 3rd to take the breaker though the Italian possibly relaxed a little.   However Berrettini was on song in the 4th taking in 6-4.  

 See articles below

https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2021-07-09/djokovic_holds_off_mercurial_shapovalov_to_... 

https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2021-07-09/berrettini_storms_into_first_final.html 

I do not work for Samsung or make Samsung Products but provide independent advice and valuable contributions.


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Women's Final

The final at times was a bit of  a tense affair, however certainly provided some drama and exciting tennis!   Pliskova was really nervy at the start and her serve did not have the same potency and her footwork deserted her in the initial stages. However Barty was on form very  quickly with some great winners though Karolina's shots were attackable.  In fact Ash broke Pliskova three times in the first set but the czech got some returns going coming back from 1-5 to 3-5 but the Australian took the set.

pliskova's serve got going in the 2nd but Barty  could put under pressure with variation, slice, spin and retrieving skills.  She a break for 3-1 but Pliskova was able to attack and then get ahead. However at 5 all a mistake and some crushing blows gave Ash the chance to serve it out.  Lack of first serves though and some tension lead us into a Breaker.  Here Karolina's serve and power game proved more effective as she took it 7-4.

Nonetheless Barty stepped it up in the 3rd , aided by some poor shots from the czech as she powered her way to 3-0. The one break proved decisive as while Pliskova fought and had break point at 3-5 she was unable to convert.  Her shot looked like a winner but Ash was able to retrieve got an error and then an ace put her in pole position.

Barty is the champion taking it 6-3,6-7,6-3.    See article here:  https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2021-07-10/barty_wins_maiden_wimbledon_crown.html 

 

 

 

 

 

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Doubles Finals

Two entertaining Doubles finals followed.  Elsie Mertens and Su-Wei Hsieh came from behind to  beat  Elena Vesnina and Eronika Kudermetova 3-6,7-6,9-7 in quite a lengthy encounter.  Some engaging rallies and net exchanges in this contest which had looked fairly routine in the beginning.  The Russians had match point in the 2nd at  5-4 but the Belgian/Taiwan partnership fought back and finally edged the decider.  https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2021-07-10/third_wimbledon_ladies_doubles_trophy_for_h... 

As the Men's Doubles started around 8 the roof was closed so there would be no interruption.  The top seeds Croatians Mektic and pavic made the stronger start and went 2 sets up on Granollers and Zeballos. 6-4,7-6 Serving, power tennis and volleying exchanges were the key but a lapse in the 2nd  allowed the Spanish/Argentinian team  a way back into the match with two breaks of serve . the 4th was tight but  Mektic and Pavic edged it 7-5  to become the first Croatan team to win a Wimbledon title.  the top seeds had beaten  American Rajeev Ram and Brit Joe salisbury in 4 sets in the semis.   the 7th seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares who rejoined forces this year and have won 2 slams unfortunately exited early in Round 2 .  2nd seeds Herbert and Mahut the French champions were forced to retire at same stage due to  a muscle problem for Pierre Hughes Herbet.   

https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2021-07-10/mektic_and_pavic_first_croats_to_win_wimble... 

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Men's Final

Djokovic was the clear favourite for the final but Berrettini had impressed on the grass,  though this would be the ultimate test.    I thought much likely to depend on how the Italian started, in the event he was quite tense and did not have the usual rhythm on the serve and his movement was not fluid enough. Whilst Djokovic was not totally confident with 3 doubles in his first two service games, however he soon powered ahead and leas 5-2.  However inexplicably let the  Italian back in  he lacked force and Berrettini connected on return and took control of rallies.   We were soon into a breaker and it was here that the Italian used the forehand to good effect taking breaker 7-4.  However a bit of lull in the 2nd where Djokovic took advantage being more aggressive on return but still was not in vintage mode and Berretinni came back from 2-5 to 4-5 before the world no1 served it out.  The 3rd was fairly tight but Djokovic  made more forays to the net with the Italian being a bit passive at times.  Still only 5 winners in that and it was the Djokovic defence which served him well as he took it 6-4.

The 4th set was when the Serb really upped the pace  with some incredible gets  and at 2-3 15-30 Djokovic made retrieved a drop shot and found a superb angle.  Looks like that was significant as thereafter it was Berrettini under pressure and was broken again to lose the 4th 6-3.

So Djokovic Wimbledon champion for the 6th time and has 20th slam as do Federer and Nadal but the Serb more likely to win this race.  Berrettini cab reflect on good championships but ultimately he was not able to exert enough pressure on the world no1.

See Wimbledon report here:https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2021-07-11/history_man_still_on_prowl.html 

 

 

 

 

 

  

I do not work for Samsung or make Samsung Products but provide independent advice and valuable contributions.


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Round Up

Traditionally the curtain comes down on the Championships  with the Mixed Doubles final  and this year we were guaranteed at least one British winner as  we had an all British pair in Joe Salisbury and Harriet Dart  ad the Brit/American team of Neal Skupski and  Desirae Krawczyk.   An interesting fact here is that  Joe Salisbury won the French Open with Krawczyk when they beat the favoured partnership of Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev 2-6, 6-4, 10-5 .  Anyway it transpired that  the Wimbledon partnership had been agreed before the  the French partnership came about though Joe said he may play with Desirae again in the future. The last all  Brit team  to  win was Jeremy Bates and Joe Durie in 1987, though Jamie Murray has won (with Jelena Jankovic and Martina Hingis in 2007 and 2017 respectively)  and Heather Watson won with Henri Kontinen in 2016.  This time Jamie Murray did not enter the event  and Watson/Kontinen  lost in the opening round 6-1,7-6 to  Salisbury/Dart.

Anyway on to this final and  it was Skupski and  Krawczyk who had the stronger start being stronger on serve ,returns, volleys with Dart being placed under the most pressure.   The 2nd was tighter  but Salisbury/Dart was unable to achieve any break points  though held on to take it to a Breaker.  Here however Neal/ Desirae stepped up and gave no 2nd chances as they wrapped it up 7-1 to take the title.   It was the first slam success for Neal Skupski.    Report here : https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2021-07-11/skupski_and_krawczyk_seal_final_match_of_th... 

 

There was some British success in the wheelchair events,Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid win the Doubles with a 7-5,6-2 succcess over  Tom Egberink and Belgium's Joachim Gerard .   However Gordon Reid fell in the singles final to Gerard 6-2,7-6. 

Britain's Jordanne Whiley won the Doubles with  Japan's Yui Kamiji   winning 6-0,7-6 over  South Africa's Kgothatso Montjane and fellow Briton Lucy Shuker .  

The Boys singles champion is   Samir Banerjee who took the title 7-5,6-3 over   fellow Ameircan Victor Lilov  .  The Girls champion is   Spain's Ane Mintegi Del Olmo who took the title 2-6,6-4,6-1 over  Nastasja Mariana Schunk of the Netherlands.

Leo Borg the 18 year old son of the Tennis Great played in the Junior event but went out in the 2nd Round, he did reach the Quarters in the French juniors.  https://www.tatler.com/article/who-is-leo-borg-bjorn-borg-borg-son-wimbledon-tennis-player  He actually played the young Borg in the movie.  https://eu.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2018/04/13/borg-vs-mcenroe-bjorn-borgs-tennis-star-son-leo... 

There were  no Legends events this time   (or Invitational Doubles as officially called) but should return  in 2022.  so holders at the moment still are Arnaud Clement/Michael Llodra,  Cara Black/Martina Navratilova and Jonas Bjorkman/Todd woodbridge.  The Men  in the past have had  both an over 35 and over 45 event.

 

All in all a  memorable return for Wimbledon, though obviously pity a few stars were missing.

 

 

I do not work for Samsung or make Samsung Products but provide independent advice and valuable contributions.


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Looking forward to 2022 https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2021-07-12/five_things_to_look_forward_to_in_2022.html 

Things We Learned From  the Championships  https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2021-07-12/2021-07-12_things_we_learned_from_the_champ... 

 Diary , including some Video Highlights https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2021-07-12/diary_of_the_fortnight_2021.html 

I do not work for Samsung or make Samsung Products but provide independent advice and valuable contributions.


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Shots From Last Decade :

 

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