1. Petra Kvitova can still boss it.
It wasn’t just a one-Wimbledon thing!
Hey, remember 2011? Remember when Petra Kvitova burst onto the scene with terrifying ground strokes that obliterated her opponents and earned her the Wimbledon title? Hey, remember those three years since when crowds around the world have been diving for cover as shots flew wildly from the Czech’s racquet in any direction they possibly could except where she meant to hit them?
When Kvitova won Wimbledon 2011, I thought she was going to win pretty much everything from then on. Or at least be runner up to Serena. Her shots are so impressive, her A-game is so jaw-droppingly dominant, that I honestly think she’s unbeatable when she’s in the zone. She’s just so rarely in that zone for long enough. I have wondered, over the years, if she’d ever be able to maintain that form over a two-week stint again…and she did it!
Kvitova hasn’t just won Wimbledon, she’s reminded us why she’s a force to be reckoned with. She’s older now, her temperament is getting steadier: we know now she’s not a one-hit wonder. Her performance in that final was…it was incredible.
I’m not going to be drawn in again: I don’t think she’ll win everything from now on, of course not. I don’t think she can play this well for two weeks at every Slam. I don’t think she can play this well over one week at every tournament. But I do think she can play well at MANY tournaments and MANY slams…especially on the turf of Wimbledon.
2. Sometimes, you can’t control your destiny.
Last year, Lisicki played a horrid final. I would argue that Bartoli prevented Lisicki from ever gathering momentum, and she’s very much a momentum player, but I think it’s basically universally acknowledged that the German didn’t have her head together for that match.
Let me just say this, Eugenie Bouchard nay-Sayers: Eugenie didn’t flop. She looked emotionally stable. She played good tennis. She showed up for that final. Sometimes, you walk out to play a Wimbledon final and across the net you have Petra Kvitova in boss mode. Lindsay Davenport said it best in regards to Eugenie’s match:
“She didn’t play bad tennis, she wasn’t allowed to play ANY tennis.”
How good was Petra Kvitova today? Eugenie Bouchard hit just four unforced errors. Four. #wimbledon
— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) July 5, 2014
I know the marketing around Eugenie is annoying, but let’s not get confused about what it means regarding her tennis. She’s won more matches at slams than anyone else this year because she’s very good. An ugly ball striker, yes. But an effective, ugly ball striker! It’s not “hype” if the results are real.
3. Wimbledon crowds REALLY don’t love Novak
I already said this earlier in the week and I’m just going to repeat it, because it was evident again in the final. The crowd were behind Federer all the way through the final. Not as aggressively as they were for Murray last year (not possible!) but they were pro-Fed non-the-less. It must be difficult for Novak to see it as Pro-InsertName rather than anti-Novak because, let’s face it, it’s starting to feel a little anti-Novak.
I don’t understand it. I hope crowds will keep warming to him the more he continues his successes at the slams.
Djokovic has his cake. (GETTY) pic.twitter.com/hbjON1H3VT
— Joe Fleming (@ByJoeFleming) July 7, 2014
Seven slams for you Novak Djokovic, you go Novak Djokovic.
4. Five-set matches are fun and should keep being a thing.
I tend to flip-flop on this issue depending on my mood and on the quality of the five set matches I’m enduring, but that was a brilliant, BRILLIANT, men’s final. It was a brilliant final because Federer looked out of it, and came back. It was a brilliant final because Novak suffered disappointment after disappointment, and looked like he’d never close it out, only to go on and win in the end. It was brilliant because it was long, and tense, and a marathon.
It was brilliant because there was five sets of it, and it was a demonstration of sporting excellence.
I’ll resist giving you my “five-set matches for everyone from QF onwards” pitch…
5. Do not question Samuel L. Jackson’s relationship with Victoria Beckham, okay? Good.
Lotta Bullshit goin' round, I had a ball sitting next to @victoriabeckham at Wimbledon yesterday! Truly Lovely!STFU!!
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) July 7, 2014
1. I cannot stop thinking about Petra Kvitova’s performance in that final. I have never ever enjoyed a blow-out match that much. Please, I hope you guys remind me to go back and re-watch that match during the off-season, because it deserves some perspective and an essay or 100.
Often, one-way matches have a lot to do with one party not showing up. That wasn’t the case in this final. (Although, it must be said that Genie didn’t make any adjustments during the match, and she’s going to have to figure out a way to do that in the future. Even though it’s likely nothing would have worked, it would have been nice to see her try something.)
But seriously, you guys, LOOK AT THIS POINT. Let’s all just watch it over and over and over again.
Further evidence of how good Petra Kvitova was today: This point. http://t.co/Z0wFqg1e5S
— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) July 5, 2014
Stay with us, good Petra. We’ve missed you.
2. I’m going to do that annoying thing where I link everything else I’ve written over the past few days.
Before the women’s final, I looked at the ’90s kids for Sports on Earth. The stats are pretty astounding. Even though players born in the ’90s are now 24, Petra Kvitova is still the only player on either tour from that group to have won a Slam. That’s…mind boggling.
In all, three men from the ’90s have made Slam semis, all in the past 13 months, all at Wimbledon: Jerzy Janowicz, Milos Raonic, and Grigor Dimitrov.
The women have only fared slightly better. Five women have made it to the semis: Caroline Wozniacki, Sloane Stephens, Simona Halep, Eugenie Bouchard, and Kvitova. Everyone from that group has a Slam final except for Sloane.
I knew the stats were staggering, but seeing them written down like that is just, I don’t know. It’s a bit depressing.
3. For Bleacher Report over the weekend I wrote about Petra’s grass-court greatness, Djokovic’s return to the top, Federer’s bright future, and I rounded up all of the winners and losers from Wimbledon.
Phew. I’m off most of the week, going into bridesmaid mode for a friend’s wedding, but I will have a post about press conferences up here tomorrow that I think you guys will enjoy. Anyways…
4. Nobody’s talking about the men at all, so I guess I should! Har. Har.
I enjoyed the men’s final immensely. I don’t agree with Novak that it was the most high-quality final he’s ever played, nor do I think it was the most high-quality Fedole match I’ve ever seen played, but given the storylines and the ebbs and flows it was absolutely, positively captivating.
I will be perfectly honest that I did not see Djokovic winning this title. His demeanor this year has been pretty poor, and I thought things were going to have to get a little bit lower before he was able to fight back tot he top. Oops.
We all knew that Djokovic could win majors against the best when he was at his PEAK level. We also knew that Djokovic could make it deep in majors when he wasn’t at his peak level. What I hadn’t seen yet–or at least, not that I can recall right now–was Djokovic finding a way to win a Slam when he wasn’t at his best mentally or physically.
It was great to see him do that, and it should be scary for the rest of the field. How many Slams do you think he’ll get to now?
My current guess is 11. That’s a lot. This generation, man. It is pretty good.
5. Oh, Federer. Should I address him? You can read my link above to get my thoughts, but basically, he’s good at tennis and he still wants to win so he’ll likely have another shot to do so. I’m not saying he will, I’m not saying he won’t. I’m saying that we’re pretty damn lucky to get to see him try.
Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci won the Career Slam in doubles, which is incredible. And then they celebrated like this, which is even more incredible:
LOVE IT. What an accomplishment, especially considering they did this all in just over two years…their first major victory was at the French Open in 2012.
Meanwhile, possibly my favorite match of the tournament was Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil’s destruction of the Bryan Brothers. The “youngsters” were so energetic, so in sync, and so fearlessly powerful that it was just a joy to watch.
I’m a big fan of the Bryans, and I’m sure they’ll be back adding to history soon. But, I mean, how do you not just love this?
Also, I saw literally zero of this match due to writing deadlines, but kudos to Sam and Zimo for taking the mixed crown!
7. I love Slams, and I’m excited for the U.S. Open, but man am I thrilled that we don’t have to do this all again in two weeks. Phew.