Things We Learned from Finals Weekend at 2014 Wimbledon


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.”

Also, this:

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.

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.


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.

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.

7 Responses

  1. Master Ace
    Master Ace July 8, 2014 at 9:24 am |

    I bet that Errani/Vinci Career Slam will be talked about way less than Pospisil/Sock efforts at Wimbledon. Bryans record against first time pairings may not be good as expected. Huss/Moodie played for first time in 2005 and defeated the Bryans in the final at Wimbledon which is still the numner 1 upset of all time in my book in ATP doubles. What made Huss/Moodie more impressive is that they had to qualify. It helps that the reigining champions are from North America and will be playing in London unless they fall out of the Top 20 or one of them are injured. Currently, their title put them at 9. Still can not believe that Errani/Vinci done their Career Slam in 2 years and one month. Wow.
    One more point on the ATP doubles, Sock has won a Slam in mixed and doubles, will he complete the Slam disclipines?

  2. nT
    nT July 8, 2014 at 8:59 pm |

    yeh all that Italian success so suddenly .. those longer racquets are a marvel for the Italians… I guess the good doctor prescribed that for Errani while *checking her heart.* Jayzuz folks. Any player on the books of a doctor banned from consulting with athletes for doping reasons deserves no mention for their wins.

  3. q10
    q10 July 8, 2014 at 9:33 pm |

    I do agree that the crowd sounded extremely pro-fed while watching on TV- that must be really hard for Nole to handle. I appreciate Changeover’s non-bias towards particular players, thanks!

    Nice win for vasocktomy (great term Amy) but I don’t think they will be continuing to play doubles too much, considering they have potential to become more successful in singles, especially now that Pospisil seems healthy

    Nice doubles win for Sam as well, she could return to specialising in doubles once her singles career is over

  4. jane
    jane July 9, 2014 at 3:50 am |

    nice write up!
    actually i think jack and vasek have said they WILL play dubs again, maybe even us open. hope so. they rocked.
    as did petra’s power and nole’s epic!
    fun slam!

  5. Ken
    Ken July 11, 2014 at 3:42 pm |

    Can we just talk about how unfair has this tournament been to Stanislas Wawrinka who had to play 3 consecutive matches?? Would Federer make the final if he had to play a well rested Wawrinka in quarters?? Stan won the 1st set, broke Federer’s serve for the first time in tournament, but in the end when he lost that close 2nd set he just didn’t seem capable of making an effort physically or mentally.
    Please someone write something about how weak his draw was when he had to face 3 32 year olds in his 1st 4 matches. Why can’t anyone write what seems to go against general crowd perception?

    If someone reads about Wimbledon final, there is no article in which his easy draw and luck with scheduling is mentioned. This creates an illusion that Federer won 6 matches against quality opponents.
    Maybe no one will ever write about it, but at least think about how lucky Federer was with the draw and Wimbledon’s scheduling. Unless he gets a similar weak draw at any other major, i doubt he is making anymore 2nd week at slams.

    And Halep has won 15 matches at Slam this year, which is one less than Bouchard, against whom she lost mainly due to injuries. Show some appreciation for Halep who was blasted and undermined for her poor performances at Slams but is now being ignored after putting in brilliant results.

    1. Alison
      Alison July 17, 2014 at 8:48 pm |

      “Would Federer make the final if he had to play a well rested Wawrinka in quarters??”

      Well, I think he still would have done. Yes, I don’t know why the organisers told the competitors in the outstanding singles to go home so early on the Saturday: one match could certainly have been played, or at least started, under the roof after Federer had finished, and surely Stan, as a reigning GS champion, would have deserved that? On the other hand, his other matches were straight-sets wins, weren’t they? Somewhat less stressful, I’d assume, than playing 3 sets in a best-of-3 format, where there is actually some possibility you might lose, so I’m not sure he actually lost out that much by it.

  6. Alison
    Alison July 17, 2014 at 8:56 pm |

    “3. Wimbledon crowds REALLY don’t love Novak”

    I really don’t think that’s fair: it’s just that in the last couple of years he’s had the misfortune to play against the Home Favourite Who the Previous Year had been Made to Cry by that Nasty Roger Federer (and there were, I think, a lot of people in that crowd who wouldn’t normally have been at a Wimbledon final, which I think changed the atmosphere) and the Very Much Loved Possible GOAT and 6-Times Champion Going for a Record-Equalling 7th Title Roger Federer 🙂

    Did he get similar treatment in the 2011 final? I have a total mental block about that one.

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