Guy McCrea’s Wimbledon Diary: Day 12
Admiration. My immediate feeling at the end of an entertaining Wimbledon final in which Serena Williams beat Agnieszka Radwanska to claim her fifth singles crown at the All England Club, and her fourteenth career Grand Slam singles title. She later added a fifth doubles trophy with her sister Venus just for good measure!
Serena’s difficulties have been well-documented, but that doesn’t make her comeback from them any less remarkable. Foot injuries, life-threatening blood clots and a plummet down to almost 200 in the WTA rankings – Serena has had to absorb so much. She said in press that ‘each title is definitely special.’ But for me, all that she has had to deal with will make this triumph taste sweeter than any of her many others.
I also hold huge admiration for Radwanska who battled a respiratory illness, maiden Grand Slam final nerves and a rampant Serena to somehow take the final into a deciding set. The Pole deserved to and although she didn’t win in the end, there is a good chance Radwanska will use this experience so that the next time she makes a major final there can be a different outcome. She was extremely composed in press afterwards and admitted that Serena’s serve (she served four straight aces to win one service game during the final set) proved to be a crucial difference: ‘For sure she (Serena) was serving really well. This is the thing, I can’t do anything about it.’
I was surprised to discover that this final was only the third of the last 24 women’s Grand Slam title deciders to go to three sets. Indeed, it was also the first Wimbledon women’s final to go the distance since Amelie Mauresmo beat Justine Henin in 2006. It’s unrealistic to expect close contests every time, but equally too many of those women’s finals in recent years have been horribly one-sided affairs. As such, this three-set clash was badly needed.
As I look back over the Wimbledon women’s draw, there are a whole clutch of positives for the WTA to take into the summer. Principally, most of the best matches in the fortnight were women’s contests – not least the superb contest between Caroline Wozniacki and Tamira Paszek, or the gripping all-German quarter final that featured Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki. With a good mix of different players and personalities, the overriding feeling is that the WTA’s standing has only been enhanced by the events of these past two weeks. Long may that continue!
Guy McCrea commentates on WTA tennis for television and radio. Follow Guy on twitter: @GuyMcCreaTennis