It was Wimbledon No.7 for Novak Djokovic, and it was his 21st career major. It was an event that was controversial as all Russian and Belarusian players were banned and in retaliation ATP and WTA withdrew all ranking points to be awarded.
Novak Djokovic defeated Nick Kyrgios who was in his first major final 46 63 64 76. The two crucial points of the match came in the ninth game of the second set when Kyrgios had four break back points including 0/40 Djokovic held to win the set and then in the third set when Kyrgios was 40/0 at 45 and Djokovic broke.
Kyrgios was to play Rafa Nadal in the semis, but Nadal withdrew. Novak swept past Cam Norrie in the semis. Ironically it was a Russian born Kazakh who won the women’s singles in a match between first timers. Elena Rybakina defeated Ons Jabeur 36 62 62 to become the first player from her country to win Wimbledon. Unfortunately, she showed next to no emotion on winning.
It was a very good Wimbledon this year.
the talking points for the month was the Serena Williams retirement announcement that she penned herself in Vogue magazine. An era was ending at the U.S. Open.
In Toronto at the Canadian women’s Simona Halep beat Beatrice Haddad Maia 63 26 63. The Brazilian had earlier upset Iga Swiatek.
At the men’s in Montréal, Pablo Carreno Busta beat Hubert Hurkacz 36 63 63. The top two seeds Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz both lost in their first matches - Medvedev to Nick Kyrgios who won singles and doubles in Washington DC (the event before) and Alcaraz lost to Tommy Paul.
In Cincinnati, Caro Garcia beat Petra Kvitova. Madison Keys had a good run beating the previous two major winners Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina.
In the men’s, Borna Coric scored his biggest career win – he scored a 76 62 result over Stefanos Tsitsipas. It was a huge run for Coric who upset Rafa Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut Felix Auger-Aliassime and Cam Norrie. Tsitsipas stopped Medvedev in the semis.
it was a huge and brilliant U.S. Open. Serena Williams career came to an end at the hands of Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round. There were some fascinating matches and in the end Iga Swiatek won her first U.S. Open beating Ons Jabeur 62 76. Jabeur in her second consecutive major final and runner-up for the second time.
What an amazing run it was for Carlos Alcaraz beat Casper Ruud 64 26 76 63 which also made him the youngest ever No.1 in the computer rankings. Nick Kyrgios beat defending champion Daniil Medvedev 76 36 63 62 and Frances Tiafoe played a stunning match to upset Rafa Nadal in four sets. Alcaraz played two of the year’s stunning five setters when he beat Jannik Sinner and Tiafoe. The Kyrgios-Khachanov match was another brilliant clash.
It was during Davis Cup week that Roger Federer announced that he would be retiring at the Laver Cup in London. When it came to the event emotions ran high. There were tears all round when Roger played his final match, a doubles, with his friend and rival Rafa Nadal. Amazingly Team Europe with the big four Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray along with Ruud, Tsitsipas and Norrie lost to team world for the first time in the event’s history. But it was all about Roger and the tears.
It was quite a month off court for tennis. First Rafa Nadal and his wife Mery became parents for the first time – a boy named Rafael and just days after Daniil Medvedev and his wife Daria were parents for the first time to a daughter, Alisa, and Gael Monfils and Elina Svitolina were also parents for the first time, also a daughter, Skai. Mmm, it was always said the Australian Open was the “happy slam”.
Holger Rune did what no other male player had done since the computer rankings started in August 1973; he beat five top 10 players in as many days at the same event. The 19-year-old beat No.1 Carlos Alcaraz and finished off by beating Novak Djokovic 36 63 75 to win the Rolex Paris Masters. That allowed him to enter the top 10 for the first time and became the youngest to win the event since Boris Becker in 1986.
At the WTA Finals in Ft. Worth, it was Caro Garcia who was the surprise champion beating Aryna Sabalenka 76 64. Garcia beat Maria Sakkari in the semis and Sabalenka ended Iga Swiatek’s run.
The Billie Jean King Cup (formerly Fed Cup) in Glasgow saw victory for Switzerland over Australia 2-0 and for the Swiss it was the first time they had won the title.
The ATP Finals week in Torino was a great week for Novak Djokovic on and off the court. Off court the Australian government has overturned his ban and will give him a visa to enter Australia for January and on court he won the ATP Finals for a record equalling sixth time. He defeated Casper Ruud 75 63. For Ruud it was some disappointment again being runner-up just as he had been at the French and US Opens. There were some brilliant matches played with the possible best being Andrey Rublev’s 67 63 76 win over Daniil Medvedev.
The final event of the official season was the Davis Cup by Rakuten final in Malaga. Canada claimed its first ever win in the event beating Australia 2-0. They became the 16th different nation to claim the Davis Cup and Canada bookended the men’s team events having won the ATP Cup at the start of the year. For Australia it was their first final since 2003 and the first time since 1993 they were in the finals of the BJK Cup and Davis Cup in the same year.
And so, the official tennis year drew to a close.
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