Wimbledon Recap 2019
By Michael J. Lewis
There are some Slams that fly by uneventfully, and a few months later you can barely remember most of what happened during it.
Yeah that was NOT this year's Wimbledon.
We had more plotlines stuffed into this fortnight than in an episode of "Billions." A 15-year-old kid named Coco Gauff took over the attention of the sports world for a few days by reaching the fourth round.
We had tennis senior citizens named Roger and Serena, 37 years young, reaching the singles finals (if they'd both won, would the Champions Dinner have been held at 4:30 p.m.?)
And in the end we had Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep, extremely worthy champions who had much, much different final paths to holding those glorious trophies.
A quick recap of all things Wimbledon, 2019:
The men’s final was another epic, as Novak Djokovic saved two match points against Roger Federer and went on to win in five sets, including the first-ever 12-12 tiebreak in a singles match at Wimbledon. Djokovic, with 16 Slams, firmly enters the GOAT conversation, and it’s looking increasingly likely he’ll eventually pass Nadal (18) and Federer (20) in total Slams won.
As for Federer, he’s got to be gutted. This ranks up as his most painful loss at a Slam since he cried on the podium after the 2009 Australian Open final. He may never have as good a chance to win another Slam.
On the women’s side, Serena Williams again reached the final without having to play a Top 10 player, then encountered one and came up short. All props to Simona Halep, who has clearly shed her “choker” rep.
Besides the incredible performances of Gauff, and Alison Riske (quarterfinals) it was a mixed bag Wimbledon for the Americans. On the men’s side, 7-footer Reilly Opelka and Steve Johnson both reached the third round, and Sam Querrey made the quarters. But it was a disappointing result for Frances Tiafoe (2nd straight first-round Slam loss and Taylor Fritz (2nd round). On the women’s side, Gauff was obviously a big story, but early exits for Amanda Anisimova, Sofia Kenin and Madison Keys were surprising.
Fabio Fognini has a long, long rap sheet of awful behavior on the tennis court. He “lived up to” his disgusting rep with a truly repulsive comment during a match, saying he “wish a bomb should explode here.” How this didn’t create a bigger outrage, I don’t know.
On the broadcast side, ESPN did its usual stellar job, hyping Gauff once the interest was there and providing comprehensive coverage. There were often times too many talking heads analyzing the matches, but clearly the network takes tennis seriously. And the ESPN-plus sub for $4.99 is absolutely worth it so you can see all the courts. Besides ESPN, Tennis Channel continues to show its commitment to the sport even when it's not airing the matches live, with a terrific complement of broadcasters and analysts on hand.
No truth to the rumor that Scotland Yard has a missing persons report out for Sasha Zverev. Wow, has he fallen off the map this year