Game, set, match. From the late 19th century, individuals around the world, old and young, glued themselves to the newspapers, radios and televisions to hear the outcome of the annual The Championships, Wimbledon. 2019 was no different with star-studded performances by world-class athletes, but left the audiences in shock with the rise of new victors and unexpected outcomes.
The Championships, Wimbledon is the oldest and the most prestigious tournaments for tennis athletes worldwide. It, along with the US Open, Australian Open and French Open, constitute the Grand Slam tournaments. Wimbledon is the only of the four tournaments that is still played on grass and has an all-white dress code policy for all of the athletes. The tournament usually occurs for 2 weeks in early July, with the Ladies' Singles and Gentlemen Singles Finals taking place on the Saturday and Sunday respectively at the end of the second week.
In the past few years, the competitiveness of athletes has increased dramatically with the unprecedented success of newer players, including Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep and Coco Gauff to name a few, retirements of legends, including Andy Murray, and current stars holding strong despite an older age and needing to raise a family including Roger Federer and Serena Williams.
Wimbledon 2019 was no exception in maintaining years of prestige and sheer excellence in the tennis community. One of the earlier surprises was the introduction of 15 year old female Cori "Coco" Gauff. Raised in Atlanta, Gauff was inspired to be a tennis athlete after seeing the success of Serena Williams. Gauff is the former No. 1 Junior World Champion and earned a wild card at her debut tournament, the Miami Open, to come to Wimbledon and became the youngest player to qualify for the main tournament in the history of Wimbledon.
The gentlemen singles tournament was rather strong, seeing re-matches between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the first time since 2008, as well continued successes from Novak Djokovic and Roberto Bautista throughout the entirety of the tournament. The finals match for men's singles, the last match of the tournament, broke many records in tennis history and was one of the longest matches ever. The finals saw Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic fight for the silver trophy, where both of them gave it their all. Federer wowed the audience with his strong, incredible backhand near or far from the net, while Djokovic channeled power to do his best in outwitting his opponent. The match was one of the longest finals in history, with the two players having to cross 12 sets until the champion was determined. Every crowd member, royal family member and television watcher was on their seats for the entirety of the match. In the end, Federer decided to call it quits and handed the title to Djokovic, which was unfortunate considering how well he did the whole time.
Now, Djokovic has 5 Grand Slam titles, matching the legendary Bjorn Borg. Federer at 38 years old said he will "do my best to forget [this cup] and show how [age is not a factor]". Federer continues to be a legend, and it will be great to see him in the US Open in a few months.
The ladies' match was not any different. The two finalists were Serena Williams and Romanian star Simona Halep. Both of them fought for their place as the Wimbledon champion throughout each set. Williams with her power and Halep with her agility and skill. The match was a star-studded performance and the victor was Halep, the first Romanian to ever win the tournament. Both of them were professional in the match, and it will be fascinating to see the returns of Williams, Halep and Gauff at the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.