MIKE DICKSON’S WIMBLEDON MEMORIES: Slippery courts cause chaos for stars like Serena Williams, Emma Raducanu’s chances were hurt by TV schedulers and Andy Murray once again was box-office at SW19
Novak Djokovic defended his Wimbledon title to bring a close to events at SW19 for another year.
Ash Barty, herself a world No 1, dominated the women’s singles draw while there was plenty for British fans to cheer with young stars like Jack Draper and Emma Raducanu impressing.
Sportsmail’s tennis correspondent MIKE DICKSON picks out some of his standout memories from this year’s Wimbledon championships…
British teen Emma Raducanu was the breakout star of this year’s Wimbledon championship
A major talking point reached a climax when Serena Williams and Adrian Mannarino got injured on Centre Court in successive matches. The weather did not help but with grass-court technology evolving, expect to see consideration of whether the courts should be ‘played in’ more prior to the tournament. There will be a debate on footwear — should more pimples be allowed up the side of shoes?
Serena Williams injured herself on a slippery court at Wimbledon and she was soon eliminated
TV VICTIM EMMA
With the BBC paying north of £60m a year for their contract, there are going to be demands for a major say in match schedules. Yet it was clearly wrong that Emma Raducanu’s fourth-round match was played late, with the quarter-finals the next day. Wimbledon saw real mission creep with the roof for TV purposes. It has become a day-night event almost by stealth.
FANS VERY MUCH
The aggregate attendance for Wimbledon came out at 300,000, nearly three times as many as might have been envisaged a month before the tournament. Late changes to government advice presented challenges and while Wimbledon was not as slick as usual, the All England Club proved equal to most obstacles.
Around 300,000 fans turned out at Wimbledon over the course of the fortnight down at SW19
BRIT OF ALL RIGHT
A decent month for British tennis, with plenty of good grass-court results camouflaging some of the deeper problems in the UK game and at the Lawn Tennis Association. The emergence of Jack Draper and Emma Raducanu at Queen’s and Wimbledon was welcome. Yet grass court tennis is an unusual form of the game. Before the bunting comes out, we will need to look at what happens on different surfaces in faraway lands.
For all the drama, Wimbledon lacked a signature match this year, with perhaps the fourth round tie between Denis Shapovalov and Karen Khachanov the pick. Andy Murray — who else? — provided compelling viewing in the first week with his five-set struggles and at least we had a decent enough women’s final.
Andy Murray once again produced some eye-popping displays to the delight of home fans
IT’S GOOD TO TALK
On court, post-match interviews in the main arena are one Covid-driven initiative that look here to stay.
Brought in to ensure they were conducted out in the open air in a pandemic-compliant way, the fans enjoyed them and they are a quick way to provide a window on personalities. The BBC’s Lee McKenzie and Rishi Persad proved admirably adept at handling them.