The Reuters global sports blog
This year’s Olympic tennis was, in my opinion, the most prestigious in history due to the fact that it was being held at the home of tennis, Wimbledon.
Roger Federer had made it his goal to try to win Olympic gold in singles for the first time, one of the very few things he hasn’t achieved in his career.
Andy Murray on the other hand, was trying to win gold on home soil after a painful loss to Federer in the Wimbledon finals.
The world number 1 Novak Djokovic was also desperate for gold. The only disappointment on the men’s side was the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal, who did not play due to injury and then subsequently also missed the rest of the season.
I cannot remember a year with more British sporting success. Andy Murray has had the best year of his career, becoming the first British man to win a major in 76 years. On top of that, he won Olympic gold at Wimbledon in singles, silver in the mixed doubles and also reached the Wimbledon singles final.
from Photographers' Blog:
By Toby Melville
After two weeks of rainy, cold and windy tennis, somehow kept on schedule courtesy of early starts, late finishes and a much used Centre Court roof, the traditional tournament highlight of the Men’s Singles Final took place on Sunday.
For the first time in 75 years a Briton would contest the match. The only obstacle in Scot Andy Murray’s path to glory was the huge boulder in the shape of sixteen grand slam winner and six time Wimbledon victor, Switzerland’s Roger Federer.
The second week of Wimbledon started with another massive upset. The world number 1 and a lot of people’s pick to win the championship, Maria Sharapova, lost in the fourth round to Sabine Lisicki of Germany in straight sets.
This really opened up the top half of the woman’s draw and meant there would be a new world number 1. Victoria Azarenka the world number 2 or Agnieszka Radwanska the world number 3 would become the new world number 1. It all depended on who went further in the tournament. Radwanska took full advantage of Sharapova losing and made her first Grand Slam final.
There were major upsets, epic matches, and conspiracy theories. The biggest upset in over a decade happened in the second round of the men’s singles when Rafa Nadal, many people’s pick for the championship, lost to the unheralded Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.
Djokovic will most likely face his first test in the quarter-finals against Richard Gasquet. While Federer’s first test could be Janko Tipsarevic in the quarter-finals as well; expect Djokovic and Federer in the semi-finals this year.
This year’s Wimbledon Championships had a lot of interesting stories. On the men’s side it was all about the top 4 players in the world. On the ladies it was about Sharapova, the Williams sisters, and whether or not any of the young pretenders could win the Championships.
All of the top 4 cruised into the men’s quarter-finals. Only Rafael Nadal was a bit of a worry hurting his foot against Juan Del Potro in the first set. After the match he said he would have to take painkillers for the rest of the tournament and possibly miss the next 6 weeks after Wimbledon finished. This brought hope that possibly Andy Murray could beat Nadal if they both reached the semi-finals which they both did easily. Expectations were reaching fever pitch now with a real belief Murray could make the finals.
Djokovic even took a shining to the hallowed Wimbledon turf, describing his post-win snack as “well kept”, but in all seriousness the Serb is winning fans left right and centre and on Monday will be confirmed as world number one for the first time.
from Photographers' Blog:
Rafael Nadal is hurt. A physio and a doctor have arrived on court to inspect his left foot. I scramble to position myself directly across the court from his chair to capture what could be a crucial moment in the match. It is towards the end of a tense first set. Temperatures have only cooled slightly from a sweltering 33 degrees C (91F).
In my haste to capture Nadal's injury I had left my original position with just a 300mm lens and Canon Mark 4 body, knowing I had to be agile as I joined a crush of photographers.
The Williams sisters found the going tough and their so far impressive comebacks hit the buffers, while women’s number one Caroline Wozniacki’s route to a first grand slam title also came unstuck, but in the men’s draw there were no real dramas as the top four all hit their straps and made the quarters.