13 years after her first, Serena Williams completed a second Serena Slam and became the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win the first three grand slams of the year and now is on course to complete the calendar year grand slam, should she lift the U.S. Open in New York.
In her maiden grand slam final Garbine Muguruza overcame early nerves and led with a service break in the first set but the American found her range to clinch the opening set 6-4. Despite serving 8 double faults she looked like running away with the match as she led 5-1 with a double break, in the second set. That was when the 21 year Spaniard born in Caracas, Venezuela launched a gallant fightback to cut the lead to 4-5. Williams broke in the very next game in the 1 hour 23 minute final to win 6-4,6-4. It was her 21st grand slam title and sixth at Wimbledon and now is only one shy of the all time leader Steffi Graf of Germany who won 22 majors.
For Serena, this continues a golden run of form, ever since she teamed up with Patrick Mouratoglou in 2012. During this time Serena has won 8 slams and an Olympic Gold besides being ranked No.1 for the majority of the last 3 years. One could say Serena is presently playing the best tennis of her life. Ever since her first round loss at the 2012 French Open, Serena has been going from strength to strength to the point that she appears almost invincible this year – having lost only one match this year.
There have been matches where Serena was pushed to the precipice of defeat – most notably at the French Open this year, but Serena has always had the solution to find her way to the finish line. In the past, while Serena has had dominating runs at the Majors, the last 3 years have seen her dominate the slams as well as the WTA tournaments which has resulted in her dominating the rankings like never before in her career. She is on 126 week run at the No.1 – by far her longest run as the best women’s tennis player in the world. Her previous longest run was a 57 week run – which was not even in the WTA top 10 consecutive weeks at No.1 list. Her latest dominating run puts her at 3rd in the list with a realistic chance at pursuing the top 2 – Navratilova and Graf at 156 and 186.
In doubles action, Jean Julien Roger of Netherlands and Horia Tecau of Romania claimed the men’s doubles title beating the British pairing of Jamie Murray and John Peers 7-6(5), 6-4,6-4. The former singles world number one Martina Hingis of Switzerland teamed up with Sania Mirza of India in a tense final to beat the Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 5-7,7-6(4),7-5 as they rallied from a 2-5 deficit in the third set for the women’s doubles final. Hingis then made it a double by partnering 42 year old Leander Paes of India as they outclassed the Austrian Alexander Peya and Timea Babos of Hungary in just 40 minutes 6-1,6-1.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]