Wimbledon 2022: Rybakina Shocks and Djokovic Soars

Illness de-railed the daily updates which I just know were so essential, still by 2pm Saturday I had recovered enough to enjoy the end to another fine Championships. Yes Pimms, strawberries and a mighty fine plant based double cream were consumed.

So, in Djokovic and Rybakina’s titles we have, at surface level another edition of the men’s game being oh so predictable and still dominated by the same trio [now duo] of the last decade and a half. The women’s game remains delightfully open and deep in quality.

Dig a little deeper and it’s a case of yes and no. Rybakina – the first major winner to represent Kazakhstan, which I feel that as she switched from her native Russia a few years back is worthy of mentioning – represents more than the depth of the women’s game.

Coupled with those apparent nerves of steel, the almost expressionless 17th seed gave us a throwback to that classic grass-based weapon; a devastating serve. Not since the Williams’ have we really seen a player rely so much and utilise so well, their serve and subsequent ace count. Of course Rybakina clarified that she was incredibly tense, but even when the fairly balletic groundstrokes did fail her, she kept her head as all champions do.

For Jabeur? Well let’s hope she continues her fine rise to the summit, continue to be noticed and continue to start conversations. As for her game, well as much as I dismissed it as lightweight and ripe to be overpowered, I also think mentally the 3rd seed crumbled a little. But there will [should] be other opportunities for both.

Now, where do we begin with Nick Kyrgios? Not since McEnroe has a top top player been so divisive. And he is a top player we should never forget that. He has done more than enough to prove that this fortnight to the staunch detractors. So many sublime shots, that wonderful serve, yes the odd genius trick here and there. The talent oozed but so did the demons, kept in check for large parts of the match yesterday, but not enough.

Yet, you wonder – as good as the Australian was – even if the loud, disrespectful and rude outbursts had been controlled, would the outcome have been any different. Rafa’s two slams this year have led many to falsely label him with confidence as the best men’s player ever. But clay aside, it is so obviously clear who the most complete player to have ever competed is.

Novak is that player and then some. It remains to be seen what happens on the hard-court majors this year and next, but who can really see Novak failing to win any major he does play outside of Paris?

Comments welcome!


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