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Records tumble alongside Federer's achievement

Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielsen celebrate after winning the Men's doubles final.
by Benjamin Snyder
Monday 9 July 2012

With the Fortnight finished and the last ball struck on Centre Court, Roger Federer takes the plaudits with his seventh Wimbledon title and his 17th Grand Slam in all. Additionally, he regained the world No.1 ranking from Serbia’s Novak Djokovic by defeating Andy Murray in four sets.

At 30, Federer is now the oldest Grand Slam winner since American Andre Agassi took the Australian Open in 2003, aged 32. But Federer’s achievements are just some of a series of records broken and historic results at this year’s Wimbledon.

Marray ends British famine, Nielsen maintains family tradition
Wild cards Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielsen produced the form of their lives by winning the Gentleman’s Doubles title over three-time finalists Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau. Marray now enjoys recognition as the first British man to win a Wimbledon men's trophy since Fred Perry took the last of his three singles titles in 1936. Jamie Murray, of course, won the Mixed Doubles title alongside Jelena Jankovic in 2007. Meanwhile, Nielsen is the first Danish man to make a major final since his grandfather, Kurt Nielsen, won the US Open mixed doubles in 1957.

Both men admitted that history added little pressure to their play in the five-set final. Marray said, “I wasn't really thinking about it, to be honest with you. Just focusing on trying to perform, you know, and trying to prepare well and all that.”

Nielsen added, “Obviously, we get bombarded with the facts every time we do an interview because it is historical.” He added, “On the court I didn't think about it at all, not a second.”

Britain's singles agony continues
Andy Murray’s defeat by Federer extends the Grand Slam singles drought for a British man at Wimbledon from 1936 for at least another year. By beating France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals, the Scot became the first man from the United Kingdom to appear in a final since Bunny Austin in 1938.

Meanwhile, Agnieszka Radwanska became the first Polish major finalist since Jadwiga Jedrzejowska in 1937. The 2005 Wimbledon girls’ champion said, “I'm just very happy that I can be the second one here in Wimbledon in the final. For sure, this tournament is already one of the big parts of tennis history in Poland.”

Williams sisters maintain winning act on grass
With 21 Wimbledon titles between them, including 10 singles championships out of the last 13, Serena and Venus Williams have dominated at the All England Club. At this tournament alone, a Williams’ name was etched on three different trophies.

After younger sister Serena took the Ladies’ singles event against Radwanska, she returned to court with Venus to decide the Ladies’ doubles final. Their on-court dominance continues: in five appearances, the Williamses have won five times.

After defeating defending US Open doubles champions Lucie Hradecka and Andrea Hlavackova, Venus said: “Well, I think a lot of it has to do with the serve. Serena and I both put so much pressure on our opponents with our serves, and our returns are also, you know, very good. I think maybe that has something to do with it.”

But Venus attributed their success together to more than simply strong serves. She spoke of a sisterly bond that transcends tactics: “I think we just stay really relaxed when we play with each other because we believe in each other so much it helps the other one to stay relaxed.”

‘Golden game’ follows ‘golden set’
Serena recorded 102 aces throughout the Fortnight in her seven singles matches, the most for either a man or woman in 2012. She struck 24 of those in her two-set semi-final victory over Victoria Azarenka, a record for the ladies’ event at the All England Club.

Additionally, Serena’s serve sent shockwaves through Centre Court on Saturday as she struck four straight aces when serving at  2-1 down. After the 49-second game, and with the momentum securely on her side, she broke Radwanska to race to a 4-1 lead. The Venus Rosewater Dish would be hers minutes later.

About the four consecutive aces, Serena said, “I do that all the time now. I did it in Madrid. I think I did it earlier in this tournament. That's my latest and greatest thing to do, hitting four aces in a game. It's awesome!”

But this feat pales in comparison to a third round match between Yaroslava Shvedova and Roland Garros runner-up Sara Errani. Over a set’s play, the Kazakh claimed what’s a ‘golden set,’ or 24 consecutive points.

The first ‘golden set’ at Wimbledon, Shvedova is also the first player to notch 24 consecutive points in six games since 1983 when Bill Scanlon defeated Marcos Hocevar in the first round of the Gold Coast Classic.

Despite racing through the first set with four aces and 14 winners in 15 minutes, Shvedova admitted to not realising she played a perfect set until after the match. The two-time Grand Slam doubles winner said, “My manager came, and she said, ‘They checked the stats. They said it's really true. You won 24 points in a row'.”

Canadian juniors break titles duck
Despite top-ranked Canuck Milos Raonic dropping out in the second round of the men’s tournament, more talent may well be on its way. On Saturday, Eugenie Bouchard became the first junior Grand Slam singles winner from Canada. On Sunday, she was joined by Filip Peliwo, who won the boys’ tournament.

Bouchard secured a straight sets win over the Ukraine's Elina Svitolina 6-2, 6-2. The next day, she partnered Taylor Townsend in the doubles for a second title.

Peliwo, a finalist at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, defeated top seed Luke Saville. He credits Canada’s junior training programme for both his and Bouchard’s titles. “Well, I think it's just the programme we've got in Canada paying off,'' he said. “We're all working very hard to succeed, and I think that there's a lot of talent back in Canada.”

Peliwo also says Raonic’s results “give every Canadian tennis player inspiration to succeed. He paved the road for us.”

Why it took until The Championships 2012, however, remains an mystery for the teenager, who will be the newly anointed No.1 junior. “Honestly, it's tough to explain because you never really know why it happened at a certain moment,” he said. “I'm just happy that Genie and I got the chances to play the final and win.”


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