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Wimbledon 2018: Doubles titles for Bryan & Sock and Siniakova & Krejcikova

  • Posted: Jul 14, 2018

Mike Bryan won his 17th Grand Slam doubles title – and first with Jack Sock – with victory over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus at Wimbledon.

The American pair beat South Africa’s Klaasen and New Zealand’s Venus 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 5-7 7-5.

It was Bryan’s first major title without his twin brother Bob, who missed the tournament through injury.

In the women’s doubles final, Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova beat Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke.

The Czech pairing made history with their 6-3 4-6 6-0 win as they became the first duo to add the women’s doubles title here to the junior title.

Their win also secured back-to-back Grand Slam titles following their success at the French Open in June.

Bryan and Sock’s match went into a deciding set after 21:00 BST, with organisers electing to close the Centre Court roof before a fifth set.

Bryan, 14 years older than his 26-year-old compatriot, had partnered his twin for 76 consecutive Grand Slams as they became the most successful pairing in tennis history.

But, with Sock by his side, he became the oldest man to win the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon at 40 years and 76 days.

In a nip-and-tuck deciding set, Bryan and Sock saved a break point to prevent going 5-3 down moments before Sock played a volley at the net which dropped just inside the baseline to level at 4-4.

The key break – met with screams by the Bryan-Sock pairing – arrived in the 11th game of the set, allowing Bryan to serve out for his fourth and Sock’s second Wimbledon doubles title.

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Bryan, Sock Take Thrilling Wimbledon Final

  • Posted: Jul 14, 2018

Bryan, Sock Take Thrilling Wimbledon Final

All-American duo prevail in second tournament together

Dramatic five-setters are contagious at this year’s Wimbledon Championships.

First, it was Kevin Anderson stunning Roger Federer and outlasting John Isner to reach his second major final. Then, Novak Djokovic survived Rafael Nadal in a two-day thriller. And later on Saturday, it would be the doubles guys joining the marathon party.

As day turned to dusk at Wimbledon, seventh seeds Mike Bryan and Jack Sock survived Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 after nearly four hours to take the doubles championship. Appearing in just their second tournament together, the all-American team captured the crown in dramatic fashion. It was their third five-set victory of the fortnight.

Bryan, who was competing at the All England Club for the first time with someone other than his brother Bob Bryan, due to the younger twin’s hip injury, became the oldest man in the Open Era to win the Wimbledon doubles title. The 40-year-old also added a record-tying 17th Grand Slam doubles crown in total, joining Aussie legend John Newcombe atop the list.

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For Sock, it was the 25-year-old’s second major title, following his maiden triumph with Vasek Pospisil at Wimbledon in 2014. With the win, Bryan and Sock become the third and fourth players to triumph at the All England Club with multiple partners in the Open Era, joining only Todd Woodbridge (w/Woodforde & Bjorkman) and John McEnroe (w/Fleming & Stich).

The drama boiled over on Centre Court on Saturday evening. Sock dictated with his biggest weapon in the first set, riding his forehand as he and Bryan took the opener 6-3. The former champions looked to be in prime position to run away with the final showdown, but after saving three break points midway through the second set, Klaasen and Venus showed their mettle.

The South African-Kiwi duo denied a set point en route to snatching the second set tie-break 9/7, as a Klaasen drop volley winner would draw the match level. It would prove to be a seesaw affair, with the lead vacillating from one side to the other. Sock pummeled his forehand down the line in the third set, forcing an error from Venus to grab an immediate break for 2-0. But after taking a two-sets-to-one advantage, the all-American tandem conceded the lead once again. 

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With Bryan serving to stay in the fourth set at 5-6, the 40-year-old saved a trio of break points – including one on an ace and another on a sublime drop volley by Sock – before surrendering the set in dramatic fashion. A foot fault would send the final to a decider.

As sunset descended upon the All England Club, the roof would be closed for the fifth set. Bryan and Sock would take full advantage, eventually seizing the deciding break for 6-5 in front of an electric atmosphere on Centre Court. They would close out the title in the next game, emerging victorious after a tense three hours and 39 minutes.

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Djokovic has 'not much to lose' in Wimbledon final

  • Posted: Jul 14, 2018
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app; Live Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra commentary; Text commentary online.

Novak Djokovic says he has “not much to lose” when he goes for his first Grand Slam title in almost two years against Kevin Anderson in the Wimbledon final.

Djokovic, 31, has won 12 majors but has struggled for form and fitness since claiming the 2016 French Open.

South African Anderson, 32, is bidding to win his first Slam after losing to Rafael Nadal in the 2017 US Open final.

“Considering he’s playing only his second Grand Slam final, obviously he has a lot more to gain,” said Djokovic.

“If I take my last couple years, I don’t have much to lose myself.”

The Serb dominated the men’s game earlier this decade, holding the number one ranking for 223 weeks and completing a career Grand Slam when he claimed the title at Roland Garros two years ago.

But he dropped out of the world’s top 20 earlier this year – for the first time since 2006 – as he returned to action after elbow surgery.

“It makes it even better for me, makes it even more special because I managed to overcome challenges and obstacles, to get myself to the final of a Slam,” he said.

“Obviously if you told me that six months ago, I would take it right away.”

The final begins at 14:00 BST on Sunday and will be live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website.

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Marathon men looking for quick recovery

Both men go into the final on the back of gruelling semi-finals during which they spent a combined total of almost 12 hours on court.

Eighth seed Anderson needed six hours and 36 minutes to overcome American ninth seed John Isner in a marathon five-set match which is the second longest Grand Slam match of all-time.

That meant Djokovic’s last-four match against long-time rival Rafael Nadal did not start until 20:00 BST on Friday, resuming on Saturday when the Serb completed a five-set win after five hours and 16 minutes on court.

Anderson has the benefit of a day off between the semi-finals and the final, a break Djokovic describes as “necessary”.

Temperatures are expected to reach about 30C at Wimbledon on Sunday.

“I wish I can have a day. But it is what it is. I’ll just have to accept the circumstances and try to recover as best as I can,” said Djokovic.

Speaking after his semi-final, Anderson said it was “not going to be easy” to play again so soon after an exhausting match.

“Obviously I’d like to have been done a little bit earlier in terms of my recovery, playing against one of the greatest players of all time,” he said.

“But when you’re planning, you’re scheduling, you’re second on after 1pm, you don’t think you’re getting on at 8pm. It’s tough on them too.”

Favourite? We’re even, says Djokovic

Djokovic has won three Wimbledon titles – in 2011, 2014 and 2015 – but came into the Championships as the 12th seed on the back of a frustrating year blighted by an elbow injury.

After reaching the Queen’s final, he worked his way through the draw with increasing assurance and appeared to confirm he is back to his best with victory over Nadal in the last four.

However, he says he is unsure whether he can described as the favourite to beat Anderson.

“I think we’re quite even. He’s definitely playing the tennis of his life,” said Djokovic.

“He’s coming off from two epic marathon five-set wins. I don’t think he has much to lose really. He’s going to come out with big serves and big tennis.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to weather the storm. We want this match, both of us.”

How Djokovic reached the final

How Anderson reached the final

Turning 30 is no barrier – game, set and stats

  • This is the first time in the Open era the Wimbledon men’s singles final has been contested by two players aged 30 or over
  • Anderson is looking to become the first player to win the Wimbledon title on his debut in the final since Djokovic won his first crown in 2011
  • He is bidding to become the first South African man to win the SW19 title
  • At 32 years 58 days, Anderson is bidding to become the second-oldest first-time Grand Slam champion in the Open era
  • Anderson will rise to a career-high ranking of fourth if he wins. By reaching the final, he has already ensured he will break into the world’s top five for the first time in his career
  • Djokovic will rise to 11th – his highest ranking since November last year – by reaching the final. He will move up to 10th if he wins
  • Djokovic is bidding to win his 13th Grand Slam title and claim sole ownership of fourth place on the all-time list for most Grand Slam men’s singles titles behind Roger Federer (20), Rafael Nadal (17) and Pete Sampras (14)
  • At 21st, Djokovic is bidding to become the lowest-ranked man to win the Wimbledon title since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001

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I'm still contender at Slams – beaten finalist Williams

  • Posted: Jul 14, 2018

Serena Williams says her run to the Wimbledon final showed she can still be a contender to win Grand Slams and that this is just the start of her comeback.

The 36-year-old American lost 6-3 6-3 to Angelique Kerber in Saturday’s final, as the German capitalised on her error-strewn performance.

Williams had been seeking a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title 10 months after giving birth.

“These two weeks have really showed me that, OK, I can compete,” she said.

“I didn’t know a couple of months ago where I was, where I would be, how I would do, how I would be able to come back. It was such a long way to see light at the end of the road.

“Obviously I can compete for the long run in a Grand Slam. I can come out and be a contender to win Grand Slams.”

  • Kerber beats Williams to win Wimbledon title
  • Djokovic beats Nadal to reach Wimbledon final

Former world number one Williams, who has won seven Wimbledon singles titles, said she had learned a lot from her past seven matches at the All England Club.

While her serve remains powerful – reaching 125mph, the fastest in the women’s singles – some rustiness showed in her finishing of sometimes routine shots and laboured movement around the court.

“I feel like I have a way to go. This is literally just the beginning,” she said.

“Really just these two weeks were so mental for me. I won matches. I was really mentally fighting for every match. I did the best that I could every match that I played.

“I just feel like I’m taking the steps in the right direction. I took a giant step at Wimbledon. But my journey has just begun.”

Kerber overcomes nerves to win title

Kerber, 30, celebrated a childhood dream by winning her first Wimbledon and third Grand Slam title.

She did it by attacking Williams’ serve and extending the rallies to make the American move. She forced Williams to come forward, with half of her 24 forays to the net ending in errors.

“I was quite nervous before the match,” she said. “But I was trying to tell myself, ‘Go out there and play your best match’, because I know that against Serena I have to play my best tennis, especially in the important moments.

“I was trying to just b aggressive, when I have the chance going for it, because I know she served well and I have to move well, moving her as well.”

She said one of the keys was being able to draw on her experience in a women’s Wimbledon final that featured two players in their thirties for the first time in 41 years.

“I know the feeling of going out there in the semi-finals, playing the finals,” said Kerber, who lost to Williams in the 2016 final.

“I knew what to expect. I think that helps me also be a little bit relaxed. To going out there, to focusing on my match, not thinking that’s the final, that’s Wimbledon.”

She won the match on her first championship point when Williams could only plant a service return into the net.

“At the end I was starting to be quite nervous. I knew that I have to take my first chance because you never know with her,” said Kerber, who will rise to fourth in the world when the rankings are published on Monday after becoming the first German woman to win Wimbledon since Steffi Graf in 1996.

“When I was a kid I was always dreaming for this moment. To win Wimbledon, it’s something really special in my career.”

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Djokovic Recalls Moments Of Doubt In Comeback

  • Posted: Jul 14, 2018

Djokovic Recalls Moments Of Doubt In Comeback

Former World No. 1 will play Anderson on Sunday in the Wimbledon final

In a way, Novak Djokovic’s semi-final victory against Rafael Nadal was the culmination of a year-long journey. Due to a right elbow injury, Wimbledon was the former World No. 1’s last tournament of the season one year ago.

So while that was a low moment for the Serbian, the event has been his greatest high since. After beginning the 2018 campaign with a 6-6 record — including his first three-match losing streak since 2007 — Djokovic has made it clear that he is back in top form again, and is now just one triumph from lifting his 13th Grand Slam trophy.

“There were moments of doubt, of frustration, disappointment, where you’re questioning whether you want to keep it going in this way or that way, where is that taking you?” Djokovic said. “Everybody goes through that process of thinking. I don’t know anybody that is managing always to stay positive, to always have 100 per cent self-belief, confidence. It’s life. We’re humans, we go through that.”

But those low moments have prepared Djokovic for this opportunity. The losses and disappointments have pushed the 31-year-old, igniting an intense desire to climb back toward his top level.

“Speaking from this position right now, it makes it even better for me, makes it even more special because I managed to overcome challenges and obstacles, get myself to the finals of a Slam. Obviously if you told me that six months ago, I would take it right away,” Djokovic said. “Did I truly believe that I can get back on the level? Yes, I mean, it’s hard for me to play tennis and not believe that I can be the best in what I do. I’ve been fortunate to achieve so much in my career that every time I go to the tournament, I have the highest of ambitions.”

And what better challenge to overcome than to defeat the top player in the ATP Rankings, Nadal? The Spaniard had won his last 16 major semi-final matches before Saturday’s defeat, entering the match with a 35-2 record this season.

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“He’s probably the greatest fighter ever to play this game. I mean, he battles every single point like it’s his last. That’s something that is so impressive with Rafa. That’s what makes him so difficult to beat on any surface,” Djokovic said. “Coming into the match against him, knowing that you have to earn your points, is already an energy-spending moment. So you have to be ready for it, obviously. That’s why you put in ‘X’ amount of hours on the practice court, preparation, trying to be as professional as you can, because you need to compete with a guy like Nadal.

“If you want to be able to compete on such a high level, eventually get a win against him in the big tournaments, then you have to give it all you’ve got.”

That takes a substantial amount of mental fortitude as well. Just weeks ago, the Serbian could not convert a match point in the Fever-Tree Championships final against Marin Cilic, eventually losing the match.

So it appeared, for a moment at least, that the match could slip away from the No. 12 seed. Djokovic held his first match point on Nadal’s serve at 8-7, but the Spaniard showed good feel with a drop shot to erase the opportunity, with the 31-year-old sliding across the glass as if it was clay, coming agonisingly close to the ball.

“It was one of those moments where I think time stopped for me. Match point, I saw him coming in, I played a relatively solid shot. It was a moment of decision making for him knowing whether he was going to go for a drop shot or just smack the backhand. When I saw him changing the grip, I started running. But the drop shot was just too good,” Djokovic said. “But I did try to, like, in ‘Space Jam,’ with Michael Jordan, when he was trying to stretch, that’s probably something that comes to my mind to describe it.”

But instead of letting that close call affect him, Djokovic rebounded in the next game to clinch his spot in the final, his 22nd attempt to capture Grand Slam glory (12-9).

“I was very emotional after the match, as well, because it’s been a long 15 months for me, trying to overcome different obstacles,” Djokovic said. “So to be where I am at the moment is quite satisfying.”

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Wimbledon 2018: Is Jack Draper the next star of British tennis?

  • Posted: Jul 14, 2018
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app; Live Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra commentary; Text commentary online.

At 18-17 in the final set of the Wimbledon boys’ semi-final, having failed to convert nine match points, 16-year-old Jack Draper decided he needed to channel his inner Andy Murray.

“I was in the crowd during his 2013 Wimbledon final and watched him refuse to give up. He is my inspiration,” said the British teenager.

After four hours and 24 minutes, in the sweltering heat of court three, Draper nailed an overhead smash to beat Colombia’s Nicolas Mejia in an epic battle of endurance.

“It was torture to be honest,” he admitted to BBC Sport.

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Surrey-born Draper is such a big Murray fan he has even adopted some of the on-court mannerisms of the former world number one.

As the frustrated Draper lost his seventh match point, he shouted in the direction of his coaching team: ‘what is wrong with my brain?!’

On reflection, Draper said: “I was talking loads of rubbish in the heat of the moment and they have to deal with that. I’m just an idiot.

“Realistically, I know the only person that can help me out there is myself.

“I knew if I held my serve and kept putting him under pressure, he would eventually break.”

At 6ft 2in and equipped with a ferocious serve and a stinging forehand, Draper looks like he was born to be a professional tennis player – and he was.

  • Watch Kerber win the women’s singles title
  • Djokovic beats Nadal in five sets

His mother, a coach, took him along to the tennis club from the age of three where he would hit balls against the brick wall.

And his father is Roger Draper – the former chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association.

But Jack is determined to let his tennis do the talking.

“I don’t feel any added pressure,” he said before Sunday’s final. “I know I have to just keep my feet on the ground and keep working day in, day out.

“I may have done well in this tournament so far, but I don’t want that to define me as a senior player. I’m no Andy Murray yet.”

At this point, Laura Robson springs to mind.

After winning the girls’ Wimbledon title in 2008, the Briton was billed as the next Virginia Wade, but injury has plagued her senior career and, as yet, she hasn’t quite lived up to the hype.

Draper will have to overcome the world junior number one, Chinese Taipei’s Chun Hsin Tseng, to become the first British boy since 1962 to win the title. The last person to do it was Stanley Matthews – son of footballing legend Sir Stanley.

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“He’s a great prodigy and it’s going to be a really tough match but it would mean the world to me to win,” said Draper.

“I’ve already put my family through a lot of stress so it would be great to do it for them.

“My nanna is extremely supportive of my tennis. She lives in Wigan but has come down to support me this week.”

So what does the immediate future look like for Draper? Catching up with Love Island is one thing.

“I haven’t watched it for a week, but Jack and Dani are going to win it,” he said. And he’ll also be receiving his GCSE results soon, just like any normal 16-year-old.

“The ultimate goal is to win Grand Slams,” he added. “Wimbledon is the biggest of them all because it’s in my home country, but I would love to say I am a Grand Slam winner one day.”

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Anderson, Djokovic Duel For Wimbledon Glory

  • Posted: Jul 14, 2018

Anderson, Djokovic Duel For Wimbledon Glory previews the 2018 Wimbledon final between Kevin Anderson and Novak Djokovic

Wait, there’s still one more match to play?

Following two epic and exhilirating semi-finals, with both carrying the drama of a championship clash, one match remains to decide who reigns at Wimbledon in 2018.

It has been a fortnight to remember for Kevin Anderson and Novak Djokovic. Both competitors survived thrilling, extended semi-final encounters to reach the title match at the All England Club, with the South African edging John Isner 26-24 in the fifth set and the Serbian getting the better of longtime rival Rafael Nadal 10-8 in the decider.

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While three-time champion Djokovic added yet another moment to his growing list of achievements on the prestigious Centre Court lawn, Anderson earned his first taste of drama on the hallowed ground. Just two days earlier, the big-hitting 32-year-old had earned the respect of the Wimbledon faithful with a stunning comeback victory over Roger Federer. Then, on Friday, a record-breaking performance would ensue, as he captured the longest semi-final in tournament history, at six hours and 35 minutes.

And Djokovic would claim his own moment in the spotlight. For the first time in Wimbledon history, both semi-finals progressed past 6-all in the fifth set, as the Belgrade native needed five hours and 17 minutes – and two days – to dismiss Nadal.

Mental, emotional and physical fatigue will no doubt play a factor in Sunday’s championship. But both players are well aware of what’s at stake: One match for Wimbledon glory.

“Kevin also had quite a few hours on the court in the last couple matches,” Djokovic said on Saturday. “But he had a day off, which is quite necessary at this stage. I wish I can have a day. But it is what it is. I’ll just have to accept the circumstances and try to recover as best as I can.”

“The legs are pretty jelly-like,” Anderson assessed after Friday’s win. “Ideally I’d like to get out and hit for maybe 30 minutes [on Saturday], just to try to keep the same sort of routines that we’ve been having. But I’ve never played a match this long, so it will be something. We’ll have to see how things go.”

Grand Slam Title Leaders (All-Time)

Player Grand Slam Titles
Roger Federer 20
Rafael Nadal 17
Pete Sampras 14
Novak Djokovic 12
Roy Emerson 12

When Djokovic kicked off his comeback after undergoing a procedure on his right elbow in January, few could have foreseen such a dramatic turn in fortunes. The Serbian was struggling to find his form and rhythm, as a three-match losing streak saw him fall out of the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings.

But a mere four months later, Djokovic is back. After plotting his ascent with a semi-final run at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Rome, last eight finish at Roland Garros and runner-up result at Queen’s Club, he removed all doubt with a dogged performance against Nadal to reach the Wimbledon final.

On Sunday, Djokovic will play for another slice of history as he attempts to become just the fourth player to lift the Wimbledon trophy on four or more occasions in the Open Era. Only Roger Federer (8), Pete Sampras (7) and Bjorn Borg (5) have enjoyed more success at SW19. The former World No. 1 is also targeting a 13th Grand Slam title overall, which would move him into solo fourth place on the all-time list.

Djokovic, who finds himself back on the Grand Slam final stage for the first time in nearly two years, is seeking his first trophy at any level since prevailing on the grass of Eastbourne in 2017. 

The 31-year-old’s recent reunion with longtime coach Marian Vajda is already paying dividends. After registering routine wins over Tennys Sandgren and Horacio Zeballos to open the fortnight, he recorded impressive four-set victories over home hope Kyle Edmund and a surging Kei Nishikori, in addition to a three-set triumph over Karen Khachanov.

But on Sunday, Djokovic will face an equally in-form Anderson. Despite owning a 5-1 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, he knows that the South African is playing the best tennis of his career.

Most Match Wins At Wimbledon (Open Era)

Player Wimbledon Win-Loss
Roger Federer 95-12
Jimmy Connors 84-18
Boris Becker 71-12
Novak Djokovic 64-10
Pete Sampras 63-7

“Considering he’s playing only his second Grand Slam final, obviously he has a lot more to gain,” said Djokovic. “If I take my last couple years, I don’t have much to lose myself. I’m again in a Grand Slam final after a long time, after actually almost two years. Of course, we want this trophy. We want this match, both of us. Who is going to take it? I don’t know. It really depends.

“I don’t know if I’ll be the clear favourite in that one. I think we’re quite even. He’s definitely playing the tennis of his life. He’s coming off from two epic marathon five-set wins. I don’t think he has much to lose really tomorrow. He’s going to come out with big serves and big tennis. Hopefully I’ll be able to weather the storm.”

This is the first time in the Open Era that the Wimbledon men’s singles final will be contested by a pair of players aged 30 or over. Anderson has not defeated Djokovic since claiming their first meeting at the 2008 Miami Open presented by Itau. The Serbian has since prevailed on hard, clay and grass, including a pair of wins at the All England Club. He earned a straight-set win in the second round in 2011, before storming back from two sets down to prevail in the Round of 16 in 2015.

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Djokovic will break back into the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings with a victory on Sunday, while Anderson is bidding to ascend to a career-high No. 4 with his maiden Grand Slam crown. The Johannesburg native is already ensured of cracking the Top 5 for the first time in his career.

Most Attempts Before Winning First Grand Slam Title (Open Era)

Player First Grand Slam Title No. of Attempts
Goran Ivanisevic 2001 Wimbledon 48
Kevin Anderson?? 2018 Wimbledon?? 37??
Stan Wawrinka 2014 Australian Open 36
Petr Korda 1998 Australian Open 34
Marin Cilic 2014 US Open 29
Andy Murray  2012 US Open  28 

Runner-up at last year’s US Open (l. to Nadal), Anderson’s quest for a first major title also carries an element of national significance. The South African would become the first man from his country to win the Wimbledon title. He is also vying to become the second from the African continent to do so, along with Egyptian Jaroslav Drobny (1954).

In addition, 32-year-old Anderson is bidding to become the second-oldest first-time Grand Slam champion, behind only Andres Gimeno, who was 34 years old when he won at Roland Garros in 1972.

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Records aside, Anderson will be buoyed by a string of impressive performances in 2018. He lifted his fourth ATP World Tour trophy at the inaugural New York Open, before reaching a 500-level final on the hard courts of Acapulco. Quarter-final results at the March Masters events of Indian Wells and Miami would follow, as well as a first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final on the clay of Madrid. He is bidding to become the fifth player to reach 30 tour-level match wins in 2018, joining Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Juan Martin del Potro. 

After surviving a pair of extended five-set marathons, what will Anderson and Djokovic provide for an encore in Sunday’s championship? If it’s anything like their semi-final performances, it should be a another pulsating affair on the Centre Court grass.

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