Sunday, 31 October 2010
A Decade of Grand Slams: Part Three
The oldest tennis tournament in the world, this is the third Grand Slam of the tennis calendar. A grass court tournament, it has been played at the All England Club since 1877.
In year 2001, Wimbledon saw the dethronement of ruling champion, American Pete Sampras. Although it was Swiss Roger Federer who ousted Sampras, it was Croat Goran Ivanišević who bagged the men’s singles title that year. He was the only professional at that time to have won the Wimbledon as a wild card entry. Joining him in the winners rank that year was defending champion, American Venus Williams. The Americans dominated the titles at Wimbledon that year since the men’s doubles title went to the Americans, Donald Johnson and Jared Palmer. Even the one half of the women’s doubles title was an American win, American Lisa Raymond and Aussie Rennae Stubbs won the title that year.
2002 was the last year when an Aussie managed a men’s singles title win. Aussie Rod Laver bagged the first ever Wimbledon title in the Open Era. In 2002, Lleyton Hewitt managed a title win. This was his first ever title win at Wimbledon and second career Grand Slam title. The women’s title that year was bagged by Venus’s sister, Serena who retained the title the following year.
The men’s doubles title for 2002 went to the team of Swede Jonas Bjorkman and Aussie Todd Woodbridge. The pair retained the title till 2004, losing it to Aussie Stephen Huss and South African Wesley Moodie in 2005. 2006 saw the first and only doubles win for the Bryan twins, Bob and Mike. Although the American twins have managed to win several titles at other Grand Slams, they could only manage one win at Wimbledon. The much acclaimed pair of Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serbian Nenad Zimonjic won the title in 2008 for a second title win that year. The following year they successfully defended their title; however, the rising team of Austrian Jurgen Melzer and German Philipp Petzschner took the title from them in 2010.
The Wimbledon title for the men’s singles never changed hands much, after Federer won it in 2003. Federer managed to retain the title for five years from 2003 to 2007, the only player other than Swede Bjorn Borg to retain the title for half a decade. Federer lost the title to Spanish legend, Rafael Nadal in 2008 and since then the title has alternated between Federer and Nadal in these past two years. Nadal won the 2010 Wimbledon.
The women’s singles title also did not see much change since 2003 when Serena successfully defended her title against her sister, Venus. In 2004, Serena was defeated by rising Russian star Maria Sharapova who managed to bag herself her first Wimbledon title win. In 2005, Venus returned to regain her lost title and with the exception of 2006, when she lost it to French Amélie Mauresmo, she managed to retain it till 2008. In 2009 she was toppled over by her sister, who retains the title to date.
The Williams sisters won their second doubles title at Wimbledon in 2002. They lost the title next year to Belgian Kim Clijsters and Japanese Ai Sugiyama. 2004 saw the rise of Cara Black from Zimbabwe, who won three doubles titles with different partners. In 2004 she won the match partnered with Stubbs. She then won the title in 2005 and then again in 2007, partnered with South African Liezel Huber. The Williams sisters returned again in 2008 to win their third doubles title. They successfully defended their title the following year; however, the Williams sisters were denied a victory in 2010 by countrywoman Vania King and Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova.