1. Nick and Rafa go head-to-head
Nick Kyrgios and Rafa Nadal have had some strong words for each other in the past, with accusations of disrespect flying around, and this match was billed to be a heated encounter. It didn’t disappoint, with underarm serves, hotdog lobs, the Aussie berating the umpire and a body-shot at Rafa. In the end, the Spaniard brought the maverick’s Wimbledon run to an end, but it was an entertaining ride.
2. Konta’s victory over Kvitova
She may have been the home favourite, but facing the two-time Wimbledon champion, Jo Konta had a mountain to climb. This was made even harder by the fact she lost a tight first set to Kvitova. But Konta dug deep and produced some of her finest tennis to get herself back in the match. She looked nervous at some points, but steadied herself and took the chances that came her way. Everyone loves and underdog, especially a British one, and Jo ensured the home fans were cheering for her victory.
3. Mur-rena’s Doubles Run
The return of Andy Murray to SW19 was made even more exciting as he teamed up with the powerhouse of Serena – a blockbuster partnership that seemed too good to be true. Having never played together professionally, would it be an over-hyped disappointment? No way! The crowds went wild and the new pairing relished every moment on court. Their two straight-sets wins were entertaining and marked a welcome return for Sir Andy after hip surgery in January. They may have gone out to the top seeds, but it was fun while it lasted. And it renewed an interest in doubles tennis, showcasing how thrilling it can be.
4. Nadal v Federer – the rematch
Their epic 2008 final has been called the best ever, and so, naturally, their first Wimbledon meeting since then was going to arouse a fair bit of excitement. Both Rafa and Roger are living legends and exemplify two very different playing styles, making their rivalry all the more interesting. While it may not have been as dramatic as 11 years ago (was it really that long ago?!), but there were some masterclasses in shot placement from both players. It took five match points for Federer to seal his place in the final, ensuring an enthralling end to a fantastic match.
5. The incredible rise of Coco Gauff
At Wimbledon 2018, the name Coco Gauff was not well known: she only managed the quarter finals of the junior competition. Within a year she was a household name, trending on social media, a bright new star in the tennis world. At 15, she is the youngest player to qualify for the tournament’s main draw in the modern era, and it was beating her idol Venus Williams in straight sets that brought her to the world’s attention. So young yet so composed, mentally strong and seemingly fresh having gone through the rounds of qualifying, she sat exams a few weeks before… it was extraordinary. We loved the outrageousness of her victories against her more experienced compatriots. And who can forget THOSE reactions from Mama Gauff?!
6. When we all fell in love with Simona
Most people would have bet on Serena Williams, with 23 singles Grand Slam titles to her name, to win the match, but the Romanian got off to a flying start and never really looked back. She stunned Serena and the Centre Court crowd, taking the title in under an hour. Aggressive and dominant, she knocked Williams off her stride and returned some fantastic shots fired at her. Her surprise and delight at becoming champion were evident and her sweet speech about fulfilling her mum’s dream and gaining life membership at the All England Club charmed us all.
7. THAT final
The final Sunday of Wimbledon is always a fantastic occasion, and when the Men’s Singles final features two of the biggest names in tennis, it brings a certain amount of anticipation. But you never know how it will go: will it be a walkover or a match to remember? This year’s encounter between Djokovic and Federer was most certainly the latter; you never knew who was in the driving seat. Novak would edge a tie-break, only for Federer to dominate the next set… as it continued, it was clear this was going to be a close call. The atmosphere in Centre Court was electric, with gasps mid-rally at the audacious shots and raucous cheering, mostly for the ever-popular Swiss. The final set was a corker: at 8-7, Federer had two Championship points, and the crowd was waiting to erupt in celebration, only for the Serb to draw level. We got our first singles 12-12 final set tie-break, ensuring the drama continued. Despite Federer’s class, and boos from the crowd as Djokovic questioned some decisions, it was Novak who triumphed in another tie-break. His victory marked the longest ever Wimbledon final, at just under five hours. The greatest final ever? Quite possibly…