Alex Mann has written daily predictions and summaries for the green slam. Now it’s time for his Wimbledon 2022 Summary.
After two weeks of eating strawberries and cream, drinking Pimm’s, relaxing on Henman Hill, soaking up the atmosphere and watching the tennis unfold on Centre Court, Wimbledon 2022 has finally come to a close.
This year’s tournament has brought us many magical memories, new and old, and some unexpected storylines.
Here are my favorite moments from this year’s tournament and a final review of the men’s and women’s finals.
My favorite moments from Wimbledon 2022
One of the major storylines of this year’s tournament was Serena Williams’ surprise return to Wimbledon.
Her horrific injury, sustained at last year’s Championships, has kept her out of action ever since.
Although her return ended with a first-round loss to Harmony Tan, it was great to see Serena back on the tennis court, playing injury-free.
Tatjana Maria’s dream run to the semi-final of Wimbledon has to be one of my favorite fairytale tennis moments. The 34-year-old competed in her first major 15 years ago but had never reached beyond the third round of a major.
Maria returned to the tennis court a year ago after her maternity break. During her magical run, she defeated the fifth seed, Maria Sakkari, saved two match points to beat Jelena Ostapenko, and came back to win from a set down over her German compatriot, Jule Niemeier, in the quarter-final.
It seemed fitting that Tatjana’s run ended when she played her long-time friend Ons Jabeur in the semi-final. Jabeur orchestrated the crowd to give Maria an ovation as she walked off Centre Court.
I will also mention Shingo Kunieda’s remarkable comeback in the men’s wheelchair singles against Alfie Hewitt. Hewitt served for the match four times and was 5-3 up in the final set tie-break. Kunieda showed fighting spirit and determination to win the match 4-6 7-5 7-6 (10-5), completing the career golden grand slam.
Watching it live is so much better
Another highlight was that I was fortunate to attend Wimbledon this year, receiving men’s semi-final tickets.
I was looking forward to watching the battle between Nadal and Kyrgios, the re-match of their 2019 Wimbledon duel, the last match I’d watched at the All England Club!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t see this match due to Nadal’s withdrawal. Nevertheless, we saw Cameron Norrie play Djokovic in front of a packed-out Centre Court. Norrie put up an excellent performance, but Djokovic’s magnificent ball-striking was just too good.
On TV, it’s sometimes hard to fully understand how hard tennis players hit the ball against each other. Watching it live, however, you can see how much power they possess; it’s something to behold!
Due to Nadal’s withdrawal, Wimbledon scheduled the women’s doubles semi-final on Centre Court. I watched top seeds Mertens and Zhang and second seeds Krejcikova and Siniakova display some high-quality doubles play, as both pairs won their respective matches.
You feel the history and tradition of the oldest tennis tournament as you walk around the Wimbledon site.
Whether it’s seeing the players wear their all-white clothing, or looking at the beautiful hydrangeas or petunias as they decorate the 100-year-old Centre Court. Whether it’s the courts and buildings or eating strawberries and cream and drinking Pimms!
There is something exceptional about going to Wimbledon, which brings the past and the present together.
You see the past champions walking past you as they go to their invitational doubles match, juniors talking to their parents as they go to get some lunch in the cafe, and current players warming up on the practice courts.
You do have to go to take in this unique experience. If you ever get the chance to go to Wimbledon, I highly recommend you do; you’ll never want to leave!
100 years of Centre Court
My final highlight was the ceremony to celebrate 100 years of Centre Court. I particularly enjoyed the Parade of Champions. The new met the old as past and present Wimbledon champions graced Centre Court, greeted with cheers and applause from the packed-out audience.
Former champions such as Angela Mortimer, Ann Jones, Rod Laver, Stefan Edberg, John McEnroe, Billie Jean-King and Chris Evert returned to Centre Court for the celebration. They stood alongside active champions such as Novak Djokovic, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber and Rafael Nadal.
There was also a surprise appearance from Roger Federer, who said that he hoped to be back for next year’s Championships.
After thirty years of presenting Wimbledon, the former French Open Champion, Sue Barker announced that this would be her last time covering The Championships. She was deservingly given a standing ovation from the crowd during the ceremony.
Women’s final review
On Saturday, Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish, defeating one of the pre-tournament favorites, Ons Jabeur.
Rybakina came from a set down, neutralizing Jabeur’s craftiness, to power her way to the title. You can read my full match summary in my Wimbledon 2022 Men’s Final Prediction article.
It was a landmark final for Kazakhstan and Tunisia, as Rybakina and Jabeur became the first players from their respective countries to reach a major final. It’s good to see top players coming from all over the world, showing tennis’s growing global reach.
Although Rybakina may be a new name for some tennis fans, she had already reached 8 WTA finals and the French Open quarter-final last year and achieved a career-high of 12 at the beginning of 2022.
With her big serve and powerful groundstrokes, she has the game to contend for many more major titles. It will be intriguing to see if she can continue her impressive grass-court performances on the hard courts.
It feels like it’s just a matter of time before Jabeur finally breakthroughs and wins a major. Ons has the game to do it, and she seems to have put nearly all the pieces together this year. Watch out for her at the US Open!
Men’s Final Review
On Sunday, Novak Djokovic added a 7th Wimbledon title to his trophy cabinet, defeating Nick Kyrgios in the final. After a brilliant first set from Nick Kyrgios, which saw the Australian use his outstanding variety and shot-making skills to rattle Djokovic, the Serb locked into his no-missing mode, and didn’t let the Australian get a foothold in the match.
After three hours and one minute, Djokovic won 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6.
Many expected the Serb to triumph at the All England Club this year and add a 21st major title. Now only one behind Rafael Nadal’s 22 majors, it seemed inevitable Djokovic would have a chance to equal this record.
However, what is uncertain is Djokovic’s participation in this year’s US and next year’s Australian Open due to his unvaccinated status.
For Kyrgios, his run exemplified the juxtaposition between the expected and unexpected. For years, the tennis world has known Kyrgios’ talent. He beat Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic in his first meeting with the trio and reached the quarter-final of Wimbledon in his debut in 2014.
In one sense, it’s not surprising he reached the Wimbledon final, given his tennis ability. On the other hand, it’s unexpected as he’s never consistently put together a run of wins at the highest level and truly fulfilled his potential.
It’s hard to see where Kyrgios will go from here, but one thing is for sure, he has shown us he can win a major title.