Wimbledon wouldn’t be Wimbledon without the Americans!
July 7, 2019
Try to imagine Wimbledon over the years without Americans. It just wouldn’t have been the same, would it?
Rebellious, record-breaking, glamorous or just utterly brilliant, the Americans always add something – and that’s why we can’t wait to welcome them in 2023.
The rise to the top of the new generation of US stars is already fascinating to watch.
COCO GAUFF AND JESSICA PEGULA
Coco Gauff first captured British hearts at the 2019 Championships when she beat the great Venus Williams at the tender age of fifteen. An epic comeback on Centre Court against Polona Hercog further ignited global interest.
Since then Coco rose to become the number one doubles player in the world and reached the French Open singles final. Nothing is impossible for Coco Gauff at Wimbledon 2023!
The same can be said for the super-talented Jessica Pegula, who has broken into the top ten at the time of writing.
Coco and Jessica may not amass twelve Wimbledon singles titles between them like the incredible Williams sisters managed to do, but the future is bright for American women’s tennis.
TAYLOR FRITZ AND JOHN ISNER
Who will ever forget the epic quarter-final between Taylor Fritz and the great Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon 2022? In the end it was Nadal who edged that classic encounter – but Fritz came of age and won so many new fans at Wimbledon. Next time he could have the confidence to go all the way. Don’t forget he beat Nadal to win Indian Wells earlier in the year. Fritz is surely a superstar in the making.
The USA has given Wimbledon so many stars in the past. John Isner made history when he played the longest Wimbledon match on record in 2010. And at Wimbledon 2022, Isner scored an even more satisfying victory against local hero Andy Murray when he conjured some sensational tennis on Centre Court. How the Americans cheered that day – and you suspect they will have plenty more to cheer at Wimbledon 2023!
So many of Wimbledon’s most iconic moments have involved Americans. John McEnroe yelling ‘you cannot be serious.’ at the umpire in 1981. (Tournament Referee Alan Mills once admitted that McEnroe was usually right when he exploded.) And how we were moved by Arthur Ashe’s monumental title win six years later! Who can forget Pete Sampras winning Wimbledon for the seventh time in 2000? Meanwhile it’s an indisputable fact that American women have taken most of the Wimbledon singles titles since the late 1920s. Maureen Connolly won three titles in succession in the 1950s and Billie-Jean King took six, starting in 1966.
There is a glorious Wimbledon-Hollywood fusion that you can feel in the air each year, and it gives this particular Grand Slam even more glamour. Over the years we have seen the likes of Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller and Robert Redford strolling around the grounds of the All England Club, just soaking up the wonderful history of the place. And yet Wimbledon has also had to move smoothly with the times to remain such an outstanding success. And Americans have never been slow to point out where The Championships needed modernising when it came to facilities, officiating, prize money and equality. So another fusion, between past and future, has also owed a lot to the American influence as Wimbledon adapted to stay on top of the game.
Andy Roddick, who lost three finals to Roger Federer but made so many friends when he lost that epic fifth set 14-16 in 2019, best expressed what Wimbledon means to Americans. ‘Wimbledon is our special place. It’s our Augusta, where someone who has never seen tennis in their life can walk through and appreciate…it’s not even a conversation that it’s the most special venue in tennis.’
Since the days of Bill Tilden and Don Budge in the1920s and 1930s, the Americans have always been able to boast multiple Wimbledon winners. The feisty Jimmy Connors divided opinion with his controversial fits of rage on his way to victories in 1974 and 1982. Not as much as McEnroe, who triumphed in 1981, 1983 and 1984. British crowds were shocked and even a little thrilled by the subversion of Connors and McEnroe. It lives long and rather deliciously in the memory.
We can’t conclude this tribute to Wimbledon’s Americans without saying farewell to the great Serena Williams. Thank you Serena, and your sister Venus, for your remarkable contribution to Wimbledon in the 21st Century. Serena and Venus were so dominant that they took seven and five singles titles respectively. And Serena’s last two years of appearances on Centre Court will be remembered for her charisma and bravery as she tried to hold back the forces of time and taste victory yet again. It wasn’t to be, but we loved her for trying.
Still, like we said at the start, the future is bright for USA tennis. Wimbledon will always be a home from home for all tennis-loving Americans. That’s the way it has always been. The British love it that way too! That’s why Americans will always be made to feel so very welcome at the All England Club. We can’t wait to see what fresh glamour and drama you will bring to the party in 2023!
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