August 11, 2015
American tennis players were at the centre of so much drama during Wimbledon 2015 – and Serena Williams was crowned queen for the sixth time! We just have to start with the greatest of them all. She secured her second “Serena Slam” with her 6-4, 6-4 win over Garbine Muguruza in the final, meaning Williams now holds all four Grand Slams at the same time. Easy to forget that Williams came within two points of being knocked out of Wimbledon by Britain’s Heather Watson in the third round, only winning 7-5 in the final set of what is widely regarded as the best match of the entire tournament.
But other American women also played starring roles at Wimbledon 2015. Serena had to beat her sister Venus on the way to glory, while the 23-year-old Coco Vandeweghe made a big name for herself by reaching the quarter-finals. She seemed to be getting the better of Maria Sharapova too, until she finally succumbed in the final set of a bruising contest.
Madison Keys was yet another American quarter-finalist, losing in three to Agnieszka Radwanska yet showing more promise for the future. And although Sloane Stephens lost to Lucie Safarova in the third round, Wimbledon 2015 can be seen as an incredible success for the women of the USA.
The same can’t quite be said of the men, although there was one heartwarming story to emerge. Wild card Denis Kudla, who moved to Virginia from Kiev, Ukraine when he was just one year old, flew in under the radar to enjoy a superb tournament. Few would have predicted the American’s progress when Kudla was two sets down to Pablo Cuevas in the very first round. But the 22-year-old blasted back to win in five, saw off Alexander Zverev next and triumphed over Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo in another five-set epic in the third round. That guaranteed Kudla’s return to the top 100.
Meanwhile another American, famous for marathon matches, was doing it again at Wimbledon. Big-serving John Isner was involved in a fifth-set shoot-out against Marin Cilic when the light beat them both at 10-10. After resuming, it was the Croatian who edged it 12-10 to set up a fourth-round clash with Kudla. Once again Cilic won through, though Kudla gave a good account of himself in four sets to end his Wimbledon adventure with his head held high.
Wimbledon 2015 was less kind to Jack Sock, who broke a finger in the first round tying to deal with the huge-serving Australian Sam Groth, and Sam Querrey, who had to face the great Roger Federer in the second round and lost in straight sets.
But the All England Club had benefited from the strong American presence as always, and Serena’s glorious run proved to be the central story of the fortnight, as she continued to edge closer to more historic achievements.