5 Things We Learned: Week Two At Wimbledon1) Federer’s Grass Focus Pays Off
Although some fans were surprised at Federer’s choice to skip the clay-court season and prioritise a bid to win a historic eighth Wimbledon title, his decision paid off handsomely. After shaking off an opening-round loss to Tommy Haas at the Mercedes Cup, Federer won his next 12 matches and 30 sets on grass. He stormed to a ninth Gerry Weber Open title (d. Zverev) before bringing the same vintage form to the All England Club for his 19th Grand Slam crown. At 35 years, 342 days, Federer is the oldest man in the Open Era to win Wimbledon.
The Swiss maestro will now turn his attention to the U.S. hard courts that he has long enjoyed success on. Having won two Rogers Cup titles, seven Western & Southern Open titles and five US Open crowns, not to mention the Indian Wells-Miami “Sunshine Double” this season, Federer is currently the on-paper favourite to win his 20th Slam.
2) Cilic Is An All-Surface Contender
We knew that Marin Cilic could enjoy success on hard-courts, as evidenced by his 2014 US Open crown and winning his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title this past summer in Cincinnati. But a title on clay this April in Istanbul (d. Raonic), followed by runner-up showings at the Aegon Championships (l. Lopez) and Wimbledon (l. Federer), proved that he can excel on any surface.
It will be key for the Croatian to quickly shake off his one-sided loss to Federer in Sunday’s final and focus on the positives. After three straight quarter-final appearances at SW19, he broke through with his second Grand Slam final. He also currently sits at a career-high No. 6 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and is fully capable of a push into the Top 5.
3) Veterans Ready For More Big Moments
A pair of familiar faces in ATP World Tour draws, Sam Querrey and Tomas Berdych, also enjoyed outstanding success this fortnight. Querrey scored a trio of back-to-back five-set wins, including a quarter-final victory over top seed and defending champion Andy Murray, to reach his maiden Grand Slam semi-final. The American also broke the record for most Grand Slam main draw appearances before reaching the last four (42).
Meanwhile, Berdych continues to excel on the grass. The 31 year old matched his semi-final finish from last year and gave Federer his toughest match of the tournament. Both he and Querrey have won numerous titles on hard-courts and have the games to put together more big runs stateside.
4) Battle For Year-End No. 1 Heats Up
Federer and Rafael Nadal have been the two most dominant players on tour and it shows in the Emirates ATP Race to London. Nadal holds the top just slightly over Federer (7,095 to 6,545), but they both have at least double the points of all their peers.
The Swiss maestro also has no Emirates ATP Rankings points to defend in the second half of 2017, while Nadal has 370 points. World No. 1 Andy Murray has a staggering 5,465 points to defend after his outstanding finish to last season. If Federer and Nadal continue to rack up trophies, we could see a new No. 1 within the next two months. Even more exciting to fans is that Federer and Nadal could continue to battle for the top spot all the way through to the Nitto ATP Finals.
5) Kubot/Melo Are The Team To Beat
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo continued their fabulous season by winning their first Grand Slam title in a thrilling Wimbledon final over Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, prevailing under the Centre Court roof in a 13-11 fifth-set. Kubot/Melo went undefeated during the grass-court season, picking up titles at the Ricoh Open (d. Klaasen/Ram) and Gerry Weber Open (d. Zverev/Zverev) before triumphing at SW19.
The pair further extend their hold on the top spot in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London, while Melo also claimed the top spot in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings. Having already won five titles this year, including ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Miami (d. Monroe/Sock) and Madrid (d. Benneteau/Roger-Vasselin), Kubot/Melo have established themselves as the top team on tour.