Serena “only just getting started”

10 months ago Serena Williams gave birth, it was a complicated procedure and she had to have multiple surgeries and almost lost her life. She returned to training four months later and as ever works incredibly hard.

In her fourth tournament back (Wimbledon) she made the final and has taken her from not having a ranking to number 28 in the world.

Respect.

A lesson to us all, never write this woman off but also what a woman she is. The way she has balanced life on the tour and being a mum shows how strong she is and women are.

Seconds into her interview on Centre Court following the defeat she was emotional. She didn’t expect to do so well but said something which you don’t forget and you know is true of her character

“I’m literally only just getting started”

We don’t have a schedule for Serena right now but she won’t be playing week in week out focus will be on other titles. I expect her to go to Cincinnati which is two weeks before the US Open and will arrive there a week early. Will she go to Rogers Cup in Montreal the week before Cincinnati? I’m not sure!

Welcome back Serena!

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“Novak has found his mojo again” Please! He never lost it!

On June 5th Novak Djokovic was defeated at Roland Garros by Marco Cecchinato 6-3 7-6 1-6 7-6 (13-11) The Serb had chances especially in that fourth set to send it to five against the Italian who was exceptional throughout his stay in Paris.

Following the match the press conference of the year took place and Djokovic was unfairly criticised and written off. He didn’t want to go into the big press room but decided to go in a small side room with just a few journalists who made up their mind quickly.

I was seeing things saying he’s lost it, lost his mojo and was quizzed on his grass court season immediately after and in the raw emotion said he doesn’t know what he will do and it was taken literally.

I wrote a piece about this and it was unfair to write Novak off and was a disrespect to him.

Crisis? Not a chance, just a blip!

Two things I wrote about it this piece was that his frustration showed two things;

1 – he cares

2 – he expects better

I said in my Wimbledon preview do not write this man off!

He made the final of Queens and holes were picked in his game and Novak’s always had a rough ride but I think he deserves total respect and to come and win Wimbledon is fantastic for him and for the tour because he is back.

It’s a weird one as he did miss majority of last season injured but that doesn’t get spoken about like it does with other players finding their form again.

Like with all comebacks we all have opinions on how comebacks have panned out and I thought from the off it was a mistake to play in Melbourne, he didn’t look fit but fought hard. He then took a couple of months off and had this elbow issue still with R1 exits in Miami and Indian Wells.

In Rome back in May was when I thought he was moving well but the comeback is about building it back up and I have said anyone expected these players to return and pull up trees immediately need a reality check.

Back at No.10 in the world having slipped to 22 and a Grand Slam title in his hands… watch out!

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Angie’s day! How her determination is a lesson to us all!

In 2016, Angie Kerber was playing the best tennis on the tour hands down! The German at the age of 28 had her best season winning in Melbourne, New York and made the final of Wimbledon a year that saw her claim world number one spot.

2017 was a write off, the form deteriorated and the ranking dropped and it is sad to see someone playing so well and how quickly that can change with her ranking dropping from world number one to number nineteen in a matter of months.

This year has been a great comeback.

Angie is bar far the tours best defender and you cannot help but admire her determination.

She works incredibly hard and to win against Kerber means you have to bring your A game her confidence took a big hit last year and there is nothing easier than letting things stay as they are Kerber isn’t about that.

She turned up this year ready to bounce back! She played Hopman Cup with Alex Zverev to begin the season which adds that relax and fun start to the season. She then made her way around Australia where she won Sydney and made the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

In Doha and Qatar she made the quarter and semi-finals respectively and then at the sunshine double where she made the quarter finals of both Indian Wells and Miami. Her clay court season didn’t kick off until before Roland Garros in Rome where she made the Quarter finals and semi’s in Paris before a short trip to Mallorca followed by a final appearance in Eastbourne and then Wimbledon.

Her form has been excellent. She is back at four in the world and in pole position to finish the season on a high!

Well done Angie!

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Del Potro 5-7 7-6 6-4 4-6 4-6 Nadal – the comebacks, the respect and of course the hug!

Arguably the match of the year.

Two of the tours most loved characters. Over the past year after a rough time with injury and poor form Rafael Nadal is playing some of his best ever tennis and his best tennis on grass for some time.

Juan Martin Del Potro is one of the most loved players on the tour. We thought it may not happen for him again following multiple surgeries. We hoped it would but realistically it looked glum and outside of Roger and Rafa he’s played the best tennis this year.

The match up between these two was absolutely fantastic and this photo below shows the respect each other have for the others performance but is definition of the phrase ‘you cannot give more’

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The hug between these two was incredible, the respect these top guys have for each other is outstanding. I cannot fault it!

These two pushed each other to their limits.

4 hours and 48 minutes they battled it out on centre court playing 341 points in total but the way they went about it was sublime and it is a shame that in tennis someone has to go home at the end of a match.

The forehands of both players are completely different but also equally brilliant. The power that Juan hits that inside out forehand was incredible to watch he hits with no regret in mind likewise with Rafa and his forehand which is one of the most aesthetically pleasing shots in tennis to watch but his backhand has also been sharp to.

The match will live on in memory for a long time and celebrates the progress these two have made after difficult times showing they are still the best on the tour and we all look forward to more of these sensational meetings!

 

 

Wimbledon Ladies 🎾 Final – Serena Williams v Angie Kerber

Determination is not a strange word for these two ladies.

Serena Williams is back in a Wimbledon final, what an achievement this is. The former world number one has come through soo much in her career and less than a year after giving birth and in just her fourth tournament back since returning is back in the big time. Serena began Wimbledon ranked at 181 in the world and is now guaranteed on Monday to be No.28 in the world which is magnificent!

Angie Kerber is a player I admire greatly. In 2016 she won the Australian and US Open and also made a Wimbledon final appearance during a stellar year for the German. 2017 however was a write off she started the year as No.1 in the world and finished at No.21 but this year she is back and guaranteed to be top 7 on Monday.

Determination.

This will be the eighth meeting between the two players, their first encounter was back in 2007 and their last meeting was in 2016 at the Wimbledon final which Serena won. Saturday’s meeting will be there fourth straight final meeting as they fight for the big prize once again!

Kerber has been really impressive. I remember watching her in Eastbourne against Wozniacki and she was so frustrated during the match and felt like she wasted opportunities and let Caro back in.

An aspect of her game which let her down was her serve. Wozniacki was all over it but she has stood it up well this tournament and been effective however there is a big difference in this game serving against other opponents and serving against Serena who will set herself early to return especially if Kerber drops the serve short which she does.

For me this match will be won on those baseline rallies. Once we get a few shots in taking control will be key, if Kerber manages to gain the momentum and move Serena about it can be a difficult afternoon for the 23 time Grand Slam champion but if Serena plays with the intensity she did against Georges playing with that controlled aggression she can take full control.

I would love Serena to win this one, it’s been a hell of a journey here and this would be the icing on the cake!

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Wimbledon Semi-Final Showdown 🎾 – Novak v Rafa 🍿 & Kevin v John πŸ’ͺ🏻

Quarter finals day brought tears, shocks, upsets, hugs and a jump into the crowd via Rafael Nadal.

Now we are at the final four but who will progress to Sunday’s big final?

John Isner v Kevin Anderson

Before this week in 41 attempts John Isner had never been in a Grand Slam semi-final, Now that has happened!

Kevin made the US Open final last year but now in a Wimbledon semi-final is a credit to how he has improved and adapted his game to become a challenger, this is no fluke he has worked hard for this.

Both have similar strengths but I do feel like Kevin has the egde. Having the day off would be a massive bonus following his big win so I am intrigued to see who takes initiative first but I do hope for a Kevin Anderson win.

Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal

These two are no strangers to Grand Slam semi-finals or each other. This is the 52nd meeting between the two which is quite incredible.

The head to head currently stands at 26 to Novak and 25 to Rafa, it could not be closer! They last played each other at Wimbledon in 2011. Since the 2014 French Open final all matches (9) have been won in straight sets with Rafa winning their last two meetings but Djokovic from losing the Roland Garros final defeated Rafa 7 times on the bounce.

Rafa has looked so good on grass. The best he has looked for a long while, I really didn’t expect this and after the big test against Del Potro this is now a bigger test.

Novak has been so good to watch. I am so happy to see him playing well following that noise that followed his exit from Roland Garros, did people actually believe that he would not contend here? Please.

Winner…? Head says Novak, heart says Rafa…!

Wimbledon 🎾 Day 10 – Serena back in a Grand Slam final!πŸ˜† Kerber finding form at the right time! β°

We now have our finalists!

The remarkable Serena Williams is back in a Grand Slam final for the first time since giving birth less than a year ago with a super strong performance against Julia Georges in the semi-final as she will now play her tenth final at SW19.

Angie Kerber got her win against Jelena Ostapenko as the former finalist back in 2016 following her fourth straight set win in a row.

Serena Williams 6-2 6-4 Julia Georges

Back in a final.

The performance was something else. If I were to go through Serena’s performances over the course of the tournament this was so far her best. She was hitting winners, effective at the net and serving extremely well as she booked her place in the final.

It was close to begin with but once Serena found a gap she was gone and even when she led 5-3 in the second set and was broken to love it never felt like danger and she returned the favour breaking to love to win the match.

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Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-3 Jelena Ostapenko

Angie is on form. After a horrid 2017 she has turned it around big time and credit to her character and determination for that.

You don’t get a moments peace on the court against Angie which is something Osaka, Bencic, Kasatkina and Ostapenko have all found out in the last 8 days she has been relentless!

The tennis is just fantastic when she is confident and the mood stopping her is a challenge! She is super smart, Ostapenko hit 30 winners but Kerber hit 7 and she sat there like a brick wall and soaked up the pressure so well!