Monday, July 13, 2015

Wimbledon Day 13 recap: Djokovic passes legends

Novak Djokovic won his ninth Grand Slam singles title, passing
Ivan Lendl, Ken Rosewall, Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors and
Fred Perry on the all-time list. 2015 photo by Paul Bauman
   Men's final -- Novak Djokovic is rising rapidly among the all-time greats, and the end is nowhere in sight.
   Djokovic, who arguably has the greatest return of serve in history, defeated Roger Federer in the final for the second straight year, 7-6 (1), 6-7 (10), 6-4, 6-3, to move into eighth place for most Grand Slam singles titles. With No. 9, Djokovic passed Ivan Lendl, Ken Rosewall, Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors and Fred Perry. If Djokovic wins the upcoming U.S. Open -- a distinct possibility -- he will tie Bill Tilden.
   Djokovic has racked up five titles in the Australian Open, three at Wimbledon (tying him with his coach, Boris Becker) and one in the U.S. Open.
   The 28-year-old Serb might never reach Federer's record of 17 Slams, but who's going to stop him from climbing the ladder in the next three years? Maybe Rafael Nadal, but he is in a prolonged slump at age 29. Conceivably 20-year-old Nick Kyrgios, who already has beaten Federer and Nadal. But Federer will be 34 next month. And Djokovic is 19-8 against Andy Murray and 17-4 against Stan Wawrinka.
   Watch out Tilden, Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg (11 Slams each), Roy Emerson (12), and Nadal and Pete Sampras (14 each).      
   Mixed doubles final -- Seventh-seeded Leander Paes of India and Martina Hingis of Switzerland drubbed fifth-seeded Alexander Peya of Austria and Timea Babos of Hungary 6-1, 6-1. Hingis also won the women's doubles title with Sania Mirza of India on Saturday.
   Stars and stripes -- An American won the boys singles title for the second straight Grand Slam tournament. Unseeded Reilly Opelka, who's 6-foot-10 (2.08 meters) at 17 years old, beat 12th-seeded Mikael Ymer of Sweden 7-6 (5), 6-4 after Tommy Paul took the French Open crown last month.
   Opelka fell short of sweeping the boys titles as he and Japan's Akira Santillan, seeded fourth, lost to eighth-seeded Nam Hoang Ly of Vietnam and Sumit Nagal of India 7-6 (4), 6-4.
   Fast facts -- Djokovic evened his career record against Federer at 20-20. Djokovic also has reached 15 of the past 20 major finals, winning eight.
   Northern California connection -- Hingis has won all three Bank of the West Classic events in which she has played. She claimed the singles championship in 1996 in Oakland and swept the singles and doubles titles (with Lindsay Davenport) at Stanford in 1997.
   Quote -- Federer: "Novak played not only great today, but the whole two weeks, plus the whole year, plus last year, plus the year before that."

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