Wimbledon 2016: the best and worst of this year’s tournament

Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club

The highlights …

Seeing Andy Murray become a double Wimbledon winner

It’s been a long road back to winning grand slams for Murray. Having won his second one at Wimbledon in 2013, an achievement that ended decades of British pain at SW19, Murray had back surgery that September and it took him a year to really recover. Since then he has knocked on the door many times and finally one opened. His victory over Milos Raonic was the culmination of an immense effort and he joins Rafael Nadal, Stefan Edberg and Jimmy Connors on two Wimbledon titles. Starved of success for so long, Britain should be revelling in his achievements and who’s to say he won’t win a couple more? SC

Andy Murray wins Wimbledon 2016

Querrey causes one of the great upsets

Wthout wishing to take anything away from Murray’s achievement, Sam Querrey claimed a notable assist when he knocked out Novak Djokovic in the third round. Murray was the clear favourite after Querrey’s win over the world No1, who had won his past five grand slam matches against his oldest adversary. No one expected Djokovic to lose to Querrey but the American served superbly, held his nerve after losing the third set and took his chances. While there were rumours that Djokovic was struggling with a left shoulder injury, his defeat was still one of the biggest shocks in Wimbledon history. JS

Watching Serena Williams make more history

An obvious one, perhaps, but a moment that everyone who witnessed Williams equalling the great Steffi Graf on 22 grand slam wins should remember for ever. After all the stress of missing out on the calendar year grand slam last year, and then losing in the final in both Australia and France, Williams produced a superb performance to win her seventh Wimbledon. She needed to, because Angelique Kerber was an obstinate opponent, and the way the American served, stayed calm under pressure and held her nerve was more evidence that she is probably the best player ever to grace the women’s game. SC

Wimbledon highlights: Serena Williams’ victory in women’s final

Murray finding an extra gear against Tsonga

Nothing summed up Andy Murray better than his reaction to holding the first game of the fifth set against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Seemingly on the brink of a spectacular collapse after squandering a two-set lead in his quarter-final against the dangerous Frenchman, that was the moment when Murray could be seen jabbing his head, telling himself that there was no way he was going to lose. That stubborn streak took him all the way to his second Wimbledon title. He would go on to blow Tsonga away before showing no mercy to Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic. Djokovic and Roger Federer aside, none of Murray’s rivals can match that resolve. JS

The fairytale run of Marcus Willis

I watched Willis play at County Week a few years ago and remember him as a talented player who had become rather overweight. His rise, through six qualification matches, a brilliant first-round win over Ricardas Berankis and then, most fantastically of all, enjoying himself against the great Federer in round two, was something out of Hollywood. His press conferences were almost as much fun as his tennis (a throwback to the days of serve and volley), especially when he said he had spent too long “seeing off pints” before finding his way, with the help of his new girlfriend. His story lit up Wimbledon during the rain. SC

… and the moments best forgotten

Konta’s dream ending too soon

At least Johanna Konta made it past the first round for the first time, performing well against the awkward Mónica Puig. Yet the British No1, who was the first home player to be seeded in the women’s singles draw 22 years, must have been hoping for more than a second-round exit, especially after reaching an Australian Open semi-final earlier this year. She seemed to be on the right track after levelling her match against Eugenie Bouchard on Centre Court but Konta was overwhelmed when the 2014 finalist, whose performance hinted at a return to form, lifted her level in the third set. JS

When Pablo Cuevas went rogue

Pablo Cuevas and his partner Marcel Granollers were trailing 9-8 in the final set of their doubles match with Jonny Marray and Adil Shamasdin when he asked to go for a bathroom break. The umpire said no and Cuevas flipped, threatening to relieve himself in a ball can under his towel, for which he was given a code violation, which only made him more angry. Granollers had to be restrained after the match, which they lost, the umpire was escorted off by security and the pair were fined a total of $16,500 (£12,780) between them for two separate offences. SC

The equal-pay debate being raised again

Overseas journalists are always bemused when, every year, the same old, tired arguments are trotted out about equal pay in tennis, whenever there is a quick match in the women’s event. For a start, it is a moot discussion, since it’s never going to go back, but more importantly, it’s totally irrelevant, makes Britain a laughing stock with other nations, and asks tennis players to defend something they shouldn’t have to. Nobody ever asks male players if they should be paid the same as the women when there is a blowout, and it never, ever happens anywhere else. It’s simply a matter of equality and Britain seems to be lagging behind. SC

Kyrgios collapsing again

Nick Kyrgios spoke with searing honesty after folding against Murray in the fourth round. But it was painful to watch the Australian youngster lay bare his soul, castigating himself for a “pathetic” performance, questioning whether he really loves this sport, even revealing that he had played computer games on the morning of a match that ran away from him after a tight first set. Kyrgios does not owe us anything. We have no stake in his career and he is often under extreme pressure (Murray must empathise with his young friend). But he surely owes it to himself to make the most of his glittering talent. Hiring a coach might be a start. JS

Middle Sunday

For only the fourth time in its history, Wimbledon decided to play on the middle Sunday, traditionally a day off for the players and the grass courts, which take a pounding throughout the fortnight. Rain caused plenty of aggravation during the first week but when the decision was made on Friday night – having initially said they would decide on Saturday morning – they were only behind schedule with seven men’s matches and one women’s match. Playing on the Sunday allowed 22,000 extra fans in through tickets purchased online but the tournament could easily have caught up in week two if they’d have wanted to, as happened at the French Open. The atmosphere was not in the same league as the other three occasions, either. SC

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Simon Cambers and Jacob Steinberg, for The Guardian on Monday 11th July 2016 13.35 Europe/London

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