In a sense, Wimbledon 2015 went as per script. The two best players on the planet, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic ran out winners in their respective categories. The two deserving winners were in total command throughout the two grueling weeks of tennis. Though there were minor blips, the final result was never in doubt.
Moving from the clay court season to grass is always a challenge for players on the circuit. But the seasoned pros put on a majestic display at Wimbledon to dazzle the audiences. The heady mix of talent and tradition makes this event truly special.
Like every year, fans devoured strawberries and cream with some high-quality tennis. From Henman Hill to the Royal Box, everybody was hooked on to the action on court.
Here are some of the most memorable highlights from the royal slam:
When books on tennis history are written, the current period will go down as the era of Novak Djokovic. If tennis fan had any lingering doubts about it, the Serb offered sufficient evidence and more of his greatness during the two weeks in London. Pinning down Roger Federer at SW 19 for a second year running, this time in fewer sets than 2014, placed the World No. 1 in sole command of his position in the list of grand slam winners.
Novak's only challenge came in the form of American Kevin Anderson. Djokovic showed a different dimension of his game, putting an exhibition of mental toughness to scrape through in the five-setter quarter-final. Djokovic was a surgeon with a racket in the final, wielding it with precision to literally command the trajectory of the ball. Despite losing his footing on multiple occasions, the 28-year-old never loosened his firm grip on the match. In the end, Djokovic not only chewed the hallowed grass of the All England Club, but also a slice of Federer's soul.
Serena Williams was in red-hot form as she arrived in London for the year's third major. The American followed up her title at US Open 2014 with wins at the Australian Open and French Open earlier in the year, paving her way to complete the Serena Slam at Wimbledon. Serena did not disappoint her fans, clinching her 21st major in a display of sheer power and mental toughness. Not Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova but Heather Watson and Garbine Muguruza offered stern tests to Serena's resolve this year.
Watson, backed by the home crowd, went for the jugular in the 3rd round. Having survived that onslaught, Serena beat her more high-profile opponents – sister Venus and Sharapova – without breaking a sweat in the next rounds. In the final, the 33-year-old weathered the early storm from Muguruza and vanquished the Spaniard to lift her 6th Venus Rosewater dish.
Through the years, Indian tennis players have fared well in the doubles events at grand slams. But Wimbledon 2015 was well and truly dominated by tennis stars from India. Sania Mirza and her doubles partner Martina Hingis pulled off an improbable win in the finals of the women's doubles. The Swiss then did an encore in the mixed doubles final, partnering the ageless Leander Paes. The two brushed aside their opponents 6-1 6-1 with relative ease to clinch a one-sided contest.
But Sumit Nagal's boys' doubles title was the story of the championships as far as the Indian contingent was concerned. Considering the dearth of talent at the junior level in India, the 17-year-old is certainly a bright future prospect. Not to forget, Rohan Bopanna, despite returning home empty-handed, with partner Florin Mergea stunned the mighty Bryan brothers in the quarter-finals. The duo couldn't advance past the semi-finals, but played some exciting tennis at Wimbledon this year.
Clearly very few had heard of Dustin Brown before Wimbledon 2015. After his giant killing act in Round 2, the German was the toast of the sporting world. Though his high-risk brand of tennis didn't ensure a great run in the tournament, it was good enough to oust 14-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard arrived in London on the back of his worst French Open performance. However, the under-fire and woefully out of form Nadal was expected to brush aside Brown's challenge.
What ensued was a sporting spectacle, with the boisterous Brown living every tennis player's dream on Centre Court. Dustin entangled the Spanish bull firmly in his dreadlocks, scripting a famous win in 4 sets. For neutrals, Brown was absolute box-office. He went all-in on every stroke. Dreddy's gasp-inducing high-octane tennis was full of bravado and brilliance, leaving fans wanting for more.
A beaten Roger Federer, perhaps put a smile on the faces of his fans even in defeat, when he assured Sue Barker and the crowd at Wimbledon of returning back to SW19 in 2016. His finals opponent, Novak Djokovic eloquently summed up the importance of Federer to tennis in general during his winning speech. Despite not having won a grand slam since 2012, the importance and influence of the Swiss to his sport has not diminished.
The fact he aspires to win his 18th major at 33 is inspirational, especially since the man has been there, done that and won the shirt in the most dignified and professional manner. Even his biggest critic would agree that the 17-time grand slam winner is Wimbledon royalty. His display in the latest edition, especially against home favorite Andy Murray in the semi-final was proof of his eternal genius. For now the great man has allayed fears of his retirement, pledging to continue as the brand ambassador of the sport.