The 2014 Wimbledon men’s single’s title was almost impossible to call right up until the moment Novak Djokovic clinched his seventh Grand Slam in an entertaining five-set duel with Roger Federer. The Serb was certainly made to earn his first title in 18 months; Federer was in buoyant mood having only dropped one set in the entire tournament en-route to the final and began his bid for a record eighth title at the All England Club in fine form, edging the first set 9-7 on a tie-break. But Djokovic rallied back, winning the next two sets and was on the cusp of sealing the game at 5-2 in the fourth, before Federer, seemingly dead and buried, launched a memorable comeback. Spurred on by the capacity Centre Court crowds eager to see a fifth set, the Swiss stunned Djokovic with two successive breaks of serve, winning five games in a row and saving a championship point for good measure. The balance of power had swung once more in Federer’s favour, but Djokovic was not ready to roll over and let another Grand Slam slip between his fingers. A tense fifth set saw only one break of serve, but crucially it was Federer who let his guard slip in the tenth and final game of the match. The world number one had done enough.
Having comfortably beaten Djokovic in last year’s final, there were high hopes that Andy Murray could put a difficult season behind him and defend his Wimbledon crown, but the Scot failed to live up to expectations and crumbled against Queens winner Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals. He did at least get further than Rafael Nadal however, the Spaniard falling to 19 year-old wildcard Nick Kyrgios in one of the shocks of the tournament in the fourth round. In Dimitrov and Kyrgios, along with semi-finalist Canadian Milos Raonic, the men’s game has a bright future beyond the big four and the next few seasons could see yet more future stars emerging as the likes of Federer reach the twilight of their careers.
A similar pattern was evident in the women’s game as Eugenie Bouchard made the final, although it was 2011 champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic who once again took the title. 20-year-old Bouchard is still relatively a new-comer on the world tour, but is quickly making a name for herself, becoming the first Canadian woman ever to reach a Grand Slam singles final having already made the Australian and French Open semi-finals. As pre-tournament favourites Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova each crashed out – at the hands of Alize Cornet and Angelique Kerber respectively – Bouchard kept her head down and beat both Cornet and Kerber, before overcoming world number 3 Simona Halep in the semis to set up the clash with Kvitova. Although the final turned out to be something of an anti-climax, with Kvitova putting the Canadian firmly in her place in a comprehensive 6-3, 6-0 defeat. A star has certainly been born.
Of the British contenders, Heather Watson was left to fly the flag in Laura Robson’s absence and forced a third set against Kerber in the second round before ultimately losing to the German ninth-seed. British number four Naomi Broady also made it through the first round but suffered a straight-sets defeat to former number one Caroline Wozniacki.