Strength, athleticism, competitiveness and big-match mental toughness...These supreme qualities were evident in the singles winners at Wimbledon 2010 - Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal.
No. 1 ranked Serena Williams (USA) defeated No. 23 seed Vera Zvonareva (Russia) in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 in the women's singles finals on Saturday. It was Serena's 4th Wimbledon singles title, and 13th overall Grand Slam singles title.
Her big serve was dominant. Serena won 31 of 33 points on her first serves. She hit her fastest serve - 122 mph - for an ace in the final game. She finished the tournament with a record 89 aces.
Serena is clearly the defining woman player of this 21st century...
At 13 Grand Slam singles titles, Serena is 5th on the all-time GS singles title list, and only behind Margaret Court (24), Steffi Graf (22), Helen Wills Moody (19), Chris Evert & Martina Navratilova (18), all from an earlier era.
Together with her sister, Serena and Venus have defined the power baseline and big-serve game on the women's side...
Here's what Patrick McEnroe said about Serena in his recent book Hardcourt Confidential:
"[S]he must have the best woman's serve, ever. She has the same service motion as a man, and she can hit the kicker as her second serve ... The game will belong to the woman who figures out how to serve big - and backs it up with a combination of power and spin from the baseline. Serena has shown us what the future might be like, while dominating the present." (Pages 55-56)
No. 1 ranked Rafael Nadal (Spain) defeated No. 12 seed Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in the men's singles final on Sunday. Rafa won his 2nd Wimbledon title and 8th overall Grand Slam singles title. This was also his second back-to-back French Open (Roland Garros) title and Wimbledon title. Only Roger Federer and Bjorn Borg have managed the feat of these back-to-back titles in the past.
Overcoming tendonitis in both knees hobbling him last year, Rafa finished the match in 2 hours and 13 minutes, breaking serve 4 times and holding all his service games. With this win, Rafa extended his record to 5-0 in his last 5 major finals, and solidified his hold on World No. 1 rank.
At 8 Grand Slam singles titles, Rafa's game - after Roger Federer's - has set the standard for spin and power for players in the 21st century on the men's side...
Has Rafa finally established that he is much more than a clay-court specialist?
“If you really want to play well on one surface and you are a good player, I think in the end you are going to find a way,” Nadal said.
Patrick McEnroe in his recent book, Hardcourt Confidential, agrees: "Nadal used to be lousy on grass...But Nadal is a genius - an exceptional athlete who was able to transcend his developmental history...Great players find a way to win on all surfaces...It's the talent!" (Page 86)
Well done to Serena and Rafa, and to all the players, personnel and officials at the All-England Club at Wimbledon 2010!
Greatest Champions of Wimbledon