Djokovic new world number one and favourite for US Open
Wimbledon witnessed yet another epic final battle, in which Novak Djokovic saw off Roger Federer for the first time on grass and a Grand Slam last two, in a 6-7 6-4 7-6 5-7 6-4 five set struggle, to win his second SW19 title.
The Serb had a match point quickly aced away by Federer in the fourth set, and he even admitted he doubted himself going into the decider. But this victory sees Djokovic not only leapfrog Rafael Nadal to the top of the ATP world rankings, but also makes him favourite both to defend his Wimbledon crown next year at 13/8 and win his second US Open title in August at the same price.
This was the only the second time in his last seven Grand Slam finals that the Belgrade-born player had been victorious, and he described it as his best ever.
“It’s the most special Grand Slam final I’ve played,” Djokovic said. “At this time of my career for this Grand Slam trophy to arrive is crucial, especially after losing several Grand Slam finals in a row.
“I started doubting a little bit. I needed this win a lot. I’m going to try to use it in the best possible way and for my confidence to grow for the rest of my season and the rest of my career.”
Ironically, this victory sees Djokovic move one Grand Slam clear of his present coach Boris Becker to seven titles, but the 27-year-old still has a way to go if he is to ever match Federer’s likely final haul of 17.
While the Swiss (8/1 to win the US Open this year and 5/1 for a record eighth Wimbledon in 2015) and Serb impressed this tournament, tennis giants Nadal and Andy Murray failed to deliver, slipping down to second and 10th in the rankings respectively.
Spaniard Nadal crashed out of Wimbledon early for the third year running, after crashing out to exiting prospect Australian Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round in four sets, while Murray was rolled over by rising star Grigor Dimitrov in the quarters.
Two-time Grand Slam winner Murray is third-favourite to win his second US Open this year at 4/1, and 7/2 for victory at the 2015 SW19 edition. Nadal, meanwhile, is 11/4 and 11/2 respectively.
The gap on the so-called ‘big four’ is seemingly closing, however, and the likes of Dimitrov, Kyrgios and Milos Raonic will certainly be ones to watch in the near future to challenge for Slams.
In the ladies’ singles draw, Czech Republic star Petra Kvitova secured her second Wimbledon title, thrashing Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 6-3 6-0 in 55 minutes. She is second-favourite at 9/2 to defend the shield and 11/1 to defy her poor record at Flushing Meadows by winning the US Open this year. Her 20-year-old losing opponent, meanwhile, is 8/1 in both.
WTA world number one American Serena Williams, who was knocked out in the third round this year, is still favourite for victory at both Wimbledon 2015 (5/2) and at her home Slam (2/1).
Arguably the most improved player on the women’s tour, meanwhile is Romanian Simona Halep. Before this year, the 22-year-old failed to reach past the fourth round of any Grand Slam, but in 2014 has managed to get to the quarters at the Australian Open, final at the French Open and semis at Wimbledon. She is 8/1 to win the US Open and 10/1 at SW19 2015.
Hope hope Laura Robson, who missed Wimbledon this year due to injury, has also been ruled out of the US Open, but she is a 50/1 chance to lift the shield at the All England Club in 2015 and 13/2 to do so by 2020.