The 2014 Wimbledon finals will wrap up a stunning two weeks of play, with the Women’s Singles Finals today, June 5, and the Men’s Singles Finals on Sunday, June 6. The men’s final pits two of the top-ranked players against each other in Roger Federer’s bid for a record-setting eight Wimbledon titles, he faces the exceedingly strong Novak Djokovic will be no easy task, as both players excel on the grass court. The women’s finals, on the other hand, will see rising star Petra Kvitova and relative unknown Eugenie Bouchard battle for the title, and it could be anyone’s game. With two record-holding legends in the men’s and two wildcards in the women’s, the Wimbledon Finals will not disappoint in the excitement category.
The Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova is currently ranked No. 6 in the world, but has not won a Grand Slam title since 2011 when she took Wimbledon against Maria Sharapova. Kvitova is also most well-known for being left-handed, and when she took the trophy in 2011, she was the first left-hander to do so since Martina Navratilova in 1990. Tennis fans see Kvitova’s style as erratic, however, and during this season alone she has seen many ups and downs. Eugenie Bouchard, on the other hand, has made it the semi-finals of every Grand Slam so far this season, and prior to this year and coming off her Junior Wimbledon win in 2012, has shown increasing strength with each tournament. Whether the 20-year-old Canadian wins today or not, Bouchard is not likely to remain in her 13th seed spot for much longer. Currently Bouchard is the favorite to win the final. However, Kvitova has been dominating all tournament, and is thought to be one of the better grass court players of the last few years.
Amid rumors that his back injury from 2013 has not fully healed, Roger Federer has soldiered on through this tournament, despite his loss to Ernestes Gulbis in the fourth round at the French Open. Federer has played consistent tennis throughout the tournament, taking almost every match in three sets except for the quarterfinals against his Swiss countrymen Stainslas Wawrinka. If he wins this Wimbledon, he will set the new record for Wimbledon titles at eight, nudging out Pete Sampras, who has held at seven titles since 2002. Novak Djokovic has also had a few hiccups this season, and like Federer, was eliminated early from the French Open. The Serb is known for coming back from a rather pedestrian tennis carrer in 2011 to dominate the sport and pick up all but the French Open title that year. He credits his recent success to a change in his diet after being diagnosed with Celiac disease. He has not won Wimbledon since 2011, however, so many say his drive might be even higher than Federer’s to win the trophy on Sunday.
Wimbledon this year has seen legends turn to wildcards, and wildcards turn to potential legends in the push for the two slots in the finals. On the women’s side, Serena was out very early, losing to the French Cornet in the third round, and an illness sidelined her in her second round doubles match. Rafael Nadal was the biggest upset of the tournament, losing in the fourth round to 144th seed Nick Kyrgios, and defending Wimbledon champ crushed the hopes of many a Brit with his quarterfinal loss to No. 13 Grigor Dimitrov. These are just some of the highs and lows which led to the final four.
It seems the draws at Wimbledon have been shuffling around a bit in favor of some new blood, but where the women’s final has pushed the wildcards through, fortune has smiled on two tennis legends in the men’s. All four players have a claim to the trophy, but also have some challenges, which means more guessing and excitement for the finals at Wimbledon this year. The Wimbledon women’s final will begin today, July 5 at 9am EST, 6am Pacific, and the men’s will take place at the same time on Sunday, July 6.
Commentary by Layla Klamt