Monday, June 06, 2016

What a French Open that was

Congratulations to Garbine Muguruza for winning the French Open title, beating Serena Williams in straight sets 7-5 6-4 to claim her first ever Grand Slam tournament trophy. This isn't the first time that Garbine beat the legendary Serena. In fact, I first learned about Muguruza when she upended Williams in the second round of the 2014 French Open (also in straight sets). 2 years later and she does it again, but this time, with larger stakes.

Serena herself was going for her 22nd Grand Slam title and her 4th French Open title. While I am certain she will eventually pass Steffi Graf's current Open Era record of 22 Grand Slam titles, since I am a Steffi fan, I am relieved that Graf's record will stay with her for just a while longer. This could have been a massive win for Serena since it would have allowed her to tie three of the most impressive Graf records: (1) Steffi has the Open Era record of 22 Grand Slam singles titles, (2) Steffi is the only player so far to have won each of the Grand Slam events at least four times, and (3) Steffi is the only player so far to have defended her title in each of the Grand Slam events at least once. Since I am certain that Williams will break Graf's 22 Slam haul record and she will also break Graf's women's record of 186 consecutive weeks at #1 (she is just 14 weeks away from achieving this and there is no one who seems capable of taking the #1 ranking any time soon), I am happy that Graf gets to keep a couple of her records for a bit longer.

That said, more records were made on the men's side. Novak Djokovic finally completed his Career Grand Slam by winning the only event that has eluded him, beating Andy Murray in four sets. As if that wasn't enough, Novak just achieved a non-calendar Grand Slam as he has just won the last four majors. He is now in a tie for 5th overall (with Roy Emerson) for the most Grand Slam titles - only Federer, Nadal, and Sampras have more but he is now only 2 behind Nadal and Sampras and he has a strong chance of surpassing that number.

Furthermore, he has now won the first two events this year, making him a contender for the Calendar Grand Slam, a feat only five other players - male and female - have achieved in history. And with this being an Olympic year, he also has a shot at matching Steffi Graf's legendary achievement in 1988 of a Golden Grand Slam.

Boy, this year is shaping up to be a very interesting one with so much at stake and many records at risk of being broken. Good luck to all the players.

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