Serena not the unanimous choice for Wimbledon MVP

LONDON — It was a different kind of fortnight at the All England Club.

The men’s final was absent Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic for the first time in 14 years.

And after three near-misses in Grand Slams, Serena Williams finally hoisted the trophy that brought her even with the great Steffi Graf.

With that, our 2016 Wimbledon awards:


Nic Atkin: Few people thought Sam Querrey could hold his nerve and close out a win against Djokovic after taking the two first sets before their third-round match was suspended for the day. But credit to the American for getting the job done.

Peter Bodo: Marcus Willis gets the nod over Serena Williams because he saved a truly dreary first week. His improbably run helped offset Brexit anxiety and England’s stunning loss to Iceland in the UEFA Cup.

Greg Garber: Serena, hands down. She leaves the All-England Club with two silver trophies and equals the great Steffi Graf’s Open era record of 22 major singles titles.

Matt Wilansky: A rhetorical question. Serena, who won the singles and doubles titles, is the only logical choice. Only question moving forward is whether she’ll catch Margaret Court as the all-time leader in Slam wins (24).

Top match

Atkin: Federer-Marin Cilic in the men’s quarterfinals. Even by Federer’s mighty standards, this was one of his great wins, pulling off a Houdini act to save three match points and come back from two sets down.

Bodo: Serena over Angelique Kerber in the women’s final. It was extremely high quality despite being just two sets. And it was historic as well.

Garber: Federer-Cilic. Fantastic twists and turns — and perhaps a final flourish for the 17-time Grand Slam champion at Wimbledon?

Wilansky: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga dug himself out of an impossible two-set hole to escape John Isner 19-17 in the fifth. The match ran 4 hours, 24 minutes — the longest of the tournament.

Biggest disappointment?

Atkin: After almost beating Serena in the third round last year, Heather Watson had a poor showing 12 months on, losing in the first round to Annika Beck. No one was more disappointed than the Briton, who angrily slammed her racket to the turf during the match, earning a $12,000 fine.

Bodo: Garbine Muguruza had a chance to position herself as the leading candidate to succeed Serena. Instead, she played a poor, low-energy second-round match against Jana Cepelova.

Garber: Djokovic, who lost in the third round to Sam Querrey. Seemed like after finally winning the French Open, he took his foot off the gas.

Wilansky: Could make a case for Djokovic, but can’t blame him for still reveling in his French Open laurels. Instead, the dubious honor belongs to wonderkid Dominic Thiem, who fell meekly in the second round.

Biggest surprise

Atkin: Willis won six matches to qualify for the main draw, then shocked Ricardas Berankis, a player ranked 718 places above him, to earn a Centre Court date with Roger Federer and a check for £50,000.

Bodo: Despite a few good weeks, Kerber basically struggled after she beat Serena for the Australian Open title. She bounced back from a dreadful first-round loss in Paris to make another major final and vault to No. 2 in the rankings.

Garber: Querrey, for sure. The American put it all together and made his first major quarterfinal. Let’s see if this gives him momentum to get to the next level.

Wilansky: Venus Williams. At 36 years old, no one thought she had a semifinal run left in her — except Venus herself.

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