A memorable 125th Championships ended with two new names on the singles honours boards. The men's title went, for the first time, to a player from Serbia as Novak Djokovic halted Rafael Nadal's 20-match winning streak at Wimbledon - a run which included the 2008 and 2010 titles - with a merited 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 victory. It was the Serb's fifth victory over Nadal in a final this year and took his won-lost record for 2011 to an incredible 48-1. Nadal was playing with a pain-killing injection in a sore foot, suffered in the fourth round and was below his best form. Djokovic on the other hand swept all before him, and was justly congratulated by the loser for playing "very, very high level''.
In the ladies' singles Petra Kvitova upset the form book by outhitting the 2004 champion and hot favourite Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4. The 21-year-old lefty added further lustre to the tennis reputation of the Czech Republic as two of her compatriots and former Wimbledon champions, Martina Navratilova and Jana Novotna, looked on from the Royal Box, alongside eight other ladies' champions of yesteryear. Navratilova, now an American citizen and winner of nine Wimbledons, had perceptively predicted that her fellow left-hander's serve and groundstrokes would prove too much for Sharapova to handle and she was proved correct. The tall blonde kept her nerve and emotions in check until she met Novotna and Navratilova afterwards, when the tears finally flowed.
For Sharapova, defeat came as a bitter blow as she gradually rediscovers the form which had won her three Grand Slams before undergoing a shoulder operation in 2008. She had reached the final without conceding a set but her service remains her weak point - the final saw her lose five of her eight service games and double-fault six times.
If the ladies' singles provided a sea change at The Championships, with the final contested by the sixth and eighth seeds, the men's always promised to be more predictable since the top four seeds looked a cut above the rest of the field from the start. So it proved, at least until the quarter-finals when Roger Federer, a six-time champion and third seed, was blasted to defeat by charismatic Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who overhauled a two-set deficit to demolish the ambitions of the Swiss who was pursuing his 17th Grand Slam title. It was unfortunate for Federer that he caught Tsonga on one of his irresistible days, as tournament statistics reveal. He finished up leading the men's ace count with 108, but was also top of the double-fault table with 27 and unforced errors (143).