Final thoughts on Wimbledon ’11.

Unless you were hoping for a British winner, Wimbledon once again failed to let us down.

There may have been only few major shocks, but there were plenty of results which would have taken the majority by surprise, and certainly no shortage of drama.

Nothing particularly new has been learnt, but a couple of things have been further confirmed by the event’s latter stages.

Firstly, Andy Murray, as good as he is, just isn’t good enough to beat Rafael Nadal at his best. At Wimbledon anyway.

Evidence of Nadal’s brilliance was in no short supply during his semi final with the British number one, but the error count was one of the more telling statistics. In a Wimbledon semi final against a player of Murray’s calibre, a tally of seven unforced errors across four sets is almost as close to perfection as is possible to achieve.

Murray is capable of beating Nadal, and there’s no doubt he’ll prove it multiple times during the remainder of his career. But despite many pundits suggesting Murray was favourite to win their contest this time around, the Spaniard remains simply too strong for Murray at SW19.

The past two weeks have also proved beyond doubt that Novak Djokovic is looking to remain at the top of men’s tennis. 50 wins from 51 matches this year have catapulted him to number one in the world. Barring an almighty change in fortunes, which would need to be combined with Rafa Nadal successfully defending the US Open title later this year, Djokovic will end 2011 in top spot.

Anyone doubting whether he could maintain the explosive form which he showed at the start of the year have long been forced to re-consider. So too those who suggested Nadal would be too strong for him during the clay court season. And now, those who failed to see Djokovic conquering Wimbledon will, too, have been proved wrong.

Just as Nadal failed to be overwhelmed by Federer’s total dominance and rose to the challenge of reaching, even surpassing, the level at which Federer was at, Djokovic has refused to accept his place alongside Murray as “best of the rest”. While so often failing to reach his potential at Grand Slam level, Djokovic has showed occasional glimpses of what he is capable of, most notably during some epic matches at the US Open.

He has now added consistency and a greater confidence to his game and is reaping the rewards. Most of the questions asked of him are being answered, and attention will now turn to the likes of Nadal, Murray and Federer, and how they will respond.

The only big question remaining for Djokovic to answer is whether he can remain on top, year after year.

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