By Randy Walker
As the author of the book “On This Day In Tennis History” (for sale and download here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0942257421/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_S9RTTTF52XWTTVMJ0DP3 I monitor significant events and matches in tennis history and the first week of Wimbledon in 2022 featured a few significant moments that deserve documentation.
2022 – Hubert Hurkacz of Poland and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain become the first players in Wimbledon history to contest a 10-point tiebreak at 6-6 in the final set in their first round encounter. Davidovich emerges victorious over the 2021 semifinalist 7-6 (4), 6-4, 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (10-8), despite blowing three match points leading 5-3, 40-0 in the third set, the first one on an ill-advised between-the-legs hot-dog “tweener” shot. The 2022 edition of The Championships is the first to have this uniform way of determining winners in decisive sets along with the other four major championships. The tournament used to have players play out a final set until a winner was determined by a two-game margin, but after John Isner played matches that extended to 70-68 in the fifth set in 2010 in the first round against Nicolas Mahut and 26 -24 in the fifth set in 2018 in the semifinals against Kevin Anderson, the All England Club decided to implement 10-point match tiebreakers, first at 12-12 in the final set and then, starting in 2022, at 6-6.
2022 – Playing her first singles match in a year, Serena Williams loses in the first round of Wimbledon to No. 115-ranked Harmony Tan 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7). Williams had not played a competitive singles match in 364 days since he was forced to retire in the first set to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus in the first round on Center Court. Williams serves for the match a 6-5 in the final set, but is not able to close out the match. When asked in her post-match press conference if it was the final Wimbledon match of her career, the 23-time major singles champion said she “can not answer” that question. “Who knows where I’ll pop up?” she says.
2022 – Locked in a decisive fifth-set 10-point match tiebreaker, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain is given a point penalty for ball abuse while facing match point and loses to Czech Jiri Vesely 6-3, 5-7, 6-7 ( 2), 6-3, 7-6 (10-7) in the second round of Wimbledon. Davidovich Fokina slams a ball out of court after losing a point that gave Vesely double match point at 9-7 and chair umpire Carlos Ramos issues a point penalty after receiving different code violations earlier in the match. Two-time champion Andy Murray suffers his earliest ever Wimbledon loss falling to John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-4 in the second round. Isner hits 36 aces and 82 winners.
2022 – John Isner breaks the all-time ace record in men’s tennis with his fifth ace in his 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-3 third round loss to Jannik Sinner at Wimbledon. Isner, 37, breaks the record held by Ivo Karlovic, who served 13,728 aces in his career. Isner finishes the match with 24 aces to bring his total to 13,748 aces. “I’m actually very proud of that record,” Isner says after the match. “I wish I could have broken it in a win, but to have set the all-time aces record at Wimbledon I think is very special. It’s a credit to – in my mind – how professional I’ve been to keep myself healthy for such a long time, to keep myself on the court to give myself the opportunity to hit those aces. It’s something I’m actually pretty proud of. I do not pat myself on the back too much, but this one I think is pretty cool. ”
2022 – World No. 1 Iga Swiatek sees her 37-match winning streak come to an end in a 6-4, 6-3 third round loss at Wimbledon to Alize Cornet. “I have no words right now, It reminds me of the time I beat Serena on the same court, eight years ago exactly. This court is a lucky charm for me, ”Cornet said on-court after the win. In 2014, the Frenchwoman defeated then No. 1 Serena Williams to advance to her first career Round of 16 of the major event. Wimbledon is her record-equaling 62nd consecutive major tournament she has played.
2022 – In the men’s third round, in what Patrick McEnroe on ESPN calls “a circus atmosphere like no other,” Nick Kyrgios defeats No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (2) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7). The controversial match features Kyrgios constantly muttering and cursing to himself, Tsitsipas getting a code violation and near default for hitting a ball in frustration into the crowd and nearly hitting a fan, and Tsitsipas attempting to peg Kyrgios with several shots. “Yeah, it’s constant bullying, that’s what he does,” Tsitsipas says after the match to Kyrgios’ media. “He bullies opponents. He was probably a bully at school himself. I do not like bullies, ”Tsitsipas told reporters after the match. I do not like people that put other people down. He has some good traits in his character, as well. But he also has a very evil side to him, which if it’s exposed, it can really do a lot of harm and bad to the people around him. ”
2022 – Wimbledon stages regularly scheduled matches in its first middle Sunday session ever while also celebrating the 100th anniversary of the opening of Center Court with a parade of former champions. Eight-time champion Roger Federer, absent from The Championships with a knee injury, receives the biggest ovation from fans as he is the last former champion to be introduced. The first of the 26 former champions to be introduced is 90-year-old Angela Mortimer, the 1961 Wimbledon women’s singles champion, and is followed by such other legends as Billie Jean King, Rod Laver, Venus Williams, Bjorn Borg, Chris Evert, Stefan Edberg among others.