At that point I was expecting the close contest to continue (as were the commentators and the crowd) and in what seemed like barely a blink of the eye, Garbine had raced into a 5:0 lead and was serving for the match. I don't know if Venus just ran out of energy, if she had invested so much energy in previous matches and in the first set that the thought of two more sets just got to her, or if her illness did suddenly flare up or if the after-effects of the accident in which she had been involved or just the whole prospect of being the oldest lady to win the singles at Wimbledon all suddenly got to her or what it was, but something happened. She certainly seemed to have less energy and was making more mistakes. That said, at the same time Garbine started to cut out the forehand errors, her confidence increased and she even seemed to get another burst of energy and wham it was all over.
Venus was, as she always is, graceful in defeat and praised Garbine and she did her own lap of honour around the court, again which she does and is always lovely to see. Garbine was naturally delighted, but also seemed just a little stunned that she was standing there, holding the trophy, that she had just won Wimbledon. I got the impression it hadn't quite sunk in with her, even after receiving the trophy, being interviewed by Sue Barker & making her lap of honour around the court, it still didn't seem to have quite sunk in.
She was a worthy winner. She played the better tennis on the day; was the stronger player and really did deserve the win. I did enjoy the match, even if I was somewhat disappointed that it only went to two sets and the second one was over so quickly.
I didn't watch the doubles after all, well I watched a bit of the men's but decided not to watch any more - given how long it went on for I was glad I didn't. It went to five sets and they had to suspend play in the fifth to close the roof so the match could continue. It was 13:11 in the 5th set and took four hours & forty minutes.
The ladies' doubles in comparison (which I also didn't watch) was over in a blink of an eye. It was a 6:0, 6:0 win and was over in a mere 55 minutes. Talk about from one extreme to the other.
Onto today. I actually find myself looking forward to the match more than I had thought I would. Yes, the outcome is assured, and it doesn't include any of my favourites, but nonetheless I am looking forward to it. Yes, I know, I know. I'm weird like that, just call me fickle *g* In some ways being so sure of the outcome is quite good as the tension of 'will he win' isn't there.
Also, hey, Federer is aiming to make history. No man has won Wimbledon eight times. Roger and Pete Sampras both are on seven wins so Roger is going for history today. If (when *g*) he wins today, he will be second only to Rafa in 'the number of times a player has won the same grand slam' list. And it will give him his 19th grand slam - four more than his closest (Rafa) rival. And if that isn't enough, he'll also be the oldest man to win Wimbledon in the open-era. What more can one say? And it is all so well deserved; he is a great, superb, wonderful player - that cannot be denied. As I've said I don't enjoy watching him play as much as I enjoy some players, his style does, at times, bore me, but that doesn't take anything away from the fact I admire and respect him deeply.
I hope it's a good match, I'd love to see it go to five sets and I'd love to see Cilic push Roger all the way. He can beat him, he has beaten him once (the H2H is 6:1 to Roger) and that once was at a slam (the US Open in 2014) and last year at Wimbledon he was one point away from beating Roger in the quarters. But that was last year; we have a different Roger this year. He's fresher, injury-free, playing with even more freedom and he has been on superb form this Wimbledon. He hasn't lost a set yet. It doesn't bode well.
But at least Cilic shouldn't be totally overwhelmed by the occasion as he has been in a grand slam final before and has won one. Plus, he's 28, so he's mature and he's certainly upbeat and positive - all of which will help keep the match close.
As I did yesterday, with the ladies' final, I will quietly support Roger. I am hoping for a five set match but in truth I expect it to be four. I think Cilic will win one set on a tie-break & Roger will win the other four with a break of serve in each.
Once the match is over (and we are told who the thirteenth Doctor Who is to be - quite what DW has to do with Wimbledon, I know not) we have the Mixed Doubles final which J and I are both looking forward to.
Jamie Murray & Martina Hingis (GB & Switzerland) vs. Henri Kontinen & Heather Watson (Finland & GB). Now this really does have the potential to be an excellent, close, thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable match. All four players have not only played in grand slam finals but have won at least one (Henri & Heather are the defending mixed doubles champions) and even though Jamie & Martina are the number one seeds & Heather & Henri are unseeded I don't think either pair have an overwhelming favourite tag.
It will be interesting to see if the crowd are rooting for one pair more than the other. I suspect that they might favour Heather & Henri marginally over Jamie & Martina. Not because they dislike J&M, but because we Brits do often like the under-dogs - which on paper H&H are. But if there is any favouritism it will be jolly close.
Both pairs have clearly enjoyed their matches and there have been smiles throughout, especially from Heather & Martina pretty much the entire time they are on court. They play as if they are having fun and are happy to be on court and really do all seem to be having a great time. Both Jamie & Henri are huge poachers and intercept an awful lot and seem capable of moving from one side of the court to the other in one stride; neither Heather nor Martina have huge serves or are particularly tall or play a power game so it really, really is so very balanced.
If push came to shove and it was 'gun to the head time' I have a teeny preference for Heather & Henri to win (by 51:49 if that). But honestly I'll be happy whichever pair takes the title. I'm just hoping for a good, completive, enjoyable, entertaining match.