Wimbledon 2016: The year the wait was finally over

In the build up to the 2016 event, Vavel takes a look back at the 2013 championship, covering the major events of the rounds.

Wimbledon 2016: The year the wait was finally over

Wimbledon 2013 will forever live long in the memory banks of British Tennis fans, as finally after 77 years there was a men's champion at the All England Club.

VAVEL relives this historic year, and looks at the other stories at the grass Grand Slam that year.


The first round saw 14 seeds out at this stage. The biggest headlines were on the male side of the draw. Unseeded Lleyton Hewitt was up against Swiss number two Stan Wawrinka. The Australian had little bother in despatching Wawrinka in straight sets. On what was arguably the Swiss worst surface, Hewitt sent the 11th seed back to the locker room with the reasonably looking scoreline of 6-4, 7-5, 6-3. This was not the biggest story of the day however.

Nadal tasted early defeat | Photo: the telegraph
Nadal tasted early defeat | Photo: the telegraph

Rafael Nadal who had not won the event since 2010 found himself against a little known Belgian. By the end of the day everyone would be talking about Steve Darcis.

The lowly ranked Belgian played the match of his life, and defeated the fifth seed in straight sets. No-one had seen this result coming as Nadal is generally good at Wimbledon even without winning the event. However, on this particluar day the Spaniard had no answer for everything Darcis threw his way. The first two sets both went to tiebreaks with the Belgian taking the first quite comfortably, the second was much closer.

Darcis managed to get a break of serve against the Spaniard in the third set, and it was all over for Nadal for another year. 7-6(4), 7-6(8), 6-4

Robson got off to a great start | Photo: the telegraph
Robson got off to a great start | Photo: the telegraph

Laura Robson was on court one for her first round match against the 10th seed Maria Kirilenko. The Brit played with the crowd behind her, and broke Russian early to take the first set. Robson continued the momentum in the second set, and scored a very comfortable straight sets win 6-3, 6-4.


On what became known as "Wacky Wednesday" the wednesday of the first week produced a series of shocks. For the full details of Wacky Wednesday check out this article by Vavel.

The ladies side saw two seeds fall by the wayside today. Maria Sharapova, the third seed, was ousted by a qualifer from Portugal. Michelle Larcher de Brito made the most of her match on one of the show courts, and a player no-one outside Portugal had likely heard of took a big scalp. The Russian went out in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.

Photo: dailymirror.co.uk
Photo: dailymirror.co.uk

Another top female seed to go out in the second round was Victoria Azarenka. The Belarusian did not even make it onto the court, handing a walkover to her Italian opponent Flavia Pennetta.

However, once again all the headlines would be from the mens side of the draw.

A relatively unknown player from Ukraine shocked everyone in the second round. Drawn against the third seed, and defending champion Roger Federer, Sergiy Stakhovsky was not fancied for an upset.

Stakhovsky caused an upset | Photo: skysports.com
Stakhovsky caused an upset | Photo: skysports.com

The form book, the rankings, practically everywhere you looked had Federer strolling into round three. The Ukranian had clearly not read the script, keeping things tight Stakhovsky was edged out of the first set on a tiebreak. Fighting for his life, the Ukranian forced a second set tiebreak, which he edged to level the match up

The Ukranian, however, was still playing the match of his life and broke Federer in set three to go up by two sets to one. No-one but no-one thought that the Swiss number one would do anything but win the remaining two sets to take the win. Stakhovsky though was to spoil the Federer party (with many Brits whispering "thank you" ) as the Ukrainian forced a fourth set tiebreak. This was to be the end of the defending champions tournament as the unseeded player edged the breaker. 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-5, 7-6(5)


The biggest story of round three took place on centre court. Bernard Tomic defeated the ninth seed Richard Gasquet. A very tight match when bearly a serve was broken, finally saw the Australian defeat the Frenchman in four agonizingly close sets. 7-6(7), 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(5). Meanwhile both Murray and Novak Djokovic were progressing through the draw without much of a worry, and Robson had made it to the fourth round for the first time in a long time for British women.


It was time for the ladies to make some headlines. In a somewhat strange match the top seed Serena Williams and the 23rd seed Sabine Lisicki met on Centre court. The American who had been pretty much untroubled and certainly unbeaten up till now, finally had a match on her hands. The German surprised everyone, including Wiliams, by taking the first set comfortably.

The American appeared to have regrouped, as she dominated the second set, and delievered a breadstick set to Lisicki. Un-fazed the German upped her game in the final set, and breaking the American took her place in the quarter finals.

Robson, who had made it to the second week, bowed out in two very very close sets to Kaia Kanepi. The Brit was close to making the quarter finals of a slam for the very first time. Unfortunately the Estonian had other ideas. Spoiling the party mood for the Brits who were enjoying the perfomance Kanepi took out Robson in straight sets 7-6(6), 7-5.

Quarter finals

This round is one that still sends palpitations through British tennis fans. Having progressed to this stage without dropping a set, Murray was made to work for this one. The British number one, and second seed, was against the only remaining non seeded player in his half. Fernando Verdasco came into the match with absolutely nothing to lose.

One of only two Spaniards left in the event, Verdasco started the match well. The Brit was not playing badly, but the Spaniard just seemed to be better. Suddenly, Murray was in trouble, he was two sets down and on the verge of going out. Never count the Brit out however, and with the crowd lifting him, Murray romped the third set with a breadstick.

Although the remaining two sets were realtively close, there was only ever going to be one winner once that third set was in the bag. Murray broke the Spaniard who had no answer to the amazing shots the Brit was making. The Spaniard who had been looking to spoil the British party, was put back in his place by Murray as the Brit progressed through to the semi final, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5.

Photo: skysports.com
Photo: skysports.com

Meanwhile on number one court, history was being made as an all Polish quater final took place. Jerzy Janowicz took on Łukasz Kubot. No Polish player had reached this stage at a grand slam, and now they had two. Because they were against each other Poland was guaranteed a semi finalist.

Janowicz was the higher ranked player, and as a result was the 24th seed at the start of the event. Kubot managed to stay close in the first set but it was the sed who took it right at the end.

The second and third sets were similar, in that both Polish players wanted to be their first semi finalist. Kubot made Janowicz fight hard, before the seed progressed through in straight sets 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.

Djokovic, meanwhile was still dispatching opponents without the loss of a set on the other side of the draw.


Once again Lisicki made the headlines. Following on her big scalp in round four, the German found herself against the highest remaining seed. Agnieszka Radwańska. The fourth seed was odds on favourite to make the final. However, the German was prepared to follow up her big scalp with another. Much like the match with Williams the German started better and took the first set from the Pole.

Radwanska came fighting back in the second and levelled up the match. In the third set, there is no tiebreak so at 6-6 this looked like it may go on for a while. Ther German, however, managed the vital break of serve to book her place in the final. On the other side of the draw a player from France had been steadily but quitely making her way through the draw.

On the mens side the last four was a little surprising. Not for the first and second seeds, for this is where they were meant to be as the top seeds. Their opponents were the eighth seed and the 24th seed. Murray lost the first set in a tiebreak where Janowicz dominated the breaker. The Brit then won the second set with a break of serve. Into the third set and Janowicz was complaining about the light and kept asking for the roof to be closed.

Once the Brit had won the rhird set, the roof was closed (and the match suspended whilst it was done so) Murray protested that it wasn't dark (it wasn't - there was at least 45 mins of light left and non of the sets had taken that long), and British fans suddenly had flashbacks to the previous year when Murray had been leading in the final against Federer, only to lose after the roof had been closed.

There was no such outcome this time round, Murray came out after the break and finished the set off quickly to make his second final.

The other semi final proved to be a real battle. Djokovic who had easily scythed through all before him, came upon Juan Martin Del Potro. The Argentine pushed the Serb hard in the match. The pair swapped sets and the match would go the distance. Del Potro broke the Serb in the second set, whilst the fourth set was a tiebreaker. The final set proved just a stage too far for the Argentine as the World number one broke to take the match 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-7(8), 6-3.

Photo: theguardian.com
Photo: theguardian.com


The ladies final on the saturday was not a classic final. Marion Bartoli against Lisicki. Unfortunately for the German, she became over-awed by the occassion and broke down whilst trying to play. The Frenchwoman on the other hand, showed no such emotion as she demolished the German in the first set.

Lisicki managed to pull herself together more for the second set, however Bartoli still achieved the vital break to take the match in straight sets. 6-1, 6-4.

In terms of "classics" the final the following day certainly was not one in those terms (five setters, very close, things like the 2008 final are regarded as classics). For the Brits though, this was a classic, not only that but it proved to be historic.

Murray & Djokovic took to the court on the hotest day of July that year. Murray had issues with his shoes at the start, but didn't change them. the Brit broke the Serbian but could not hold his own serve. However, Murray then broke Djokovic again and took the first set. No-one dared get excited yet, as the Brit had been in the same position in the 2012 final only to lose to Federer.

The Serb got off to the better start in the second set and was soon up 4-1 which could have led to a change in the entire match. However, the Brit dug deep and managed to yet again break the World number one and drag the set level. at 5-5 the Serb would be serving to then force Murray to serve for a breaker. Murray had other ideas and once again broke Djokovic, before holding to love and be up two sets.

Excitement started growing, the crowd were shouting Murrays name, however, the Brit knew it was not over, he had been here before at the US Open when he led by two sets to love and Djokovic fought back to force a fifth set (which Murray one to claim his maiden slam).

The Brit went up 2-0 quickly in the final set, then the Serb came back, and took the lead in the third set 4-2. Trying to raise Murray the crowd were still fully behind the Brit, and he responded. Pulling back to level, once again Murray broke the serb, and would be serving for history as well as the title.

The last game was the longest twelve minuets of this authors life. Murray was up 40-0 with three match points, Djokovic though was not going away and forced deuce. This is where the hearts start racing remembering back to that game. Several break points came and went for the Serb, which Murray saved superbly. Finally, on the fourth championship point, Djokovic netted a backhand and the 77 year wait was over.

Andy Murray (a Brit!) was the Wimbledon Champion.