Jolly Roger flies high but McEnroe in pirate pants steals show

Roger, and out. What more can be said? Except that it is possible to have an out-of-this-world experience by watching a guy have an out-of-body experience on Centre Court. And that grass makes Federer immune to his rare off days.

* BEST MATCH

It's tough to split Venus beating Maria Sharapova in the semis, and Venus beating Lindsay Davenport in the final. Venus's sheer emotional intensity and physical excellence (in the semi) signalled her return to business, while her mental stamina (in the final), confirmed it. Maria and Lindsay's defeats also taught us that big hitting alone is not enough to win Slams.

* BEST SHOT

Any number of Federer's shots were unbelievable. But I'll go for the Andy Roddick volley that sealed his win over Daniele Bracciali, as much for its significance as its execution. Roddick is a heck of a player on grass, and prepared to work on everything to get better. This entertaining match also showed the fighter in Roddick, who featured in, and won, three of the best competitive contests in the men's singles (against Bracciali, Sébastien Grosjean and Thomas Johansson).

* BEST NEWCOMER

It has to be Andy Murray, and his five-set match against David Nalbandian would have been a contender for best match if there had been less doubt about the outcome after the third set. A new chapter in British tennis has been opened. But don't judge this guy by his results in the next year or so. That's not as important as making sure that he's getting fitter and stronger, and developing all areas of his game, mind and body, so that, by his early 20s, he can really have a shot at being a top player.

* BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Justine Henin-Hardenne, who crashed out early when many people, me included, expected her possibly to win the tournament. But after the exertions of Roland Garros, she wasn't able to compete. If you're not fit and healthy, it's probably best to stay at home. Serena Williams should certainly have stayed at home too.

* BEST OLD-TIMER

Mary Pierce, who at the age of 30 arrived in London off the back of a French Open final and reached the quarter-finals to equal her best Wimbledon showing. She is due credit for the way she played in losing to the eventual champion, and more for going on to win the mixed doubles. It's never too late to have goals, be tenacious and work hard to reach them.

* FUNNIEST MOMENT

I was told an American guy tried to get into Centre Court by showing a sheriff's badge. It didn't work. And Andy Roddick trying to beat Federer by hitting through his legs and then being self-effacing, gracious and humorous afterwards is a contender. But I'll go for John McEnroe dressed in long knickers at his veterans' match. John doesn't wear tank-tops at the US Open any more because of his skinny arms. And now his legs are so bony he's got to cover them in pirate pants!

* BEST-DRESSED PLAYER

Joint award to Maria Sharapova for looking good in gold, and to Venus, who for some reason made me think back to Annie White. Maria is one slick girl. But Venus is pure elegance.

* BIGGEST PERSONAL THRILL

Being made an honorary member of the prestigious Lawn Tennis Writers' Association, and being given an LTWA tie, on the same day that McEnroe, Boris Becker, Pat Cash and Martina Navratilova were also inducted. Those guys are all Wimbledon champions. I feel humbled and honoured. It's like a knighthood to me. All I need now is the country castle.

* LOOKING AHEAD TO 2006

The women's singles winner looks impossible to predict, and that shows the strength in depth of the women's game. It could be any one from Kim Clijsters, Henin, Venus, Serena (she'll be back), Maria, or even a newcomer we don't yet envisage. But for the men's singles winner it looks a simple case of Roger, and out. What more can be said?

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Getty
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor