Wimbledon 2014: The moments of true magic

Paul Newman casts a fond eye back over the highlights that made Wimbledon 2014 a sporting fortnight to remember

1 Shot of the tournament

Nick Kyrgios’s victory over Rafael Nadal was the most extraordinary result of the fortnight and featured the most memorable shot – a through-the-legs half-volley winner from the baseline.

2 Unplayable Kvitova

Petra Kvitova’s performance was one of the best seen in a women’s final for many a year. When the Czech strikes the ball as cleanly as she did against Eugenie Bouchard she is almost unplayable.

 

3 Leaping and diving

The sight of Novak Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov both lying spreadeagled on either side of the net during their semi-final showed how players can throw themselves around a grass court in a way they would not contemplate on other surfaces.

 

4 Alizé in wonderland

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a game plan work out. Alizé Cornet carried hers out to perfection to beat Serena Williams. Was there a happier face at Wimbledon than Cornet’s after her victory?

5 The best of Murray

Andy Murray’s defence of his title ended in disappointment, but some of his tennis in the first four rounds was sensational. He made Roberto Bautista Agut, the world No 23, look like a novice.

6 Fantastic Federer

Of all Roger Federer’s performances, his dismantling of Milos Raonic in the semi-final was one of the best demonstrations of the pressure a great champion can impose on even the most talented of opponents.

7 Kazakh surprise

She did not go as far as Nick Kyrgios, but Zarina Diyas was the surprise package in the women’s draw. She is also a genuine Kazakh rather than the Russian imports who often compete under the Kazakhstan flag.

8 The grace of Stepanek

At no time in the history of tennis has the game been so similar on all surfaces, but Radek Stepanek reminded us in his second-round match against Novak Djokovic how graceful grass-court tennis can be.

9 The colourful Fanatics

Wimbledon insisted on strict observance of its whites-only rule for players, but thankfully that did not apply to spectators. Hats off to the “Fanatics” who provided so much colour – and noise – in their support of the Australians.

10 The Princess Eugenie

Eugenie Bouchard emerged as a player who will charm the Wimbledon crowd for years to come. What better way to win over the British public than to be named after a member of the royal family?

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