The Wimbledon 2016 draw concluded on Sunday with Andy Murray defeating Milos Raonic in the final 6-4, 7-6, 7-6. Murray took down the third Grand Slam title of his career, passing several two-Slammers on the all-time list such as Stan Wawrinka, Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin, Sergei Bruguera, Evgeny Kafelnikov, and Patrick Rafter among other less recent players. For Raonic the result is disappointing. However, he is still just 25 and among a thicket of mostly older players in the Top 10. You have to think as some of them age out of their prime that there will be more opportunities for the Canadian to win a major.
In looking past Raonic and Murray, Wimbledon 2016 certainly wasn’t a great event for several other players. Novak Djokovic, for example, went out in the third round in what was the most eye-brow raising result from the All England Club this season. Djokovic turned a net loss of 1910 ranking points at Wimbledon 2016 while Murray gained 1280. The result is a swing of 3190 ranking points in Murray’s favor, a result that might heat up the race for the World No. 1 position for the first time in a long time. But Djokovic aside, there were several others that took a hit at Wimbledon 2016, whether in rankings or in another way.
Wimbledon Loser: Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka entered Wimbledon below the radar in terms of how POORLY he played in 2016. With three titles this season and a run to the French Open finals, I don’t think people really saw that Wawrinka was not up to his normal level of play.
To date, he hasn’t actually beaten anyone in the Top 10 in 2016, meaning that his title runs and French Open semifinal appearance were with weak draws. In losing to Juan Martin del Potro, a player who did not back up his second round win, fans and pundits alike might start seeing that Wawrinka is actually fading a little at this point in his career. Look for Wawrinka to be a non-factor at the Rio Olympics and then to give up a chunk of ranking points at Flushing Meadows and ATP Tokyo later this year. In my view, he is not likely to retain a higher ranking relative to either Raonic or Dominic Thiem at year’s end.
Wimbledon Loser: Marin Cilic
Marin Cilic had so much go his way at Wimbledon 2016, and he has just a quarterfinal appearance to show for it. Seeded ninth, Cilic picked up an injured Kei Nishikori in the fourth round, a player that retired late in the second set of their contest. The Croat must have entered the quarters with pretty good energy reserves due to the win via retirement, and he was facing 34-year old Roger Federer. But Cilic gave up a two-sets-to-love lead and missed match points in the quarters, a result that likely cost him some fans.
Wimbledon Loser: Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios entered Wimbledon 2016 – and the 2016 French Open for that matter – well over-hyped in my view. That he picked up the eventual champion in Andy Murray in the All England Club’s fourth round was a genuine stroke of bad luck. However, the line score in the match was 5-7, 1-6, 4-6. With no set win and not even a tiebreaker, that’s not the kind of line score you’d expect from a true contender, even when playing against the eventual champion. Kyrgios, despite the hype, went out in the third round of the French about a month ago. It all suggests that becoming a contender for titles is well off in the future as opposed to imminent.
Wimbledon Loser: Richard Krajicek
Twenty years ago, Richard Krajicek won Wimbledon with a dream match-up in the final against MaliVai Washington. The Dutch player joined Wawrinka’s coaching camp ahead of the grass-court season, just in time to see the Swiss player go out in the first round of the Aegon Championships ahead of Stan’s Wimbledon loss. A record of 1-2 coaching a Top 5 player isn’t exactly resume building, even though I think the results reflect more on Wawrinka than Krajicek. Nonetheless, people aren’t going to be pounding on Krajicek’s door like they might do when it comes to John McEnroe, who was part of Raonic’s team.
Wimbledon Losers: Fans Who Watched the Early Rounds
Anyone that paid attention to the early rounds of this year’s Wimbledon coverage wasn’t exactly treated to anything special. Rain delays were the big part of the ‘action,’ something that no one can really be blamed for. However, weather aside the early days of Wimbledon 2016 saw World No. 772 Marcus Willis forced into our eyeballs. I thought the everyday Joe looked a little chubby for a guy who won a match in a major and my web search of his name and the word “chubby” suggests that other people feel the same way. He says that he wants to target a run to the Top 100, but those outside of Britain have one question: so what?
David Ferrer was never the main show on tour, however, he had a chance to get back into the Top 10 at Wimbledon. What transpired instead was a very non-competitive second-round loss to Nicolas Mahut in straight sets, a result that stifled any plans of injecting some momentum back into Ferrer’s career at this point. Ferrer is still ranked 13th on tour, but that looks like a 13-and-falling situation that he probably won’t reverse. The easy answer is to blame his age as he is 34. However, that’s actually Mahut’s age too so not much of an explanation there. There isn’t any retirement buzz with Ferrer, but that might change if he keeps sinking throughout the latter half of this season.