Monday, July 4, 2011
Updated: July 5, 11:23 AM ET
Perfect marks for Djokovic, Kvitova
By Ravi Ubha
WIMBLEDON, England -- Eleven appeared to be the magic number at Wimbledon heading into Sunday. Bob and Mike Bryan had already won their 11th Grand Slam doubles title to equal the all-time men's record, while Rafael Nadal was gunning for an 11th major.
Yes, in 2011.
But Novak Djokovic downed Nadal in a fifth straight final to back up his rise to No. 1 in the rankings and leave the Spaniard thoroughly puzzled.
Women's champion Petra Kvitova has all the tools to become a No. 1 in the future.
Djokovic and Kvitova lead the way in our tournament report card.
Novak Djokovic (A): There were concerns Djokovic would suffer a letdown after losing his first match of the year at the French Open.
Further, how could Djokovic, at this stage in his career, win Wimbledon without playing a tuneup?
Mentally and physically, he was up to the challenge.
Djokovic saved his best stuff for the final, where, really, it was no contest.
Rafael Nadal (B): Nadal entered the final with momentum, raising his game when it mattered against Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro.
Perhaps Nadal -- and he wouldn't have been the only one -- believed he'd have the edge over Djokovic on grass.
But no. Besides going for more on his serve, Nadal essentially played Djokovic the same as in their previous four 2011 matches. After the opening game, he largely abandoned the forehand down the line.
Even if his foot was 100 percent, how much difference would it have made?
He's got some thinking to do.
Roger Federer (B-): Federer says he can live with his quarterfinal loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, even in blowing a two-set lead at a Slam for the first time. Unusually for Tsonga, there were no dips.
However, following Federer's better-than-expected French Open, not reaching the semis at his beloved Wimbledon is indeed a major blow.
How will Federer respond as a 30-year-old in New York?
Andy Murray (C+): It was all going so well for Murray. Given a tough draw, he coasted to the semis and then took the opening set against Rafa.
Yet again, though, he couldn't get the job done.
Murray's mental collapse after missing a forehand sitter in the second set was alarming, and one of the reasons he's not in the same class as Djokovic, Nadal and Federer.
Andy Roddick (C): If Roddick were battle-hardened, he would have put up a better fight against Feliciano Lopez. Unfortunately for him, injuries and illness have now become commonplace.
Roddick couldn't win the big points against Lopez, and his approach shots weren't good enough.
He needs a good U.S. Open to salvage his season.
Petra Kvitova (A): You could see this coming from Kvitova.
The lefty worked on her fitness in the offseason, played well in Australia and had eventual champion Li Na in trouble at the French.
Kvitova overcame lapses in the quarterfinals and semifinals; in the final, she showed no nerves against a more seasoned pro.
Kvitova is far from a one-Slam fluke, too.
Serena Williams (B+): Even Serena's critics would do well to put her Wimbledon in perspective. She probably shouldn't have competed. Thus, getting to the second week and losing to a former finalist (Marion Bartoli) who had gone 16-2 in her previous 18 matches isn't shameful.
Williams would have beaten most other players, by the way.
Maria Sharapova (B): Reaching a final should be considered a good tournament. However, Sharapova's path to the finale was pretty gentle.
Kvitova was the first top-10 opponent she confronted, and the Czech dictated from start to finish.
As much as Sharapova's competitiveness is admirable, against the elite, her serve doesn't hold up.
Victoria Azarenka (B): Presented with a nice draw, a still-composed Azarenka took advantage to land in a maiden Grand Slam semifinal.
She was thinking against Kvitova in the final four, temporarily getting back into the match by hitting down the middle and stepping up on the baseline.
Azarenka must be looking forward to the U.S. Open Series, played on her most productive surface.
Caroline Wozniacki (D): If rankings were based solely on Grand Slams, where would Wozniacki be? Not No. 1.
A third-round ousting at the French Open was followed by a fourth-round loss at Wimbledon to Dominika Cibulkova, who might be small but hits almost as big as past Wozniacki conquerors Julia Goerges and Daniela Hantuchova.
We keep hearing she's young and making improvements, but results at majors are going in the wrong direction.
London-based Ravi Ubha covers soccer and tennis for ESPN.com. You can follow him on Twitter.