LONDON (AP) — A game away from a third Wimbledon championship and ninth Grand Slam title, Novak Djokovic sized up a 108 mph serve from none other than Roger Federer and stretched to smack a cross-court forehand return winner.
Two points later, Djokovic again took the measure of a serve from Federer, this one at 123 mph, and delivered a down-the-line backhand for another return winner. After this one, Djokovic bellowed.
"I roared because I felt like that's the moment," Djokovic would say later. "Now is the time for me to close this match out."
One forehand winner later, he did. For the second year in a row, Djokovic solved Federer's superb serve in the final at the All England Club. And for the second year in a row, Federer's bid for a record eighth championship at the grass-court tournament ended with a defeat against Djokovic.
LONDON (AP) — Serena Williams let herself briefly bask in the joy of a sixth Wimbledon championship, 21st Grand Slam singles trophy overall and fourth consecutive major title Saturday, even balancing the winner's silver dish atop her head — Look, Ma, no hands! — as she sauntered off Centre Court.
"I was peaceful, feeling really good," Williams said. "Maybe a little after that, I started thinking about New York."
On to the next one. When the U.S. Open begins at Flushing Meadows in August, Williams will pursue pretty much the only accolade to elude her so far: a calendar-year Grand Slam, something no one has accomplished in tennis in more than a quarter-century.
PARIS (AP) — Moments before his third French Open final in four years, Novak Djokovic jogged in a stadium hallway near a poster of the Coupe des Mousquetaires, the silver trophy awarded to the men's champion at the only major tournament he has never won.
This time, it would be Stan Wawrinka standing between the No. 1-seeded Djokovic and the title at Roland Garros that the Serb needs for a career Grand Slam.
And once again, Djokovic came up one victory shy, stopped by the eighth-seeded Wawrinka and his magical, one-handed backhand. Wawrinka won his first French Open championship and second major title by stunning Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in a superbly played match Sunday.
PARIS (AP) — Overcoming a mid-match lull and a third-set deficit, Serena Williams won her third French Open title and 20th major singles trophy by beating 13th-seeded Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2 on Saturday.
After double-faulting away a two-break lead in the second set, then starting poorly in the third, the No. 1-seeded Williams took the last six games and added to her championships on the red clay of Roland Garros in 2002 and 2013.
Those go alongside six each from the U.S. Open and Australian Open, and five from Wimbledon.
Frances Tiafoe is one busy 17-year-old. After deciding to turn pro in April, he became the first tennis prospect to sign with Jay-Z’s agency Roc Nation Sports. He managed to climb the ATP tennis rankings from No. 1136 to No. 292, And this month, Tiafoe debuted at the French Open – just one year after competing in the junior tournament.
Though the Maryland native lost in his Grand Slam Debut, the young American star is just beginning his journey in the world of pro tennis. SI Kids caught up with the rising tennis pro to talk about playing in the French Open and dealing with big expectations while still a teenager.
The organization TGA — which stand for Teach, Grow, Achieve — runs after-school golf and tennis programs across the country for kids in grades Pre K-8. The program started in 2003 when Joshua Jacobs wanted to teach golf to underprivileged and special needs kids. The program began in Southern California, and is now in 2,600 schools across the country with more than 280,000 kids participating. TGA also offers a similar program for tennis.
Recently, I joined a golf class in Dallas. As a non-golfer, I fit right in with the eight other beginners in his class. We were put in four groups, each going to a different station. Mine went from chipping to long drive to putting to agility drills.
Editor's note: On January 27, Madison Keys (special SI Kids correspondent Madison Keys!) won maybe the biggest match of her career. In the Australian Open, she outlasted Venus Williams in the quarterfinals, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, to reach the semifinal round. It was 19-year-old Keys' first Grand Slam quarterfinal, and her win was all the sweeter because of it came against Venus.
“You just have to enjoy the moment, and I did enjoy it, and I get to enjoy another moment next round," Keys said.
But she won't get to enjoy it long. Keys plays Venus' sister Serena in the Open semifinals, which should be a far tougher task for the teenager. She has only played Serena once before, in 2013, and Serena defeated her in straight sets. Adding to the challenge: a nagging leg injury.
Keys and Serena meet today at 11:30 p.m. ET. And that gives us the opportunity to share a profile of Keys that ran in the October 2014 issue of Sports Illustrated Kids.