The Insider Wrap is a recap of everything you need to know from the tournament that was. This week, we look back at how this year's Wimbledon Championships unfolded.
Performance of the tournament: Elena Rybakina
Rybakina came into Wimbledon under the radar. Much of her season had been disrupted by health issues -- Covid, allergies -- and she had won only one out of three grass-court matches ahead of The Championships.
Rybakina's suboptimal preparation paid off in an unexpected way. Her clutch play in tight sets, something she had been missing for a while, returned. Rybakina, 23, won all six of the tiebreak or 7-5 sets she played.
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Her serve, smooth but brutal, clicked on the slick lawns of SW19, and she racked up 53 aces in total. Twice she found herself a set down, to Ajla Tomljanovic in the quarterfinals and Ons Jabeur in the final. Both times, Rybakina adjusted her tactics and raised her game to dominate the rest of the match.
In 2020, Rybakina reached four finals in five tournaments before the pandemic struck. Two years later, in only her second main-draw appearance at Wimbledon, her potential came to fruition with a brilliant run to her first Grand Slam title.
Surprise of the tournament: Tatjana Maria
This time last year, Maria was still on her second maternity leave after giving birth to daughter Cecilia in April 2021. In 46 previous Grand Slam events (including qualifying) dating back to 2007, she had gone beyond the second round only once, at Wimbledon 2015 (coincidentally, her first Wimbledon after giving birth to first daughter Charlotte in 2013).
But the 34-year-old demonstrated the value of experience, an old-school skillset and a never-say-die attitude to slice and dice her way to the semifinals. In the first round, she defeated Astra Sharma from a set down. Three consecutive upsets of big-hitting seeds followed: No.26 Sorana Cirstea (from a double-break down in the third set), No.5 Maria Sakkari (overturning a 5-2 second-set deficit) and No.12 Jelena Ostapenko (from a set and 4-1 down, saving two match points).
On the way to becoming the first mother of two children to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since Margaret Court at Wimbledon 1975, Maria delighted fans not only with her story but her crowd-pleasing touch. Her unique game was given its biggest spotlight in her 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 quarterfinal win against Jule Niemeier, one of the best matches of the tournament.
Ons Jabeur: For the second major in a row, Jabeur came in as one of the title favourites after winning a preceding tournament. At SW19, she learned from her mistakes at Roland Garros, where she had been unable to manage the pressure and her workload enough to avoid a first-round loss to Magda Linette. Jabeur kept her head as seed after seed departed the bottom half of the draw. She delivered efficient, no-nonsense wins in the first week and came through a series of pressure moments in the second.
Jabeur delighted crowds with her touch and charisma, and made history as the first Tunisian, Arab and African woman to reach a major final. Jabeur was unable to get over the last hurdle -- but there's a sense of unfinished business now. She looked like a champion-in-waiting throughout the fortnight, and still does.
Jule Niemeier and Marie Bouzkova: Two young first-time major quarterfinalists who scythed through their sections with stellar tennis. Niemeier, 22, was playing her first Wimbledon main draw after missing match points in the final round of qualifying last year. The German displayed a blend of effortless touch and power to rout No.2 seed Anett Kontaveit in the second round.
Bouzkova, 23, ousted No.7 seed Danielle Collins in the first round, and her remarkable counterpunching also blunted the power of Alison Riske-Amritraj in the third round and Caroline Garcia in the fourth.
Amanda Anisimova and Ajla Tomljanovic: Two players whose journey to a second Grand Slam quarterfinal has been far from easy. Anisimova, who reached the Roland Garros semifinals as a 17-year-old in 2019, has been putting together the most consistent season of her career. Her third-round upset of fellow American Coco Gauff was the highlight of her run to the final eight, a result that makes her one of only two players to reach the second week at every major in 2022. Meanwhile, Tomljanovic reached her second Wimbledon quarterfinal in a row, defeating Barbora Krejcikova along the way.
Alizé Cornet, Harmony Tan, Caroline Garcia: A strong grass season for the WTA's French contingent saw three representatives in the last 16 of Wimbledon. Cornet ended Iga Swiatek's 37-match winning streak in the third round, her second career defeat of a World No.1. (Additionally, Cornet tied Ai Sugiyama's all-time record of 62 consecutive Grand Slam main-draw appearances.) Garcia took out US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the second round, backing up her Bad Homburg title the previous week.
The unheralded Tan was the story of the first week, though. The 24-year-old halted Serena Williams' comeback in the first round with a slice-and dice game against the seven-time Wimbledon champion over three hours.
Venus and Serena Williams: One month ago, there was no indication as to when, or if, either Williams sister would play tennis professionally again. Their appearances at Wimbledon were a last-minute surprise to the public, and an opportunity to celebrate still being able to watch these two legendary champions.
Heather Watson: In 42 previous Grand Slam appearances, Watson had yet to reach the second week. She had become more known for coming close to wins on the big stage than actually pulling them off -- particularly at Wimbledon, where she had suffered three third-round losses in front of her home crowd. Breaking that barrier this fortnight to reach the last 16 was especially sweet.
Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova: The Czech duo continued to cement themselves as one of the preeminent pairings of their generation. They dropped only one set en route to their second Wimbledon doubles title, and fifth Grand Slam overall, defeating Elise Mertens and Zhang Shuai in the final.
Desirae Krawczyk: The American successfully defended her mixed doubles title with partner Neal Skupski, beating Samantha Stosur and Matthew Ebden in the final. It was Krawczyk's fourth Grand Slam mixed doubles trophy in total.
Liv Hovde, Rose Marie Nijkamp and Angella Okutoyi: It was a memorable fortnight for all of Wimbledon's junior champions. American Hovde completed a 12-match unbeaten streak on grass over the past month, defeating Hungary's Luca Udvardy for the girls' singles title. In the girls' doubles, Okutoyi made history to become Kenya's first Grand Slam champion alongside Dutch partner Nijkamp. The pair saved championship point in the final to best Canadian duo Kayla Cross and Victoria Mboko.
Sara Errani and Jang Su-Jeong: Away from the spotlight of Wimbledon, two champions were crowned at WTA 125 level. Former World No.5 Errani has now won nine of her past 11 matches after lifting the Contrexeville trophy; while Jang captured South Korea's biggest title since 1982 in Bastad.
0: Previous Wimbledon finals in the Open Era between first-time Grand Slam finalists. The last time this occurred at The Championships was in 1962, when Karen Susman defeated Vera Sukova.
0: Previous Wimbledon finals not involving any player from a Grand Slam continent. Rybakina became the first woman representing an Asian country to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish.
0: Wimbledon main-draw appearances by Rybakina in which she has not made the second week. This year's champion reached the fourth round on her debut last year.
2: Previous Grand Slam champions defeated by Rybakina en route to the title: Bianca Andreescu in the second round and Simona Halep in the semifinals.
2: Matches that lasted over three hours. Elise Mertens' 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-5 second-round win over Panna Udvardy (3 hours and 15 minutes, spread over two days), and Harmony Tan's 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 win against Serena Williams (3 hours and 11 minutes).
3: Rybakina's total of career titles so far. She previously won at Bucharest 2019 and Hobart 2020, but snapped a four-final losing streak since the latter to win Wimbledon.
18: Consecutive Grand Slam third-round showings or better by Mertens. The Belgian saved two match points against Udvardy to keep the streak alive, then upset Angelique Kerber to make the fourth round. Mertens is one of only two players (along with Amanda Anisimova) to make the second week of every major in 2022 so far.
36: The total number of matches Jabeur has won this year, against only 10 losses. She has also won 22 of her past 25 matches since May.
124: The fastest serve (in mph) of Wimbledon, courtesy of Coco Gauff.
299: The number of times Tatjana Maria approached the net in six matches. She won 177 of those points (59%).