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TENNIS >Djokovic, Williams show at Wimbledon they are clear No. 1s

LONDON – The Associated Press

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A handout combination picture taken on July 12, 2015 shows 2015 Wimbledon Men's and Women's singles champions Serbia's Novak Djokovic (L) and US Serena Williams posing with their trophies at the Champions Dinner in central London. AFP Photo

A handout combination picture taken on July 12, 2015 shows 2015 Wimbledon Men's and Women's singles champions Serbia's Novak Djokovic (L) and US Serena Williams posing with their trophies at the Champions Dinner in central London. AFP Photo

It’s more obvious than ever that Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams have really distanced themselves from the rest of the elite in tennis.

Not just because they were the ones who got to dress up and attend the Wimbledon champions’ dinner on July 12 at night.

Djokovic, who won his third trophy at the All England Club by beating Roger Federer 7-6 (1), 6-7 (10), 6-4, 6-3 in the final, and Williams, who won her sixth, are demonstrating that they’re capable of taking home the title each and every time they enter a Grand Slam tournament.

Barring an injury or some other unforeseeable event, each will go to the U.S. Open in late August as a big favorite.

Williams, of course, heads to Flushing Meadows seeking to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam, having added a championship on the grass of Wimbledon to those on the hard courts of the Australian Open in January and the red clay of the French Open in June. Only three women and two men in the century-plus of major tennis tournaments have won all four majors in a single season; the last to do it was Steffi Graf in 1988.

Djokovic came oh-so-close to joining her in pursuit of that rare feat. He, too, won the Australian Open and Wimbledon, but in between, he made it to the final at the French Open before losing in four sets to Stan Wawrinka, a setback that left the 28-year-old Serb “disappointed and heartbroken.”

“But if there is one thing that I learned in the sport,” Djokovic said, “[it] is to recover fast and to leave things behind me and move on.”

He is up to nine major titles, one more than such greats of the game as Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl. And he’s more than halfway to Federer’s 17.

Over the past 20 Grand Slam tournaments, Djokovic has reached 15 finals, winning eight. Williams, meanwhile, has won eight of the past 13 majors to get her total to 21.

“Staying injury-free now for him is crucial,” Federer said about Djokovic. “Clearly he’s going to be one of the top guys - where, we’ll still have to wait and see. I’m sure he still has many more great years ahead of him.”

July/13/2015

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