Grönefeld follows Graf to Wimbledon victory
German tennis player Anna-Lena Grönefeld became the first female German tennis player to win an event at Wimbledon since Steffi Graf’s 1996 victory after winning the mixed-doubles competition with partner Mark Knowles Monday.
The pair won their first Wimbledon title with a 7:5, 6:3 surprise victory against top-seeded pair Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Leander Paes of India. It was the first mixed-doubles win for a female German player on the “holy grass” of Wimbledon since 1933, when Hilde Krahwinkel and Gottfried von Cramm triumphed.
“We had to wait a very long time until the match before us was over. But as a tennis player, you’re used to that. And when you’re in the final game, you’re always ready,” Grönefeld said.
Before Grönefeld and Knowles, who comes from the Bahamas, could enter the court, they had to wait for Roger Federer to defeat American Andy Roddick in a 16:14 match that lasted longer than any final set at Wimbledon or any other Grand Slam event ever.
The pair won after 88 minutes of hard-fought play. Afterward, they hugged and danced on the centre court.
“We had said to ourselves, we could win this,” Grönefeld said, “and we did it.”
The pair takes home a €107,500 prize that they will split between them.