In the beginning, Wimbledon seemed to be just another tournament for West Germany's wunderbar babies, Boris Becker and Steffi Graf, to win. However, by the end of the fortnight, during which London was mysteriously transformed from dank, wet gloom into brilliant sunshine, the competition had produced far more questions than answers. Among the more pressing:
Is Navratilova-Evert now and forevermore a warmup act?
Will Australia's Pat Cash, the new gentlemen's singles champion of the All England Club, be a fair dinkum facsimile of a brilliant, hotheaded Yank who wasn't there? Or will he be a true gentleman, in spite of his calling women's tennis "rubbish" and of his unprecedented climb up the Centre Court stands to embrace his family and friends?
Is Ivan Lendl, a defeated Wimbledon finalist for the second straight year, headed for Ken Rosewall Land as a top player who never won the top tournament? Or is he destined for La La Land to play the fearsome Skeletor in the film version of Masters of the Universe?
Did Graf turn down that $270,000 offer to pose nude for the West German edition of Penthouse because she's about to win 37 major titles in a row? Or was it because $270,000 is merely pocket change for Steffi?
Finally, if Jimmy Connors, 34 going on 64 going on 14, street-urchin-turned-diplomat, didn't save Wimbledon, who in the name of Helen Wills Moody did?
Does the name Mar-teen-ahhh ring a bell?
This year's tournament underscored the sorry ennui that plagues men's tennis these days, what with John (Daddy-o) McEnroe injured and/or burnt (out) to a crispy critter, Becker's ascendancy nipped in the bud and Lendl achieving more notoriety from his agent's desperate make-over of his cryptopersona than from the efficiency of his robotic game. Before Cash lit up the grounds on Sunday with a scintillating exhibition of grass-court serve-and-return tennis in the men's final, which he won 7-6, 6-2, 7-5, a grinding, cramping Connors, one year shy of the veterans' competition and nearly three years past his last tournament victory, upstaged this crew. And Graf blew them all away. Then Navratilova knocked Graf out of the box to win her first tournament in '87.
Navratilova played two wondrous matches—6-2, 5-7, 6-4 over Chris Evert in the semifinals and 7-5, 6-3 over Graf in the finals—to win her sixth straight Wimbledon crown. Hence she now has passed Suzanne Lenglen for most consecutive titles in the modern era and is tied with Moody for most overall singles trophies, eight.
Graf, afterward: "Geez, how many more do you want?"