by James Zug

The Wait is Over

It has been forty-two years since an American won the world championship in tennis singles. In the years since Jimmy Bostwick took the title in 1974, two British men and two Australian men have reigned as world champion. Today in Newport, the wait is over.

Camden Scott Riviere captured the title with an emphatic 6-2 single-set victory on the third day of the championship, reaching the magic number of seven sets. The day after his twenty-ninth birthday, Riviere now succeeds his opponent, Rob Fahey, as world champion.

It was a decisive final day. Riviere won the first two points and never really looked back. He sprinted to a 5-1 lead, playing with his now standard combination of guile, variety, patience and other-worldly footwork. Although his floor game was impeccable, he also forced two dedans, one winning gallery and three grilles, including two at 5-1. Just two points away, Riviere was unable to take the game as Fahey mounted one final stand.

At 5-2, Riviere smacked two straight forces to the dedans and went up 40-0. Switching sides, he was defending a chase of worse than one yard. In other words, victory was all but assured. “If you ever want a world championship point, defending a chase of worse than a yard is what you want,” said Matty Ronaldson, commentating on the livestream. Riviere sent his railroad down. Fahey cut his volley crosscourt. Riviere hesitated, then decided to not to play the ball. It bounced out well past and the chase was lost. Riviere threw his arms into the air and then his racquet down on the ground. By the time he hugged Fahey at the net, he was in tears.

Fahey won the title twelve times in four countries on three continents and on eight different courts. His reign lasted 8,102 days. Extraordinary. Such a record proves he must be considered the greatest player ever.

Thus, it took someone brilliant, creative and mentally strong to beat him. It took Camden Riviere.

Camden Riviere beat Rob Fahey seven sets to two to win the 2016 world championship: 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.