Wimbledon champions Roger Federer of Switzerland and Serena Williams of the United States were named Male and Female Athlete of the Month for July by the United States Sports Academy.
Federer played for history at Wimbledon, winning an unprecedented 15th Grand Slam singles title and sixth Wimbledon crown in seven years with a victory over Andy Roddick of the United States. Federer broke Roddick’s serve only one time, on the 77th and final game of the match, for a 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 victory.
Williams won her 11th Grand Slam championship and first Wimbledon title in six years with a 7-6 (3), 6-2 victory over sister Venus Williams. It was Serena’s third Wimbledon title and prevented her sister from becoming the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1991-93 to win Wimbledon three years in a row.
Finishing second to Federer on the ballot was American swimmer Michael Phelps. Phelps set two world records during the FINA World Championships’ first two days of competition, surpassing another Mark Spitz milestone with 34 career world records. His 50.22 seconds in the 100 butterfly beat Ian Crocker’s four-year-old record by .18 seconds. His 1:51.51 in the 200-meter butterfly was more than a half-second better than his previous best of 1:52.03.
The runner-up on the women’s ballot was American swimmer Ariana Kukors. Despite being an alternate to replace a scratch on the American team, Kukors set the world record in the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 2:07.03 in the semifinals of the World Swimming Championships, beating the old record set by gold-medal winning Stephanie Rice in the 2008 Olympics.
Third-place finishers were Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle on the men’s ballot and Swedish swimmer Sara Sjostrom on the women’s ballot. Buehrle, a left-hander, threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays on 23 July. Five days later he set a major-league record for most consecutive batters retired, 45. Sjostrom, 15, crushed the women’s 100 meters butterfly world record in the semifinals at the World Championships, swimming 56.44 to beat Inge De Bruijn’s 2000 Sydney Olympics mark of 56.61.