Mix some Pimms and get out the strawberries and cream – Wimbledon is here! One of the world’s most loved tournaments begins on Monday and it promises to be an absolute cracker (weather permitting). The draws have been made, and it’s all systems go at SW17, so if you can’t wait for the titanic tennis tussles to begin, then this is the preview for you.
Djokovic avoids Murray, Federer and Nadal
As tennis fans will know, Nadal was out of the game for nine months through injury and has only recently returned, meaning that his current ranking doesn’t truly reflect his ability. Nadal has been seeded 5th and consequently he’s been drawn in the same half as Federer and Murray leaving world No.1 Novak Djokovic with what looks like on paper to be an easier draw.
That’s not to say that the Serb will have it easy though: his 4th round opponent is likely to be Tommy Haas with a possible meeting with Gasquet or Berdych in the quarters. Overcoming both of those challenges could see him pitted against del Potro, so Djokovic will still need to be at his best if he is lift the trophy at the end of the two weeks.
Andy Murray goes into Wimbledon on the back of a tremendous win at Queens where he had to play a number of tricky matches, and the Scot is looking good. A finalist last year, he’ll be looking to go one better this year, and you’d have to say he’s got as good a chance as any of the top 4 (Ferrer excluded). Federer kicks the tournament off on Centre Court on Monday, and the reigning champion will be hoping for a repeat of last year, but whether that is too much to hope for remains to be seen.
Rafa Nadal is in fantastic form too, and his win at the French cemented his position as one of the greatest clay court players in history. No one will fancy facing the dynamic Spaniard, and he too has a great chance of lifting the trophy once again. The men’s really is too close to call, so the next two weeks are going to be pretty fascinating.
As far as Australian hopes go, unseeded Bernard Tomic kicks off against Sam Querrey of the USA and that certainly won’t be an easy game. Tomic actually reached the quarterfinals two years ago and will be looking to better that this year. James Duckworth has a slightly easier draw as he’s up against Denis Kudla of the USA and Matosevic and Reed don’t face seeds either whilst Matthew Ebden has a mountain to climb against 12th seed Kei Nishikori. Australia’s only realistic hope is former No.1 Lleyton Hewitt, but he too has a tough draw with Stanislas Wawrinka his opponent in the 1st round.
Serena’s to lose?
Given her incredible form of late, it seems unlikely that anyone other than Serena Williams will emerge triumphant at the end of the women’s tournament. Williams hasn’t lost for 31 matches and the five times Wimbledon champion will be desperately hoping to add to her medals tally at the All England Club. Williams starts off against Mandy Minella on Tuesday.
One player hoping to thwart the American is the Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, and she kicks off her campaign against Maria Joao Koehler. It seems highly likely that Azarenka will meet Serena in the final, and given the imperious form that Serena is in, you’d have to favour the American to lift the trophy once again.
Aussie hopes rest solely on 14th seed Samantha Stosur, who kicks off her campaign against Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia.
Who’s going to win?
The men’s tournament is a very tough one to call. The form player is probably Rafa Nadal, but although he plays like a lionheart on grass, it’s not his best surface as it doesn’t suit his game as well as the slower surfaces. You’d probably bet against Federer to do it again this year, and therefore it’s a toss up between Djokovic, Nadal and Murray. I’m British, so I’ll go for Murray to win his first Wimbledon.
The women’s? Well, that’s Serena’s. Hope you all enjoy the tournament!