Sunday, 19 June 2011



With the Wimbledon Championships beginning tomorrow there is a lot of tennis action to look forward to in the coming two weeks. This year the annual Grand Slam at SW19 is not only the pristine white uniforms, strawberry & cream and the original grass surface, but also about the stiff competition in the Gentlemen’s Single Championships as players are trying hard to prove themselves. Interesting to note that for the last eight years, no other man has been able to lay his hands on the prestigious Wimbledon Trophy other than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal! Here is a look at the top three men contenders for the elite Wimbledon Trophy.

1.     1.  RAFAEL NADAL
Age: 25 years
Seeded: 1
Last Wimbledon: Winner
Nadal is currently Ranked World No 1, has just won a grand Slam at Rolland Garros, is the defending Champion at SW19 and is riding high on both confidence and momentum. He is looking at a third title year and a further chance to establish his dominance over grass. The No 1 seed has a lot going for him and a third potential Championship but what stands in his way is his hesitancy on grass. Nadal’s weakness has always been his inability to dominate on grass which otherwise is his strength. If he plays tough and ugly as he did in the French Open finals, there is no stopping him from taking home the silverware.

2.     2.  ROGER FEDERER
Age: 29 years
Seeded: 3
Last Wimbledon: Quarterfinals
Having won the Wimbledon Championships a record 6 times, Federer is looking to earn a 7th title and some respect back here. Despite being a pro on grass, he had a terrible tournament last year bowing out in the quarterfinals and not reaching the finals for the first time in seven years. Although he is seeded No3 as per his rankings, there is little doubt about him being one of the finalists. He had an admirable stint at the French Open reaching the finals and ending Novak Djokovic’s magical run. If he plays anything like he did in the semi-finals against Djokovic, he might as well dream of taking the trophy home again.

Age:  24 years
Last Wimbledon: Semifinals
At a career best No 2 ranking, one Grand Slam and an enviable win record this year, Djokovic is playing the best tennis of his career, in his own words. This and the fact that he is yearning to get his hands on the Wimbledon Trophy is enough to keep him going till the end. He still hasn’t managed to reach the finals at SW19 and surely this is the year when he is going with more than a chance. With a purple-patch so illustrious that he changed the phrase to a ‘Djokovic-Patch’ which was only just broken, he must be striving to reach the finals and prove his capabilities on grass. What remains to be seen is can he be the man who can break through two barriers, namely Federer’s supremacy on grass and Nadal’s dominance in Grand Slams, and give Wimbledon a new male champion.

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