Wimbledon Preview: Favorites, Dark Horses, and Bad Bets
There is very little more elegant and pristine in sports than watching lawn tennis as it was meant to be played. Unfortunately, the green grass courts get beat up very quickly after hours of running and pounding on it. I would advise anyone who can to watch at least part of some of the early round action, especially on the lesser-used courts. It's worth it for the aesthetic value alone, even if the level of competition is not so high. Qualifying is not held at the All-England Club so the courts should look absolutely perfect when play starts on Day 1. That aside, let's look at what is going to make this an amazing Wimbledon.
1. Roger Federer: How can anyone but him be at the top of this list right now? With the way he played at Roland Garros he will dominate his grass court competition. His serve and forehand look to be on, which is really the bread-and-butter of grass court play. His net play is still great and his movement looks almost as good as never. He is not quite where he was in 2005-6, but he is close enough that he should be ahead of the field right now.
2. Rafael Nadal: Where to put Nadal was a bit of a dilemma for me. He has owned Federer recently, especially in Slam finals. But with the way they both played in the French Open, Federer just looks better right now. Nadal doesn't have most of his advantages over Federer on grass, especially since those high-bouncers that have killed Roger's backhand over the years just don't bounce as high on grass. Wimbledon is playing slower and slower every year, which should help Nadal, but right now I have to think that Federer is the top gun.
3. I honestly don't know how to classify Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Neither are favorites here but we can't quite put them in the "dark horse" category. Murray always plays well at Wimbledon and has been playing very good tennis recently. As long as the ankle is better he should be a threat. Djokovic is the exact opposite. He has been playing the highest level tennis so far this year but grass has never been his strong suit. Still, he should manage not to lose to any lower players and head towards a deep run at least, depending on his draw obviously.
To read the rest of the article, please click here. As always, thoughts and opinions are welcome and requested.
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