Last year’s Wimbledon gave everyone in the British public the result which we have been desperate to see over the last seventy odd years, no I’m not talking about Marion Bartoli, but rather Andy Murray ending so many years of hurt and finally grabbing the only Grand Slam that really matters. It is a moment that will go down in British sporting history and you would imagine will inspire a generation.
Anyway onto this year’s Championships, I’ll break it down naturally into the Men’s singles and Lady’s singles.
For a number of years now men’s tennis has been dominated by four men, Djokovic, Murray, Nadal and Federer, with very few Grand Slam’s being won by anyone else (2 out of last 37 [Wawrinka and Del Potro]). With that in mind and the consideration that the top four seeds are the four who have dominated tennis over the best ten years you would naturally think that there can only be four winners. Sadly that in my opinion is wrong.
Let me discount some of the top 10 players; Nishikori can’t beat the big guys consistently and is susceptible to being on the wrong end of an upset, Isner has a great serve which will do him well to a certain point but his all-around game just isn’t good enough, Raonic could be a shock maker but his record at Grand Slams and Wimbledon in particular (only made 2nd round previously) is atrocious, Ferrer is not a grass player, Berdych has previous on grass and could create an upset but I can’t see him winning it and Wawrinka isn’t a good grass player. So there you go that is the rest of the top ten discounted, you could add Dimitrov in there as well because he is a good grass player (just won Queen’s) but it would be a huge ask for him to win this and I don’t see it happening.
That leaves our top four, however I think we can discount Federer who is well past his best and is living on past glories. Let’s be honest here, Federer isn’t a top tennis player any longer, the top players do not fear him and he isn’t physically up to challenging for a Grand Slam any more. Despite all that he has been drawn into the easy side of the draw but as you can maybe guess I don’t think he has a chance of winning.
So now we’re down to three. For me the least likely of the three to win Wimbledon this year is Nadal because his knees don’t seem to be able to handle the grass any more. The last two Wimbledon’s Nadal has went out in the first two rounds, which is incredible when you consider what a great player he is, however on both occasions Nadal’s body let him down. Nadal sits as third favourite and deservedly so, but I don’t see him winning it because of his fitness problems.
Now we’re down to two, and I think the winner will come from these two. If seeding goes to plan then Murray will meet Djokovic in the semi-finals and it should be a belter of a game (a replay of last year’s final). Both players have fairly clear runs to the semis and should make it there no problem, the question is then who will win? What concerns me about Murray is that he has just came back from major back surgery and I wouldn’t say that he has regained his pre-surgery form. What concerns me about Djokovic are the rumours that he is nursing a wrist injury. Both players are as good as each other on this surface and if they were both fully fit it would be a coin toss match, but when you take their injury problems and season form into account you have to say that Novak Djokovic is the favourite. Djokovic has been on fine form this season and if it weren’t for the rumours of a wrist injury I would be talking about how I can only see one man winning Wimbledon this year. To be fair Djokovic is a bit of a drama queen so you have to wonder how serious the injury is, and because of that I think that Djokovic is still firm favourite to win.
The odds for the tournament expectably aren’t great when only three players can realistically win the tournament. So if you are looking for a decent bet then why not try out betting on the finalists with Djokovic v Raonic sitting at 40/1. I like this because I don’t think Federer is good enough to make the final and if Nadal can’t maintain fitness then it will open up his side of the draw. It is a long shot because it will require Raonic to fulfil his potential and more importantly for Nadal to have another bad Wimbledon, but it is worth a punt.
The women’s single title is pretty simple to predict, Serena Williams should walk it. She is still easily the best player in the game, it doesn’t matter who she is playing she is dominant. Nobody is stronger, serves better or has the shot making ability of Williams; she is deservedly the strong favourite to win the crown. The problem is that I would have written the exact same thing prior to the French Open yet she went out in the second round. Don’t get me wrong Williams at the French isn’t quite the dominant force as Williams at Wimbledon, but the process is similar. The only person who can beat Serena Williams is Serena Williams, and I know it is a cliché but it is true, the only way she doesn’t win Wimbledon is if she isn’t on her game.
So if Williams isn’t going to win the crown who is? The answer quite simply is any of about twenty odd players. I think if you’re looking for people to go out and win the tournament who aren’t Williams then you are talking about the likes of Lisicki, Stephens, Bouchard, Ivanovic and Halep. However with a mix of lack of experience, lack of bottle or lack of form I think it would be a big ask for any of these girls to win.
I have the semis being Williams v Halep and Radwanska v Stephens. The problem with the draw for me is that all the players you could see sneaking a final are on Williams side of the draw (making it unlikely that they will). I’m talking about players like Halep, Bouchard, Ivanovic, Lisicki and even Sharapova. If Williams gets put out it all of a sudden becomes a totally different tournament which anyone could win, with her there it really isn’t. That is why if you are a betting man (or lady) you have to bet the non-Williams side of the draw because that is where all the value is. The problem is it is the side with the weakest players.
To break it down further Azarenka is just back from injury and won’t compete, it is too big an ask for Cibulkova, Radwanska is too lightweight and doesn’t have bottle, Kvitova is crazy inconsistent, Stephens is on bad form and Na I like as a player but doesn’t play well at Wimbledon. The other half of the draw the reason for all those players not making the final is because of Serena Williams.
So that’s that Williams will win Wimbledon and if she doesn’t it will be all up in the air. Personally I think that if Williams is not to win the tournament then Halep is the most likely to win, I’m certain that the winner will come from that half of the draw. If you’re looking for someone to make it to the final on the other side of the draw then I like either Stephens or Kvitova, but that side is much more up in the air and could provide a shock.
In conclusion I can only see Djokovic winning the men’s and Serena Williams winning the lady’s, so that almost certainly means that it won’t happen. It is so rare that sport goes exactly like everyone thinks but I would be really surprised if the two favourites were not to win the title.
Leave a comment about what you think about the upcoming Wimbledon Championships. Do you think that Magic Murray can retain his Wimbledon crown? Do you see another shock on the lady’s side of the draw like last year when Marion Bartoli won? Leave a comment and let everyone know.