Halfway through the season, Grand Slam tennis has returned to its roots at Wimbledon, the oldest and most prestigious of all slams. It’s the holy lawns of tennis where everything else takes a backseat for a while, except old traditions and the fiercely competitive nature of the game.
The place where strawberries dipped in cream along with Pimm’s cup (drink of gin, mint, cucumber and apples) go hand in hand with tennis, all symbolising the summer’s arrival and adherence to dress code assume far more significance than star values or sponsors’ interests.
A fortnight of tennis which every player dreams to be part of, let alone winning it, is regarded as the pinnacle of the sporting career. Ever since Spencer Gore became the first champion of its inaugural edition in 1877, the lawns of Wimbledon have witnessed the battle for supremacy of many sporting greats and their crowning moments. This year is no different with all the big shots gunning for ultimate prize of the sport.
The tournament has already kick started and the draws are already known. It will be interesting to see who will win in the best era of men’s tennis, ‘The Championships’ on July 12th.
With Rafael Nadal bowing out of ‘The Championships’ for a fourth consecutive year against a player ranked outside the Top 100, one of the other three members of the ‘Big Four Club’ seem destined to lay hands on the coveted golden trophy yet again. Additionally, every one of them has remained a past champion.
It is really difficult to predict who will win, however, going by their potential route to glory, Novak Djokovic seems certain to go deep in the competition with all his big rivals on a collision course in the other half of the draw. The Serb may have been thrashed by Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final, but he is still the man to beat. Wawrinka remains the only real danger he may face yet again before the final, but Djokovic is the favourite to go through this time owing to his superior movement on grass.
Andy Murray is back. Having endured one of the most difficult periods of his career earlier in 2014, the Scot is arguably playing the best tennis of his life once again. Having played his best clay court season and with a triumphant return to grass at Queen’s Club, Murray remains a firm favourite to reclaim the title he won in 2013.
After Nadal’s early exit, his only hurdle is a potential match against Roger Federer in the semis, but going by his current form and fitness, he goes in as favourite against the Swiss maestro. Yet his biggest test, if he makes it to the final, would he be in the form to face Djokovic, against whom he has been clueless in past eight meetings.
Arguably the best player of all times and unarguably the best ever on grass, Federer has history on his side to be regarded as a genuine contender at Wimbledon. He stamped his authority on the surface with eight titles in Halle and 15th overall, the most number of grass court titles held by any player in history.
The possibility of facing Tomas Berdych in quarters, a player who has upstaged him at Wimbledon in 2010 and Murray in semis may have reduced his chances of claiming a record breaking eighth Wimbledon crown; he still remains a favourite on his preferred surface. The Swiss might have won just one of the last 21 Grand Slams, count him out at your peril.
World Number four and recently crowned French Open champion, Wawrinka may have plenty of reasons to believe for his third major; yet his grass court record speaks otherwise. His best performance at Wimbledon has been a quarter finals appearance last year but then the Swiss has a history of defying all the odds when it came to upstaging the world’s best at the biggest stage of the game. The prospects of him claiming the title largely hinges on producing a repeat performance against Djokovic in semis, which seems a daunting task considering his struggles on the grass in the past.
By the time around 61,000 pounds of strawberries with approximately 1,800 gallons of cream are consumed, along with 200,000 glasses of Pimm’s cup are served at Wimbledon, the name of the new champion will be etched across the golden trophy with one of Djokovic, Murray, Federer; the most likely sets of alphabets in the same order of probability.
from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/28412/djokovic-murray-or-federer-who-will-take-home-the-golden-trophy/