Novak Djokovic the defending champion of the Wimbledon Open will have a chance of defending his title as the tournament begins in the all England grass court this weekend. Wimbledon is the third Grand Slam of the year.
The Wimbledon Open is the perfect preparation for the Olympics for Djokovic who will be hoping on winning the Olympic gold to add to his already impressive resume. Djokovic won the Australian Open at the beginning of the year and a fortnight ago lost the French Open to rival Nadal who won his seventh French Open crown.
A French Open victory for Djokovic would have been an achievement as he would have been the first person in this modern era to hold all four Grand Slam titles having won the Wimbledon, US Open last year and the Australian Open at the beginning of this year.
At the French Open, Djokovic was not at his best during most of the games. Against Seppi he was taken to five sets while he struggled against Tsonga and was dominated by Nadal in the finals.
Despite Djokovic being tipped as the favourite to retain his crown as he has shown, he can dominate Nadal in all courts except the Clay Court which Nadal seems to have mastered and made his own court. Apart from the clay courts he has beaten Nadal seven times in a row the only player to have achieved that.
These victories were all the finals-Wimbledon, US and Australian Open. At the French Open he was playing under immense pressure in his bid to become the first man to hold all four Grand Slams in the modern era and now that the pressure has been lifted, Djokovic will surely come back to his best in this tournament.
Djokovic also will be out to prove that Nadal has not broken his recent run of bad runs against him. The Nadal–Djokovic rivalry is indeed a special one as the two players have absolutely dominated tennis in the last two years. Nadal dominated in 2010 winning three grand slams while Djokovic repeated the same feat last year by winning three grand slams too.
It has shown that having a great year does not translate to another year. They have both won one grand slam each this year and a win for either of them will see them have a dominant year. The Spaniard is the only threat Djokovic has in retaining his crown.
With his French Open victory, Nadal has 11 grand slams, five shy of Federer’s record of 16 titles, Nadal is just 25 and still has at least five more years of active tennis and may eventually reach and overtake Federer’s record.
After being dominated by Djokovic last year and beginning of the year Nadal finally found the answer to Djokovic as he seem to have Serbian number lately as it is looking like he has finally broken that mental block againt Djokovic.
Nadal will head into this tournament full of confidence having beaten Djokovic in a Grand Slam even though it was on the clay courts Nadal’s favourite court and will be out to prove the critics wrong that he can also beat Djokovic on grass. Nadal certainly has the mental and physical strength to stop Djokovic once again.
Barring any upset, both players are likely to meet in the finals, a win for Nadal will see him move closer to catching Federer’s record and a loss will see him lose his confidence against Djokovic on any surface apart from clay while a win for Djokovic will see him regain his confidence and form back and a loss will see him lose his number one ranking to Nadal.
Both players though may unlikely catch Federer’s record of 16 grand slam titles. Before the coming of Nadal and Djokovic, Federer was the dominant force in tennis and was expected to win every tournament but Federer is seriously on the decline as he has not won a tournament in two years since winning the Australian Open in 2012.
But the Swiss said his target this year is to win the Wimbledon and the Olympic gold. In the French Open, he was swept aside by Djokovic in the semis and was a shadow of himself. But when it comes to the grass of Wimbledon, Federer is the master as he has won the Wimbledon Open six times and will be heading into the tournament full of confidence.
This is probably his last chance to show the world that he has the ability to still win a grand slam. But for him to win he has to defeat either Djokovic or Nadal which certainly is out of his depths at the moment. He needs to break that mental block and believe he still has what it takes to defeat any of the top two.
Federer has always and will remain an elite player but some still question his hunger to win slams after winning his 16th title.
Another player that may be a threat to Djokovic is Andy Murray. The Briton is the nearly man of tennis and is still searching for his first grand slam title, though his game has improved a lot since he hired Ivan Lendl as coach and being the highest seeded Briton in the tournament he will have the home crowd behind him.
As the fourth seed, he may likely play Nadal in the semis, his problem over the years has been beating the top three seeds and until he overcomes that mental block he may still fall at the semis to Nadal.