It is that time of the year when Royalty and Tradition takes over the Tennis Universe. Be it the drilled expertise of the ball kids to the tempting strawberry and cream, the marquee Wimbledon Whites, the fresh air of monarchs, the lush green lawns and 139 years of Folklore. The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships are here!!
Check out the Full Draw Here: Wimbledon 2015 Draw
Watch the matches live: Wimbledon Live Streaming
Players arrive at the lawns of the All England Club after toiling it out in the scorching sun in Australia and fighting out gladiatorial battles on the “red dirt” for almost 4 months concluding at the French Open. Now Crumpled brick has been substituted by scythed lawns. Ridged soles have been unlaced in favour of pimple-soled shoes. Baseline combats and lengthy rallies won’t be commonplace as knee-bending, dinks and sliced shots are now vital for triumph at Tennis’ biggest event. Halfway through the season most of the players look spent and tired, but the opportunity to play at the grandest stage will instil new life into them as they all try to be part of the historic fiesta.
The French Open recently concluded and prior to that event we knew who the favourites for the Coupe des Mousquetaires were – World No.1 Novak Djokovic and 9-time Champion Rafa Nadal. But ironically both of them failed to lift the Musketeer’s Cup; instead it was “Swiss Rule – Confoederatio Helvetica” in France as Stan Wawrinka hogged the limelight in Paris. This leads us to Wimbledon 2015 which has too many juicy storylines to look forward too.
Djokovic’s loss in France has removed his crown of invincibility; but can the Djoker bounce back? Rewind 2011 when Novak 1.0 was finally unveiled; can we see Djoker 2.0 rise at SW 19 again? Will Roger Federer’s wait for No.8 end (also for 18)? Can Andy Murray repeat his heroics from 2013 when the NATIVE SON ended the 77 year wait for a home born champion? Will Rafa survive or fade? Can STAN continue his onslaught? Finally is Nick Kyrgios the next Poster-boy of Men’s Tennis?
The next fortnight promises to produce historic, breath-taking and awe-inspiring tennis on the greens as all the above questions will be answered to the Tennis Fanatics across the world. At this point none of the top men appear to have a distinct edge over one another. With one eye on the draw released yesterday, can any of them build momentum? Let’s find out!!
Novak, Roger, Andy and Stan are the respective top 4 seeds for this year’s championships. This was all according to plan keeping in mind Wimbledon’s Unique Seeding system (weightage to performance on grass). But Rafa Nadal finally paid the price for a sloppy 2015 as he is seeded 10th for this year’s event (his lowest grand slam seeding since Aus Open 2005 where he was unseeded; also his lowest seeding at Wimbledon since his grand slam debut back in 2003). Nadal has won atleast one major for the last 10 years – All-time record. But he might fall short of Lendl and Sampras’ record of making a major final for 11 consecutive years. This low seeding forces Nadal to perhaps defeat all the other 3 members of the BIG 4 brethren – A Huge Ask for the Spaniard!!
CAKE WALK DRAW
ROGER FEDERER (2)
Is this the year when Federer finally turns 18? The draw put forward for the 7-time champion indeed gives him another shot at history (currently tied with Sampras and Renshaw for most singles titles). This is possibly the go time for Roger. His season has been waiting for these 2 weeks and he has come into his own after winning for the 8th time in Halle last week. Federer should be pleased with what he will theoretically see across the net from him, at least to start. He opens against 87th-ranked Damir Dzumhur, and will play either Sam Querrey or Igor Sijsling after that. Then things could potentially get interesting against big-hitting Jack Sock in the third round. This could be the match to watch out for in the 1st week as this promises to be a battle between the nuclear forehand of Sock versus the wizardry and skill of the Swiss Legend – Fascinating indeed!!.
Federer could face wily Spaniards Feliciano Lopez or Bautista Agut in the 4R. Lopez who loves the grass has made the QFs at the All England Club 3 times (2005, 2008, and 2011) and could trouble the Swiss on his day.
Tomas Berdych is the top seed on the other side. The Czech beat Federer in the quarters here in 2010, but a repeat of that upset, and of Berdych’s run to the final that year, is hard to imagine at the moment. After knocking off Nadal in Australia, Berdych has settled back into his accustomed spot in the second tier—it was, for the second straight year, Wawrinka who had the bigger breakthrough in him.
Is it time for us to say, once again, that this is Federer’s last shot at a Slam? It isn’t, but he definitely has a shot. Murray could be his SF opponent.
Sleeper in his Quarter: Veterans – Monfils, Simon, Lopez
STAN WAWRINKA (4)
It’s hard to think about Stan Wawrinka as a favorite for Wimbledon, but the guy has won two of the last six majors, so that’s just the brave new world we’re living in. Also it’s hard to know what the immediate future holds for Stan Wawrinka. By the end of Roland Garros, he looked unbeatable. Then he was beaten at Queen’s by Anderson, and until last year, his record at Wimbledon was a highly mediocre 9-9.
One thing we know is that Stan is no longer that player anymore. Last year he reached the quarters here, and he’s made himself a steady threat at the majors. Looking at the draw, the new Stan has to like his chances of threatening again. He starts against Joao Sousa of Portugal, the first seed he could face is the still-developing Dominic Thiem, and second highest seed in his quarter is Milos Raonic. While Raonic reached the semis at Wimbledon last year, injuries have slowed his momentum this spring. Wawrinka is in top-seeded Novak Djokovic’s half. If he’s in form, the French Open champ could make it to his first Wimbledon semi—or beyond—this year.
Sleeper in his Quarter: Nick Kyrgios. Last year’s Wimbledon sensation is scheduled to play the man who ended his run here, Raonic, in the third round.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC (1)
On a macro scale, Djokovic should like what he sees. Three rivals, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Nadal, are all safely in the other half. The problem is that a new and possibly even more dangerous rival, StanWawrinka, is on his side.
How about on a micro scale? Since 2011, Djokovic has been a virtual lock to reach at least the semis at the majors, and if you’re wondering whether he can bounce back after his defeat in Paris, he’s done it twice before to win Wimbledon. But his road to a third title won’t be his easiest. Djokovic will start against that rare bird these days, a “dangerous floater,” in Philipp Kohlschreiber. Of course, dangerous is a relative thing where Nole is concerned—he’s 6-1 against the German, his only loss coming at the French Open in 2009.
In the third round, Djokovic might face former Wimbledon quarterfinalist Bernard Tomic; in the fourth round he could get Queen’s Club finalist Kevin Anderson; and in the quarters he’s slated to face Kei Nishikori or Marin Cilic. If he runs that gauntlet, he should be feeling pretty good about his game again.
Sleeper in his Quarter: Anderson, Kokkinakis, Isner
ANDY MURRAY (3) & RAFAEL NADAL (10)
The bottom half is champion’s territory: Three former winners, Murray, Nadal, and Federer, are on this side, and two of them, Murray and Nadal, are packed into this quarter.
If Murray didn’t have such a dismal recent record against Djokovic, I would say the 2013 champ is the favorite to win the tournament. He has had, despite a couple of high-profile meltdowns, an excellent season so far, and he was crisp in his title run at Queen’s. Plus, he’s on home turf, where he’s 41-8. Murray will start against Mikhail Kukushkin, and is scheduled to play Andreas Seppi in the third round, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth, and either Nadal or David Ferrer in the quarters.
The 10th-seeded Rafa, of course, is the wild card. The two-time Wimbledon winner has struggled on grass since last reaching the final in 2011, and he could struggle again. He’ll open against hard-hitting lefty Thomaz Bellucci, and might play Dustin Brown, who won their only meeting, on grass in Halle last season, in the second round.
A Nadal-Murray quarter would be one to watch, a hard one to pick, and a potential blast from nightmares past for British fans: Rafa has knocked Murray out at Wimbledon three times, but Muzzer won their last meeting, in Madrid in May.
Sleeper in his Quarter: Coric, Troicki
Novak Djokovic (1) vs Kei Nishikori (5)
Nick Kyrgios (26) vs Stan Wawrinka (4)
Rafael Nadal (10) vs Andy Murray (3)
Tomas Berdych (6) vs Roger Federer (2)
Djokovic vs Kyrgios
Federer vs Murray
Djokovic vs Federer
Winner – Djokovic