Wimbledon contenders – 2007.
Posted by tennisplanet on June 15, 2007
With Federer coming off a forgettable four month stretch, rest of the field must be licking their chops, at the potential opening. Will the sub-par performance continue on grass is what they are asking themselves.
With everyone except Federer back on the grass court in a hurry, there clearly seems to be an air of urgency. For the majority, they are happy to be out from under the gloomy clay cloud. This is their time to run and make serious money and name for themselves.
Heading the list of contenders is the resurgent and young Djokovic. He is third in the ranking race this year, has won three titles and is tied with Federer for that. Nadal has five already, including one major.
Djokovic must be mighty pleased with his performance on clay this year. He won one title on the surface and for the first time in his career reached the semifinal of a Grand Slam – on clay!!!!!!!!!
If he can do that on clay, that should embolden him for a much better performance on grass and the hard court. If he falls across the fence from Federer in the draw, he could very well reach the final at Wimbledon. He has to be considered a legitimate threat to Federer’s crown here.
Nadal has to be a close second. Not still completely comfortable on the surface, he has nevertheless, made significant strides to warrant a serious consideration. Having had a stellar clay season, he is eager and hungry to establish his dominance on other surfaces.
He is also eager to return the favor by being a thorn in Federer’s quest to continue his streak and tie Borg’s record of five consecutive titles. Having reached the finals last year, he is not a total stranger here anymore.
The battle with nerves he had in the first set of the final last year, may be a thing of the past now.
With the rumblings of him taking over the No. 1 ranking this year getting louder, he wants desperately, to not only live up to the hype, but also capitalize on the run to dethrone Federer. He has to bag another Grand Slam this year to realistically up his chances towards that goal.
So far he has transitioned beautifully from clay to grass without any meaningful rest from the grueling clay season. With a history of nagging injuries, he needs to very meticulously pace the rest of the season to maximise potential.
Murray is coming out from under the cloud of injuries, but he is ready for prime time, specially in front of partial home crowd. With the load to win the home tournament now shifting from Henman to his shoulders, he will undoubtedly be pumped up to make some serious noise.
This may not be his best outing at Wimbledon due to lack of play time, but with a friendly draw and a little help from spoilers, he should get deep in the draw.
Roddick has to be looking at this as the culmination of his resurgence and the partnership with Connors. If this results in a dissappointment, anywhere close to the first round exit at the US Open, it is difficult to see the partnership survive.
Roddick will then be back to a square one with nowhere to go, but south. It is a career defining event for him. With not even a single freaking title in his bag this year, his baloon is very near bursting, if some meaningful victories are not lined up in a hurry.
He has moved back to No. 5 in the world. It is difficult to see him make ground on any ranking, he loses from now on.
Hewitt’s window here or any other Grand Slam, has closed forever. He is just there to make as much money as he can, before riding into the sunset. Rankings, titles are of little consequence.
There are some other worthy players on the horizon, but they are more in the category of spoilers. To become a legitimate contender at Wimbledon, you need some special mettle. The rest don’t have it yet.