The two top contenders for the Wimbledon Championships title this year are Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Both of them have played tennis of high quality of late. They were the finalists in the French Open. So, they are the two men whom you have got to back for glory at All England Club, but, it might happen that neither of them lifts the trophy at Wimbledon in a couple of weeks’ time. It might be somebody else.
Wimbledon has been the most open major tournament in the men’s category in the last 10 years or so. Rarely has it happened in the recent past that the guy who is the favourite has gone on to win the title at the All England Club.
Nadal and Djokovic had been considered as the favourites in 2013 as well, but, the man who ended up winning was Andy Murray.
Nadal actually was sent packing in his very first match last year. He got defeated by Steve Darcis of Belgium. That was the first time ever that the Spaniard lost in the opening round of a Grand Slam singles tournament.
As far as Djokovic is concerned, he performed much better than his Spanish rival and was able to reach the title round, but, he couldn’t get better of Murray there. The Scot gave the people of Great Britain enormous joy by pulling off that epic match.
Some of the statements that have been made by Nadal in the last few days suggest that he himself is not that much confident about going all the way at Wimbledon this year either. He is in a bit of doubt about his fitness.
Yesterday, the French Open Champion said, “My knees had felt better when I played on hard court and clay last year, but, not so much on grass. This time around, hopefully, they remain in a good condition on grass as well.”
Rafael Nadal once again triumphed at the Rolland Garros after plastering Novak Djokovic on Sunday 8th June 2014.This is Nadal’s 9th win at Rolland Garros taking it to 14 grand slam titles all together.
Nadal plastered Djokovic in a brutal final with four set victory. 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 read the score. The world number one retains his numero uno position by becoming the first man to conquer the crown of Rolland Garros in succession. His record at Roland Garros remains at 66 total wins with just one defeat.
The match turned out to be a historical one as he equaled Pete Sampras’s record and now he is just 3 slams short of equaling Roger’s undisputed monopoly of 17 grand slam win. Nadal being almost five years older to Roger has the ability to equal it. It is a bitter defeat for Novak Djokovic as he still has not been able to master French Open title but Rafael Nadal has sympathizing and encouraging word for Djokovic. “I feel sorry for Novak. He deserves to win this tournament one day and I am sure he will”. Nadal acknowledged his opponent on all grounds by saying that playing against him is always a challenge and this victory was no less as he had to fight it out hard to earn the points.
It became an emotional moment for both Nadal and Djokovic. Nadal owed it to tennis for giving him back what he deserved in the Australian Open final this year. In spite of the Serbian dominating in the first set of the match, the Spaniard came back from nowhere and turned the match in his favor. Djokovic’s double fault became the winning moment for Nadal in a 3 hour 31 minute duel.
Caroline Wozniacki will face Sloane Stephens of USA in round no. 2 in the AEGON International Tennis Tournament .This is the 5th occasion that these two players would go head-to-head on the tour. The previous 4 encounters between them have all gone in the favour of Wozniacki.
Wozniacki has made her way in this tournament with some real bad form, but, in her first round match yesterday, she hinted that she was getting some sort of rhythm back as she toppled the Aussie star player Sam Stosur with ease.
It’s been a while since Wozniacki had last won two matches on the trot. She had done that in April in Monterrey Open which had taken place in Mexico. So, the last few monthly have been slightly embarrassing for the Danish player who is at the 16th position in the world rankings at the moment.
On the other hand, Stephens who is just a couple of positions behind her opponent in the world rankings has had a decent time on the tour of late and she looked in good rhythm in her opening round match too as she crushed Caroline Garcia of France in the straight sets in just about 70 odd minutes to set up a match with Wozniacki.
The last match played between Wozniacki and Stephens had been won by the former in absolutely no time. That was a Sony Open encounter and the American youngster had managed to win just one game in the whole match on that occasion.
Now that Wozniacki is not in the greatest of forms, Stephens has the opportunity to avenge that humiliating loss, but, she must be careful too as Wozniacki is a wily customer who can turn the table at any given time.
If you are a Roger Federer fan, the last week would perhaps have ended in a disappointing manner for you because the Swiss maestro lost the BNP Paribas Open final to Novak Djokovic, but, overall, if you look back and see how he has played so far this season, you would be absolutely thrilled.
Not only has Federer won matches quite regularly in 2014, but, he has won them convincingly and that’s what the biggest positive is. In the second half of the last season, he appeared to have lost his spark and there were questions being raised over his form and fitness by a number of people who follow the game.
It was not familiar for Federer at all. He is arguably the greatest of all time. He used to be unbeatable at one stage of his career. So, to suddenly start getting beaten by qualifying players and being asked questions whether he still is good enough to compete at this level would have been hugely frustrating for him.
But, as so often the great sportspersons do, they answer their critics with their tool, in Federer’s case, its racquet. He has shown that he can still do wonderful things with his racquet.
However, it’s only the start. Just a quarter of the year has passed. A lot of tournaments are still to come. So, it would be a bit early to say that 2014 has been a good year for Federer, but, it has certainly been a good start by him and he needed that start badly. The amount of pressure that he had been under at the start of the season would surely have been lessened and he would be feeling much relaxed now.
Federer has also reclaimed his spot in top 5 in world rankings now.