Much like the surface, the grass court season has been very fast paced and short, lasting only a couple of weeks as we now head into the 128th edition of Wimbledon, the pinnacle of tennis. The oldest and most prestigious tournament in the ATP calendar, Wimbledon will be played at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club from the 23rd of June to the 6th of July.
With such limited time, players have fully embraced and taken advantage of the few grass tournaments on offer. Dimitrov was successful in capturing his first grass title in Queens, while Federer won his seventh Halle title. Lopez and Bautista Agut were also title winners.
Andy Murray made history last year by capturing the Wimbledon title, the first British man to do so since Fred Perry in 1936. He will arrive as the defending champion with an immense amount of pressure from the British media and his rivals.
Grass court is completely different from any other surface in that rallies are shorter and the ball travels extremely fast and low. Players like Federer and Murray have been successful here in the past because they take the ball early, standing well inside the baseline to do so. A simple flowing technique allows players to combat the ball as it skids dangerously through the court. A player that can serve and volley will be dangerous on this surface.
Draw (32 seeds in total, 16 qualifiers)
Note – Wimbledon seeds its player’s based on grass court performances as well as ranking.
Big names – (1) Djokovic, (14) Tsonga, (12) Gulbis, (6) Berdych.
Djokovic is seeded one due to his final showing in last years Wimbledon, and highlights the top section of the draw. He has a reasonable first round match against Golubev. There are some other prominent grass court players occupying this section, with Berdych and Tsonga looming around. Djokovic and Tsonga could meet in the fourth round. Gulbis is also a danger.
Big names – (3) Murray, (11) Dimitrov, (7) Ferrer.
Murray, the defending champion will start proceedings at this year’s Wimbledon, as is tradition. He faces Goffin, with no real threat until the quarterfinals. There he could face Ferrer or recent Queens champion Dimitrov. Whoever pulls through would surely trouble the Scot. The draw has paved out to be quite favourable for Murray, he would need a stern test if he wants to challenge for the title again.
Big names – (5) Wawrinka, (19) Lopez, (15) Janowicz, (4) Federer.
Seven-time champion Federer is looming as a major threat this year, he has a particularly favourable passage to the quarterfinals, but he could meet Hewitt in the fourth round if the Aussie can pull consecutive wins together. Wawrinka is seeded fifth but isn’t playing all to well, as is last years semi finalist Janowicz. Lopez is also a threat.
Big names – (8) Raonic, (13) Gasquet, (2) Nadal.
After a first round defeat last year, Nadal will cement his World No. 1 ranking no matter what the result in the next two weeks. He faces a tricky test against fellow left hander Klizan. Monfils could be a potential fourth round opponent, which would make for a very entertaining encounter. Raonic is playing well and could trouble the players in this quarter.
Djokovic v Tsonga
Verdasco v Berdych
Murray v Anderson
Dimitrov v Ferrer
Wawrinka v Isner
Hewitt v Federer
Raonic v Nishikori
Monfils v Nadal
Djokovic v Berdych
Murray v Dimitrov
Wawrinka v Federer
Raonic v Nadal
Djokovic v Murray
Federer v Nadal
Murray v Federer
It’s a shame that the grass court season only lasts for a couple of weeks because our sport has so many great champions that can compete well on this surface. Murray, Djokovic and Federer are my picks to go far in this year’s Wimbledon. I want to say Nadal but after his early loss in Halle, I’m a bit hesitant to back him. He will be playing with a bit less pressure because he has no points to defend.
Dimitrov and Lopez are recent champions on this surface. They both have great draws, with Dimitrov looming as a possible threat to Murray in the quarterfinals. That would be a massive match.
The British attack
Besides the presence of Murray, the British don’t really have much to cheer for with only six players competing for them. Most of them have received wildcards and aren’t expected to trouble most of the players. All British eyes will be on Murray and rightly so as he is the defending champion.
We’ve had such a rich history at Wimbledon with Aussie champions like Newcombe, Laver, Emerson and Hewitt lifting the Wimbledon trophy in past tournaments. Led by Hewitt, we have eight Aussies staking their claim this year. Hewitt opens against a Polish qualifier, and has a good draw where he could come against seeded players who aren’t really accustomed to the grass. He could meet old mate Federer in the fourth round.
Tomic should progress to the second round where he could face Berdych in a repeat of last years fourth round clash. Saville, Groth and Duckworth have played extremely well to qualify for the main draw after here tough matches. Duckworth will have a big task when he plays Gasquet. Aussie wildcard Kyrgios has a good first round match against Robert. Also in the main draw we have Matosevic and Ebden.
Sit back for the next two weeks as the holy grail of tennis unravels before our eager eyes.
Here are some highlights from last year’s championship final to get you keen.
Wimbledon 2014 – Ready… play.