Can Slammin Sam Win Wimbledon?

Yesterday saw the most dominant tennis player in the world at the moment beaten and well beaten by American Sam Querrey.

It took the challenger just four sets to overpower world number one, Djokovic. The unthinkable became reality. Court One stunned by this thrilling encounter the power of Querrey decimating the invincible, ever present aura of Novak Djokovic.

Of course this strange result leads to British number one Murray becoming the favourite to win at Wimbledon. Of course nothing is guaranteed though and Querrey will have some tough matches ahead if he wants to play in the final including a likely semi-final meeting with third seed Federer.

Querrey has already achieved something few players will ever achieve beating a player at the very top of his game. The 28th seed has some real pedigree and knows how to win on grass having formerly won Queens.

With the second week in Wimbledon secured a tough draw could well see the American crumble but you wouldn’t bet on it having him play Frenchman Nicholas Mahut in the next round.

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Sam Querrey will play Mahut in the fourth round.

Of course the loss of Wawrinka and Djokovic at this early stage could set the scene for the likes of Raonic. Cilic and Nishikori to advance to later stages of the competition than they would be used to.

Querrey will fancy his chances though of at least making the last four if his powerful serving game and forehand can stay at the level they reached to defeat Djokovic. A ;evel that you though would have to drop at some point.

Querrey’s victory comes on a year that has seen underdogs excel, Leicester City won the Premier League, Wales are in the semi-finals of the Euro’s and England rugby won a series in Australia.

A fantastic year of sport would be fittingly capped off if the American can work his way into the most prestigious of finals.

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Can Murray Win Wimbledon?

The time is upon us to watch Wimbledon, the biggest tennis event of the year in this country.

World number one Djokovic goes into this tournament as the clear favourite having stormed his way to a championship in Paris and looking almost unstoppable. The Serbian is clearly playing some very impressive tennis.

Andy Murray recently won his sixth title at Queens and having been reunited with former coach Ivan Lendl it looks as though the Scottish player may be somewhere close to his best which he failed to look under Mauresmo.

Tennis - 2013 Wimbledon Championships - Day Thirteen - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

Andy Murray has won Wimbledon once before.

With Rafael Nadal out both Murray and Djokovic look like they could be facing off against each other again if the matches go to plan. Having said that Roger Federer is always a threat on grass.

The strides both Nishikori and Wawrinka have made over the last two to three years also make them strong contenders. Also Berdych is not to be written off, he has reached the final before. The Frenchman Tsonga has endured a tough year or two but he seems to always step up his game when Wimbledon roles around.

The question most British tennis fans will be asking is can Murray really win Wimbledon? An answer that cannot really be given until he plays. At Queens he looked powerful and fast. His shot speed was a lot higher than he had been hitting for a while and Lendl seems to have had an immediate effect.

His confidence will be high but he will be wary of the Serb having been beaten by Djokovic in Paris. Murray is undoubtedly among the frontrunners but for me Novak Djokovic is absolutely unstoppable, it seems as though only one player can rattle the Serb and that’s Wawrinka.

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Wimbledon is an iconic championship.

One thing is for sure this championship looks to be hotly contested as we hurtle towards the ATP Finals later this year.

Are Nadal’s Days Numbered?

As tennis fans will know this era has seen one of the greatest rivalries of all time between the Swiss legend Roger Federer and the equally remarkable Spaniard Nadal.

Rafael Nadal powers have been waining over the last few years compounded by early exits from Wimbledon and not being able to win the 2015 French Open.

This year he has seen a resurgence and a return to the top four which 12 months ago would have been a dream for Nadal. His good clay season had not gone unnoticed until injury forced him to pull out of the French Open, even though the final look destined to be  Nadal-Djokovic showdown.

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Rafa Nadal will not play at Wimbledon due to a wrist problem.

Nadal’s injury has struggled so much with the injury sustained in Paris that that very same injury has seen him pull out of Wimbledon. The penultimate major of the year and could be crucial to the race to the play in the ATP Finals later this year following the conclusion of the US Open.

Nadal’s struggle with form does look to be in the past, but every time a player suffers an injury they are never quite the same player they were when they come back. Should the world number four’s most recent injury see a dip in his form is Nadal prepared to not be part of that elite group that rule the roost of men’s tennis and have done for years?

The rivalry that Nadal has between himself and Federer and also some of the epic battles he has endured against Djokovic and Murray will always be etched in our memories but it looks as though 2016 could the year we finally lose one of the greatest of all time.

Why Wawrinka Can Win Wimbledon

We have broken the Wimbledon men’s singles into the final 8, in that final 8 are the top 4 players with Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Wawrinka all playing tomorrow.

Wawrinka may be 4th in the world but with a French Open victory under his belt and that ability to rattle the best tennis player over the last 3 years which is undoubtedly the Serb, Novak Djokovic he has a real chance of winning his 1st Wimbledon title. Yes, grass is very different to the hard courts and clay that Wawrinka has won major titles on before but the grass doesn’t seem to be bothering the Swiss player so far this year. Djokovic and Murray both have been put under huge amounts of pressure.

Novak Djokovic after winning Wimbledon last year.

Novak Djokovic after winning Wimbledon last year.

Murray’s game against Italian Seppi was looking a very different game before the medical break taken by Murray after he lost 6 games in a row following Seppi’s earlier time-out. Djokovic was rattled by Kevin Anderson in his 4th round tie and looks like he could face some stiff competition if he does come up against Wawrinka in the semi-final.

The only other top player that hasn’t been rattled is his countryman and the greatest tennis player of his generation Roger Federer whose grace and air of authority make him a pleasure to watch every time he takes to the courts especially at Wimbledon a place that he loves and the crowds paying him back with a huge amount of support. John McEnroe said that wherever Federer goes it must be “like he’s in front of a home crowd.” Not a surprise when you see the mild mannered, polite gentleman talk to the media.

Federer practising during the 2012 Olympics.

Federer practising during the 2012 Olympics.

Wawrinka will fancy his chances and back himself to beat Djokovic again if he gets the chance, who’s to say they will both make the semi-finals. Nothing is guaranteed that is something we’ve certainly seen so far this year with the women’s draw as Jelena Jankovic knocked out holder Kvitova and Nadal being beaten in the second round.

Wawrinka is destined for greatness his win in Melbourne last year was the start of a surge from the Swiss player who has forced himself into the top 4 and is sure to be a contender at the US Open later this year and of course the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London in November. His victory in Paris showed his ability to beat players that would have been well fancied pre-match which saw him make history at Roland Garros. It wouldn’t be wise to bet against him now, in the form of his life and closing in on Federer as the Swiss number 1.

Wawrinka after his French Open win.

Wawrinka after his French Open win.

Wawrinka’s route to the final isn’t an easy having to face Gasquet and then either Djokovic or Cilic depending in that other quarter-final. However I am certain Wawrinka would rather face Djokovic than Federer or Murray who are in the other side of the draw. Wawrinka knows how to manipulate the Serb and really make him feel uncomfortable on court.

Wawrinka has a massive opportunity and this week could define his career over the next decade and which players dominate the majors over the coming years. It is a vital week not just for Wawrinka but the sport in general.

What’s Wrong With Rafa?

On Sunday the French Open came to an epic conclusion as Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka defeated the undisputed form player this season Serb Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros. Paris had previously been a stronghold for the supposed ‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal.

Wawrinka after his French Open win.

Wawrinka after his French Open win.

The Spaniard has recently suffered a dip in form which has seen the 9 times French Open champion slip to 10th in the world rankings. This year Nadal suffered shock quarter-final defeats in both Paris and Rome following his loss to Andy Murray in Madrid. This is the lowest ranking Nadal has slumped to since 2005 although Nadal has failed to progress well in grass in recent years suffering shock defeats at Wimbledon over the past couple of seasons.

Nadal’s only win this year came in Argentina as he beat Juan Monaco in the final in Buenos Aires a tournament that failed to feature any other top level player. The Spanish former number 1 (now behind David Ferrer) has failed to find the form that he was blessed with from 2008 to 2010 in which time he won the French Open twice, Wimbledon twice, the US Open once, the Australia Open once, the ATP Tour World Finals once and bagged himself a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, with Nadal having only won at one Grand Slam event since that period it seems his grasp on the top four may be slipping.

Rafa Nadal in action against Novak Djokovic in the French Open.

Rafa Nadal in action against Novak Djokovic in the French Open.

Wawrinka may take Nadal’s place in the top 4 which over a number of years has been a fairly forgone conclusion with Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal dominating men’s tennis. But this recent surge from Wawrinka who is at the moment occupying 4th may threaten the Spaniard’s top 4 status which has been a key feature if the ATP tour since his first Grand Slam win in 2005 at Roland Garros.

Wawrinka seems to have broken into that exclusive party which held the top 4 which have for years been untouchable and been winning everything worth winning from the Grand Slams to the Olympic Games the top 4 have had their names carved into history as they dispatched of all opponents. The 2014 Australian Open changed all that as Wawrinka stormed to victory and his recent win in Paris will have only backed up the idea that Wawrinka is developing into a player of that top 4 calibre and with Wimbledon on the horizon this year could be the year we see both the demise of Spain’s great Nadal and the Swiss rising of Wawrinka.

Nadal leaves the court after his quarter-final loss to Djokovic in Paris.

Nadal leaves the court after his quarter-final loss to Djokovic in Paris.

With this in mind Wimbledon could well show us which players will dominate the courts around the globe for the foreseeable future and if we will ever again see Nadal lift a trophy at a major championship.

Current Men’s Rankings:
1st Novak Djokovic, Serbia
2nd Roger Federer, Switzerland
3rd Andy Murray, Great Britain
4th Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland
5th Kei Nishikori, Japan
6th Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic
7th David Ferrer, Spain
8th Miles Raonic, Canada
9th Marin Cilic, Croatia
10th Rafael Nadal, Spain