Wimbledon 2015 Preview

:-h I already started a discussion on my last post about Wimbledon and it continued in the comment section. But since this is the most important tournament in the world and the draw won’t be out for a few days yet(comes out on Friday) I thought I’d make a post exclusively in preview of Wimbledon where we can continue the discussion. It certainly promises to be another two mesmerizing weeks and I am looking forward to watching the action and blog about it again.

So what are the main ‘themes’ of the upcoming Wimbledon?

  • Possibly Federer’s Last Chance to Win a Slam

I think realistically speaking it is coming close to the end for Federer as far as winning slams go. He won his last slam just about three years ago at the All England Club. Since then he slumped in 2013 and made a very respectable return to form after making changes to his coaching staff, equipment, and playing style. It was a legitimate revival because he made a Wimbledon final, a World Tour finals final, won the Davis Cup, won two Masters and several other tournaments, and returned to #2 in the rankings.

I therefore, dubbed him Fed 4.0. The one thing that Fed 4.0 lacked though was a slam title and, of course, that meant no return to #1 either. The Wimbledon 2014 final was the pivotal match of the season. Had Federer won that match he would have his elusive 18th slam title and he would have returned to #1. But as fate would have it Federer lost 6-4 in the fifth set to Djokovic in an epic match which saw Federer come back from the dead in the fourth set to force a decider.

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I now have the feeling that loss could well have been Federer’s last shot at a slam title. I think is would be harder to win Wimbledon now anyway. If you look at his results they seem to have improved from last year, but the tournaments he won were ATP 500 and ATP 250. He lost before the semis of the in Melbourne for the first time in eleven years and he didn’t do that well in the Masters either. In the Indian Wells final he did better against Djokovic in the final of 2014 too.

At least he had a better clay court season and improved his French Open result. But with the seasons Djokovic and Murray are having his task becomes harder this year too. Both of them are having outstanding seasons and they look primed to take over the mantle once and for all from Fedal. Nadal has already been slain at the French and could well be done winning slams. If Federer gets defeated at Wimbledon this year I find it very hard to believe he can rise from the ashes again to win a slam.

  • Djokovic Looking to Avenge his French Open Loss

As I already made abundantly clear, the odds were once again heavily stacked against Djokovic at the French Open this year and knowing him, he won’t let that bother him for very long. It’s once thing if he chokes like he did in 2013, but there is nothing to regret if you destroyed the beast in straight sets, defeated another rising clay star in the semis, and lost to the Stanimal in the final after playing three days in a row. To make a long story short, he has one thing on his mind only.

And that is to quickly put that disappointment behind him with a third Wimbledon title and to resume his dominance of the tennis world. And who would bet against him doing it? Some gamblers would, but since when did gamblers have any rationality? You would think Murray is the favorite for Wimbledon now after the year he’s had. I did anyway. Until I remembered that the Djoker has a trump card. Two in fact. And that is his improved serve and volleys which will be best utilized on grass.

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Those are two things Becker would have had an impact on I’m sure and who better than the three-time Wimbledon legend to help him prepare for a third Wimbledon title? Djokovic’s serve has become a serious weapon recently. There is just an extra edge to it. He hits more aces and gets more free points off it. That will be huge at Wimbledon and so will his improved net game. And then of course he has the best returns and backhand in the business. Even his forehand may have improved.

He seems to be more aggressive on it, which I personally feel is crucial for him. At Wimbledon especially aggression pays off which is why he must rely more on his offense. But of course returning, passing shots, defense, and movement is all very important on grass. And he is great in all these areas. Even his movement looks improved on grass. He is probably still the favorite in all honesty. He is still the best player in the world. He knows he can beat Federer on grass and he is 6-2 against Murray in slams.

  • Murray Primed for Another Slam Title

Given Murray’s consistency this year and his relentless pushing forward despite disappointments he must be another huge favorite for the title. He and Djokovic are about equal favorites, although I guess I can give Djokovic just a slight edge simply because he is the best player in the world right now. But there is no doubt that Murray can defeat Djokovic at Wimbledon and make his own claim to being the best player in the world. The two have met twice on grass and Murray won in straight sets both times.

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That was at the 2012 Olympics and Wimbledon 2013. Actually those are pretty telling results should they come up against each other at Wimbledon again this year. Certainly I would think the best chance Murray has of beating Djokovic is on grass because of its speed. Just as important it will be for Djokovic to be offensive on his forehand, it will be important for Murray to be offensive on his backhand. Especially that cross court one. That is a shot he hits with a lot of pace and it can do a lot of damage on grass.

I think Murray is more likely to lose to someone else than Djokovic, but if they meet he is the favorite given their past record on grass. But Djokovic’s serve and volleys have improved since then so there is that to keep in mind too.

  • Dark Horses

I think most people would agree that Djokovic and Murray are the main favorites with Federer somewhat further back. Federer would need some luck with the draw to win it probably. After those three come the dark horses which to me are basically Stan and Nadal. I don’t think either of them will win the title, but both are unpredictable and dangerous. Stan can start blasting guys off the court again with his serve and groundstrokes while Nadal could develop a big serve again.

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I’m sure they can cause possible upsets. Nadal could, for instance, meet Federer in the quarter-finals which is in the second week already and the grass will be worn out and slower. Having gotten that far, he could actually make life difficult for Federer again. A lot will depend on his draw too, but if he gets that far he can cause upsets. Not against Djokovic or Murray probably, but against Federer or Stan. Personally I don’t think Stan’s groundstrokes work that well on grass.

But who knows what he can do if he makes semis. Maybe he can smash one of the favorites off the court.

  • The Draw

The draw will be important because whoever gets Murray in their half between Djokovic and Federer will be at a disadvantage. In fact, it is not impossible that Federer could defeat Murray if they are in the same half. And that would greatly help Djokovic’s as I am not sure he can defeat Murray on grass, and a match with Murray could well tire 33-year old Federer out in the semis. If Murray is in Djokovic’s half that would play into Federer’s hands because beating Murray and Djokovic in succession would be a very tall order.

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I almost want to say for Federer to have a shot at the title Murray and Djokovic must be in the same half. Then they could possibly have a long match which would favor Federer in the final. I still think he’d prefer to face Murray over Djokovic in the final. I think those are the main themes of the draw. I don’t want to speculate too much about Stan and Nadal because like I said they are very unpredictable. They can lose in the first two rounds or go to the final. Who knows.

I think the winner will be Djokovic, Murray, or Roger. If there is a surprise winner it would be Stan I think. I can’t see anyone else doing it unless Cilic has another US Open-like run perhaps.

It promises to be another very interesting two weeks anyway and now I’d like to hear what you think.

The is in your court.

Posted in Grand Slams, Wimbledon.

48 Comments

  1. PeRFectly summarised, Ru-an. Most bases covered. Nothing more to add! But just a word on your last post that I totally agree with “banning” the word “deserve”. This is sports. Who says life is fair. You either win it or not. Period. We can discuss and look at all the reasons why a match is lost/won but no one “deserves” the match more than the victor; unless there is blatant cheating……….Every athlete goes through heartaches. They need to. Otherwise they wouldn’t be great champions. Who is to say Djoker went through more than Murray or Roger or Nadal?! Every of the big 4 has been through their suffering and every one of their wins are “deserved”. That’s the last time I’m gonna use that word! :-)

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Yeah, I completely agree. No reason why any of them don’t deserve to win Wimbledon. Even if Rafa won it, as much as I dislike him, I would still have to concede that it was deserved. Another word I really hate in relation to sport is “destined”. There is no “destiny” in sporting results. Nadal lost at RG 2009 and Roger was good enough to win the title. Nadal lost at RG 2015 and Novak was not good enough to win the title.There is no “destiny” to it. I know this sounds harsh, but Novak just hasn’t played well enough to win RG, it is not that he is not “destined” to win. And being in the UK, I remember the hype about Murray in 2012 at Wimbledon, people saying he was destined to win all over the place. I remember reading the predictions for the final and no-one who predicted Murray to win could come up with any real reason relating to the actual tennis, just saying things like “it’s his time” and “he deserves it after all these years”.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Lol, Charlie, too true. I don’t get the destiny, fated, etc, kinda talk either. Not that I totally discount them. But it should be talked about less than the actual tennis. As for “he deserves it after all these years”, one can look at it in different ways. First, I can understand people saying that as its like being sympathetic. Payback. He works so hard. He deserves it. Otoh, he would only deserve it if he wins it. But if he does not win it, then he does not deserve it! And if he lost one slam, why should he deserve to win the next?! He will deserve it when he wins it!

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    Dolores Reply:

    Bravo, Veronica and Charlie to your comments on “deserve”, well stated and true to the word….”….He will deserve it when he wins it!”
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right, Veronica. Too many Fedfans still think Roger deserves to win Wimbledon or another slam. He doesn’t deserve it more than anyone else. He doesn’t deserve an 18th slam unless he wins it.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Of course! That is exactly what I mean, Ru-an! Like Roger didn’t deserve to win against Djoker Wimby 2014. Close, yeah, but just not good enough. So Djoker deserved that. Everyone of the slams the big 4 won or not won, they deserved it or they did not. If Roger doesn’t get his 18th, he doesn’t deserve it. Look at Wimby 2009, if I go by the deserve theory, I would say Roddick so deserved it. He played his heart out and was the better player for most of the match. The first time he could give Roger some competitiveness in a slam and he loses it so heartbreakingly in the 5th!! Murray losing all those semis and finals and with the load of the whole British Empire on his shoulders didn’t deserve to win because he didn’t. And then he did, and he so deserved that. Likewise Djoker by slaying the clay monster and playing so well doesn’t mean he deserved to win FO. And just because he lost so many slams doesn’t mean he deserves to win Wimby! But if he does, then he deserves it! I’m not talking about being heartless. Who doesn’t feel that Djoker so deserved to win FO when he did the unthinkable, breaking the Fedal stranglehold and now slaying the clay monster and still not being rewarded??!!! Or for Murray who was the eternal loser until his first slam?! We want our favourites to win and we hope for that; even say who deserved what. But to venture into deserve territory is something else. Reserve deserve for the winner; especially in tennis where the margins are so small, the Victor is surely deserving. Ok, Wimby, here we come! It’s all about the draw, once again, just like FO! :-)

    [Reply]

    Pet Raa Reply:

    Amen to that, Ruan ! And honestly, with that diminished forehand he only has an outside chance. I would rate him as a dark horse instead of an outright second or third favourite…though most people seem to think otherwise. I guess we will find out soon enough !

    Ajde Nole !!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I have a feeling last year was his last best chance PR, but we will find out. He’s had a better start to the year than last year so that counts in his favor. Either way I think Fedal have won enough slams. It’s just the greedy/spoilt fans who demand an 18th slam from Federer. They’ve already had two encores and now they want a third one. I’d rather Djokovic wins it than Federer.

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    I don’t demand that Roger wins his 18th Wimbledon title, I hope and wish for him to do so knowing that it is all on Roger’s racket to accomplish it. Being that Fedfans wish and hope so, that makes them greedy/spoilt fans? Sorry that you feel this way, Ru-an, hard to realize at one time your blog was Ru-ans Federer blog.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘I don’t demand that Roger wins his 18th Wimbledon title’

    Then what are you worried about Dolores? I was talking about the spoilt/greedy fans. I’d like to think that you are not one.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Just because you don’t believe in destiny doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist though. You sound like those atheists who make not believing in God a religion.

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    Sorry, Ru-an, I must have pissed you off a bit :-) But I like the pissed Ru-an just as much as the normal Ru-an ;-) And this is still the blog for me! Hey! You awake? I didn’t say I did not believe in destiny! I said I don’t totally discount it! Two different things! In sports I discount it more because sometimes people use it too casually. Uh oh, no atheist here. Totally believe in God and in God’s will, aka as destiny :-)

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Hi Veronica and Ru-an, I guess I am one of the culprits :-P who has broached the issue of destiny a couple of times in this blog. In my opinion, one has to strongly believe in oneself to create his/her own destiny. But the problem is, many people cannot differentiate between luck and destiny. By simply riding on one’s own luck entirely, nobody is going to win seven matches in a row to win Majors. All the big fours have endeavored a lot to write their own destinies by becoming grand slam champions. It was not that Wawrinka was destined to win French open 2015. He created his own destiny by playing slightly better than the Djoker on that particular day under those particular circumstances. In this world, everybody is provided with some window of opportunities to create their own destinies like the one Fed got against Djoker in 2014 WImbledon final (fifth set, that easy overhead miss) or Djoker against Nadal in the 2013 in the French open Semi-finals (fifth set, the slide ending up at the net). But they could not take those chances to turn those matches in their favor. Hence they didn’t deserve to win those titles those years: as simple as that; destiny has nothing to do with that.

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    So well articulated, bro! Oh, I forgot, you’re a teacher! :-) You are no culprit, bro :-) I think we should all feel free to talk about anything tennis! Gosh, I’ve talked about deserve and destiny too! :-) I just think it is pointless to give it too much attention as it may only open up a can of worms…….. ten and one different reasons of who is more or less deserving…….maybe keep it straightforward; the “standard” for deserve is the winner regardless of whether he has an impressive/deserving history or not. He won it against that particular guy, under that particular circumstance, that no one could. The last guy standing. That should be deserving enough :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol. I responded to Charlie. And I didn’t say I believed in God either. I don’t believe in a personal God.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Haha, no probs, Ru-an! I didn’t say you believed in God either. I just said I’m no atheist and that I believe in God! And Charlie, Love your pragmatic and sensible views. Don’t pay attention to Ru-an. He’s just being his usual annoying self ;-) :))

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I just wanted it to be clear that I don’t believe in anything and that belief is the enemy of intelligence ;-) :))

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hey Ru-an,

    Well said – and well placed too! :-)

    I was concerned that someone new to your site would think you were seeing eye-to-eye with Veronica when she said you were annoying! So it’s great that you put another comment between those two. :-)

    And of course I realize that we readers of your blog are some of the greatest annoyances of all time! I’m not sure if that fact has been made official yet, but maybe the formal announcement will come out around the same time as the Wimbledon draw..
    :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m glad she said I’m annoying Joe. That gives me the freedom to agree with you that readers of my blog are some of the greatest annoyances of all time :D

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    Joe Reply:

    Cool, I always wanted to be the best at something
    :-)

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    Joe Reply:

    Sometimes when I think of how annoying we are (e.g. MonFed, FedAl,etc.) I just marvel at how much you must really love tennis, just to put up with us!

    Does anyone ever make you do this?

    ~x(

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks but since I am the host of this blog I have to show a certain amount of friendliness and tolerance, or else no one would read it or comment. It’s a two-way thing like with anything. If I just act like I won’t take shit from anyone ever and treat everyone like shit then it’s a one-way thing and I don’t want that. In the end, you need people to read your blog and comment.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You are not annoying Joe. Just in case you were wondering. Neither are most of my readers. The Fedfan bias is the only thing annoying me right now and you are quite well-behaved in that area ;-)

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Ok I’m taking that remark as a challenge Ru-an!!!
    :-)

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Annoying host attract annoying readers :)) no wonder there are so many of us here ……. ;-) Creeps, Fedfanatics, Nadaltards, Gluten-free freaks, Crystal ball experts…….. :))

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    But my readers are not annoying :-?? Ok maybe a little in your case when your Fedfan bias gets the better of you, but otherwise not really :D

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    Haha, Ru-an, you missed it, didn’t you ;-) “..gives me the freedom to agree with you that the readers of my blog are some of the greatest annoyances of all time” My reply was to this previous statement of yours :-) Anyway, you do see my emoticons at the end after I said you are your usual annoying self, didn’t you? This means it’s supposed to be a tease; not serious ;-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    No, I didn’t miss it, but I think you missed the comment that followed…

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    I didn’t miss that Ru-an! I was just being silly picking on the previous comment you make and taking it further. Sorry if I tease/joke too much sometimes. It’s an Aussie thing. I must remember not everyone is an Aussie! ;-)

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Btw, Ru-an, your Spanish guy has become my happy therapy! What a perfect vid and a fitting way to wrap up the day that the clay monster was slated. Do you think Djoker knows about this vid? He better get his asthma puffer out before he watches! Puff, laugh, puff, laugh, puff, laugh….in that order! Miss one puff, he may die from laughter =)) If I were a fan, I would send him the vid! :))

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Oops! Typo, Slayed, not slated.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you, Veronica. Glad we see eye-to-eye on that.

    [Reply]

  2. I love these theological discussions just as much as the tennis debates.

    So here’s another question for the forum: Is there such a thing as ‘undeserve’ in sports? Hint: I’m thinking of someone who won 7 TDF titles. I won’t say whether the victories were all consecutive; that would be too big a hint.

    P.S. Wimbledon draw is coming out soon!
    :-)

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    I am now thinking about somebody who won 9 FO titles! @-)

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    LOL! You’re just too quick to let me palm any cards, aren’t you?

    My next question was going to be what if he’d won 9 out of 10 TDFs instead!!

    :-)

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Haha! :)) Genius, bro!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Joe! Naughty! You just know when to creep in, don’t you??!!

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hey Veronica!

    I guess I’m just too transparent, aren’t I?! :))

    But I do have to say thank you, and that being called creepy is just about the best compliment a guy can receive!
    :-*

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    =)) =)) =)) Stop it, Joe! My stomach is aching…….Where is Ben?! He would be enjoying this!!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Ok, serious, serious, guys! Ahem, are you all saying Nadal is undeserving of his FO titles??!!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Ok gotta hit the sack guys! Early start and full day tomorrow. Talk/laugh with you all tomorrow! . Nervous for draws tomorrow!! Night-night guys!!

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hey, where did that question come from? Did you think someone was starting to creep up on that question or something??!!??

    :-P

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    :))

    [Reply]

  3. I would like to see Stan and Nole playing in the finale again…only with different result at the end. Wimbledon can become for Nole the same as Roland Garros was for Nadal last decade. Can’t wait to start.

    [Reply]

    Nitin Reply:

    Not quite Simona. Nole is like 28 already and he has won it twice!! Fed and Nadal had already won Wimby and FO like 5-7 times by that age. Wishful thinking. Nole is not the overwhelming favourite like Nadal used to be for FO or Fed in his glory days.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    That’s a very nice dream Simona. Wish I can join you. But shattered dreams ain’t fun. So I won’t.

    [Reply]

  4. If I could rig the draw, I would put Djokovic and Murray in the same half so they potentially meet in SFs. I would also put Roger and Nadal in the same quarter so that they could run into each other in QFs. It’s as good an opportunity for Fed to get a win over Nadal. This we could get potentially 3 awesome matches. More importantly figure out Djokovic vs Murray level on grass and Roger-Nadal match would be just great on so many levels, even though both are well past their prime.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah, Nitin, that would be a really cool dream draw!

    [Reply]

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