Rafael Nadal made it look easy on Sunday, sweeping aside David Ferrer in straight sets and claiming an astounding 8th French Open title. Nothing short of extraordinary, Nadal successfully came back from his nagging injuries and looked as good as ever. The question now becomes, looking ahead, who will be the Men’s favorite for the next Grand Slam event, Wimbledon?
The likely suspects are the usual top 4 contenders, which include Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray. Each player could claim the prize, but each player is also surrounded by a series of questions over their fitness and ability to compete.
Federer is the reigning champion but is clearly showing signs of age. His former dominance is diminishing, and although his tennis mastery still retains strokes of genius, does he have the power to compete against the stronger, younger players like Nadal or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who muscled past Federer in the French Open?
Novak Djokovic is the world’s number 1 tennis player, and although his 3 consecutive Australian Open titles have shown a consistent player, his form in other Grand Slams has dipped since his incredible 2011 year. He has repeatedly progressed far in tournaments to only lose in the big matches against major opponents.
Andy Murray, the second ranked player, looked to be a strong threat last year and fell just short against Federer. The Scottish star simply must win the British Wimbledon one day but had to miss the French Open due to a back injury. His form and health could hold him back from making this the year.
And Nadal, for all his French Open titles, hasn’t won a single other Grand Slam since 2010. Though he has won Wimbledon twice and looked great in Paris, Nadal will need to improve his grass game against this highly competitive field.
So who will win the latest edition of Wimbledon? I have my bets on Novak Djokovic. The healthiest and most consistent player over the last 12 months, the Serbian should cement his position of world number 1 this year.
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