On June 22, 2009, the 2009 Wimbledon Championship begin.
With Rafael Nadal out, Roger Federer is the clear favorite to win Wimbledon for the sixth time and winning his 15th grand slam title, the all time record he’s aiming for. Even if Nadal had not announced his withdrawal from the championship, Federer was the favorite. Coming after a win at the Roland Garros and his Madrid Masters win over Nadal in the finals gave him the favorite tag once again, even with Nadal on the playing field.
But Roger Federer isn’t alone in London. There are a few players that have a chance, even if a small one, to upset Fed-Ex and become Wimbledon Champions for the first time. (Hewitt, the only other Wimbledon Champion playing in the 2009 tournament isn’t one of them).
Andy Murray, United Kingdom
Number three in the world, and the number one Brit. The latter is the important number, cause it brings so much expectations and pressure every Wimbledon on one player, to become the first British Wimbledon Champion since Fred Perry in the 1930’s. Back in April we gambled here the Andy Murray would win his first Grand Slam by the end of 2009. With Federer getting the Nadal and Roland Garros baggage off him, things are a bit more complicated.
Murray has had a good season so far, winning four singles titles, including the 2009 AEGON Championships in the Queen’s club in London, beating James Blake in the finals. The fact the Federer hasn’t played since the Roland Garros might be in Murray’s favor but that’s not a given. Until the fourth round Murray isn’t supposed to face any difficulties, and he can only meet Federer in the final. The fact that Murray has never been in a Semi Final at Wimbledon might be a bad sign, but he is a better player now than before. I see a final in Murray’s two week horoscope forecast. A win? things look foggy on that…
Andy Roddick, United States
Andy Roddick? Really? He didn’t just write Roddick did he?
Yes, Roddick. He’s not the favorite, but he has a fighting chance. Why? He played pretty well in Queens last week before twisting his ankle in the Semi Finals against James Blake. He didn’t drop a set in the tournament, including in that game, they stopped in the first. More reasons? Roddick is a huge server, and players that serve above 220 Km/h are always dangerous at Wimbledon. His volleying has looked much better recently, and serve-volley is a very good recipe for Wimbledon.
Why not? Well, despite Roddick having a pretty comfortable draw till the Quarter Finals, there are better player from there. He hasn’t been to a Grand Slam final since 2006 and there’s the Federer thing. His record against Fed is 2-17, not something to smile about. He’s lost to him in the Australian Open and in the Madrid masters this year, and he’s also right back from that ankle injury. Chances? Very very slim, but still, if things click and a little luck, who knows? Roddick might reach the finals. Beating Federer, that’s a whole different thing.
It’s amazing if you think about it – Djokovic is one of the only Grand Slam Winners actually playing in this tournament. With Federer and Nadal grabbing every possible Slam, Djokovic is the only one to win a grand slam not named Federer or Nadal since Safin in the 2005 Australian Open, the same title Djokovic won in 2008. He’s beaten Federer twice this season, including the famous racket incident match. He’s reached the Final in Halle last week, losing to Tommy Haas in the Final. He should be one of the favorites, no?
Not really. Although Djokovic has a chance, his recent form despite the final in Halle isn’t putting a smile on his face. An early exit from the Roland Garros and three losses in Masters finals this year, twice to Nadal and once to Murray leave more than a little doubt about his ability to win in Wimbledon. He reached the Semi’s in 2007 but that’s his best in London, so odds are clearly against him. Djokovic is set to meet Federer in the Semi’s if all goes well for them, and his favorable record against the Federer is probably his biggest plus coming into the tournament.