Sunday, June 19, 2011
Top seeds do great things at Wimbledon
By Kenton Wong
When it comes to Wimbledon, the top players are usually on their games. Since Goran Ivanisevic won the tournament in 2001 as an unseeded wild card, every Wimbledon men’s singles winner has been a top-four seed.
So without further ado, here is what is at stake for this year’s top four -- Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
Nadal will look to take the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year for the third time in his career (2008, 2010). Prior to Nadal pulling off the European Grand Slam double in 2008, no player had accomplished the feat since Bjorn Borg did it three straight years from 1978 to 1980.
Having just turned 25 years old, Nadal has two more Grand Slam titles than Federer did at the same age. A win on the grass would give Nadal 11 career Grand Slam titles, just five short of the Swiss great’s record.
Nadal must win Wimbledon or he will lose the No. 1 ranking to Djokovic -- the tournament’s 2-seed. Even if Nadal wins, Djokovic can take over the top spot if he reaches the final.
Despite never having won a grass tournament in his pro career, Djokovic comes in with a lot of confidence having won his first 41 matches of the year before losing in the French Open semifinals to Federer.
Speaking of Federer, the 3-seed can tie Pete Sampras and William Renshaw for most Wimbledon titles all time with seven if he’s able to turn back the clock.
Currently without a title in his past five Grand Slams, Federer’s drought is his longest since winning his first Slam at Wimbledon in 2003.
Perhaps the most pressure is on fourth-seeded Andy Murray. The Scot has reached the semifinals in each of the past two years at Wimbledon and three times has finished as a runner-up at a Grand Slam.
If Murray breaks through at Wimbledon, he’ll be the first British player to win at the All England Lawn Tennis Club since Fred Perry in 1936.