Manual scoreboards, all white clothes, strawberries and cream, and The Royal Family. Yup, it’s that time of the year again. The 127th Wimbledon Championships kick off on Monday and this year proves to be an exciting couple of weeks at the All England Club. And with the men’s and women’s draw being released yesterday we now have a clear map of the tournament and the different rough and laboring roads to it’s finish.
On the men’s side the top five seeds bare no real big surprises as usual. Novak Djokovic has the #1 seed being followed by Andy Murray, Roger Federer, David Ferrer, and Rafael Nadal in that order to round out the top five seeds. It’s pretty much business as usual though some may see Rafael Nadal’s fall to a #5 seed going into Wimbledon as a big surprise considering he’s coming off of a grand slam win at Roland Garros. But considering the fact that one of the things the rankings are based off of are the players previous years performance Nadal’s early second round exit to Lukas Rosol last year does a lot to hurt his rankings, as well as the fact that he didn’t play in a grass warm up tournament before Wimbledon. I know I’m not the biggest fan of the ATP’s and WTA’s ranking system either but that’s for a different article. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin Del Potro, Richard Gasquet, and Marin Cilic round out the rest of the top ten in the men’s draw.
Djokovic benefits heavily this year from getting the #1 seed as he completely avoids the other top five seeds until a possible semifinal match up with Ferrer. Now that’s not to say he still won’t have some bumps along the way, he has a rematch of last years quarterfinal with Florian Mayer in the first round as well as a potential match with a rejuvenated Tommy Haas in the fourth round. The other top five guys aren’t so lucky. Nadal has a potential fourth round match with the #11 seed Stanislas Wawrinka and then a potential quarterfinal match with Federer, the winner of which could see Murray in the semis. But not to focus solely on the top names there are other interesting players in the draw. Tsonga will be looking to continue his good run of form after making an appearance in the French Open semis earlier this month, he also made it to the semis at last years Wimbledon. Tommy Haas has had another career resurgence this year beating Djokovic in Miami and making the quarters in Roland Garros at the age of 35. Kei Nishikori also looks interesting in this years tournament. He looks good to get past his farthest Wimbledon appearance and get into a potential fourth round match with Del Potro. And the quarterfinals could be a definite must watch with potential match ups of Berdych v Djokovic, Del Potro v Ferrer, Murray v Tsonga, and Federer v Nadal. And pay attention for a potential third round match up between Federer and Lukas Rosol, the guy who shocked Nadal last year.
In the women’s draw there’s really no change from the French Open rankings. Serena Williams has the #1 seed and is the overwhelming favorite to repeat for her sixth Wimbledon championship. Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova switch their French Open rankings and will be going in #2 and #3 respectively. And finally the ever dangerous Agnieszka Radwanska and Sara Errani round out the top five seeds in the women’s draw. A couple other dangerous names in the top ten are 2011 champion Petra Kvitova and last years semifinalist Angelique Kerber. At first glance the women’s draw has a lot of good first round match ups. 2010 French Open champ Francesca Schiavone takes on #23 seed Sabine Lisicki, Kerber v Bethanie Mattek-Sands, the young Brit Heather Watson goes against the young American Madison Keys, two young Americans #17 seed Sloane Stephens v Jamie Hampton, #27 seed Lucie Safarova faces off with American teen Lauren Davis, and the biggest match #10 seed Maria Kirilenko against the popular UK teen Laura Robson. And just like in the men’s draw if the seeds go threw there are some interesting quarterfinal match ups featuring Williams v Kerber, 2011 French Open champ Li Na v Radwanska, and Azarenka v Kvitova.
So we are set for opening play and all the interesting storylines; Serena’s sixth championship, Federer’s eighth, Ferrer’s continuing battle for his first grand slam title, can anyone bring Serena down, will any of the younger players breakthrough, and will Murray be the first UK player to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. I can’t answer any of those questions but I can tell you I think this years Wimbledon will be a wild ride!
About the Author
Written by George Jackson III