The French Open provided spectacular drama in recent weeks, but now the Championship has concluded, eyes of tennis fans will be turning from clay to grass and that means the Wimbledon Championships, for many the biggest tennis event of the year.
Every major name in the sport will be in the field. In the Men’s competition world number one Novak Djokovic will be favoured by many to retain the title he won for a second time in 2014, despite being thoroughly outplayed in the French Open final by Stan Wawrinka.
Fan favourite and former ‘Best player on the planet’ Rafael Nadal has had a wretched 2015 to date, and grass isn’t the Spaniard’s favoured surface. He hasn’t made it past the last 16 at Wimbledon since 2011 – it would be a surprise to see a challenge from him this year. Roger Federer, perhaps the greatest player of all time, romped back to make last year’s final, but with only one major victory to his name since 2010 there’s a strong sense that his time has passed.
Brit Andy Murray and new French Open champ Stan Wawrinka will likely prove to be Djokovic’s main obstacles to retaining the title. Former champ Murray took Djokovic to five sets in the semi-finals at Roland Garros and Wawrinka beat the Serb handily in the final, so neither should be intimidated by the world number one if their paths cross at SW19.
In the Women’s tournament it is always tough to look past Serena Williams, who won her 20th Major title at the French Open despite suffering from flu all week. Williams has won the last three Majors, but her rivals may take some solace from the fact that she has been bounced out early from three of the last Wimbledon Championships. Former winners Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova will fancy their chances of doing well again in 2015, as no doubt will last year’s finalist Eugenie Bourchard. Flushing Meadows, New York, will host the US Open August 31-September 13. The Wimbledon Championships June 29-July 12. Abu Dhabi Sports Channels exclusively on OSN; various channels, OSN Sports.