On Monday July 1st, Wimbledon 2019 gets underway, with the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon, London hosting the 142nd renewal of the grass court Championships that is, arguably, the most famous and prestigious tennis Grand Slam event of them all.
Here, we preview the 2019 Men’s Singles Championship – where Novak Djokovic (above) will be looking to defend his title, regained after beating South African Kevin Anderson in straight sets in 2018 – and win his fifth Wimbledon title.
THE BIG THREE – WHEN WILL THEIR REIGN END?
Men’s tennis, especially at Wimbledon, has been dominated by four names in the modern era – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and the seemingly ageless and irrepressible Roger Federer (above). Such has been their dominance that you have to go back 17 long years, to 2002, to see a different name inscribed on the Wimbledon Men’s Singles trophy – that being Australian Lleyton Hewitt. Since then, the Centre Court has seen the trophy hoisted aloft by Federer (8 times), Djokovic (4) with Nadal and Murray twice each. On 8 occasions one of these players has been runner up also.
However, they are all getting older and, arguably, a bit more fallible. Andy Murray has suffered some horrific injury problems and looks highly unlikely not to be playing the singles this year – hence why we reference the ‘Big Three’. Federer is now 37, with Nadal 33 and Djokovic 32, and the toll of two weeks of fast paced tennis must, eventually, play their part against some younger legs. But there is no doubting their superb conditioning, fitness and ability – and desire to win.
Wimbledon brings the best out of them all, and even without Murray, it is hard to see past these three dominating proceedings again. As yet, it is unknown who each will face in their First Round matches – but Djokovic is seeded #1 and is, unsurprisingly, a short priced favourite. Federer and Nadal are ranked 2 and 3 respectively and will be scheduled for a Semi Final matchup should all go to plan.
It seems a good while yet before the chasing pack close down these aging, but legendary, tennis superstars.
WHICH PLAYERS HAVE THE BEST CHANCE TO WIN OUTSIDE OF THE TOP THREE?
Many have tried, some have come close, but all have eventually failed to best any of afore-mentioned players. In recent years, Kevin Anderson, Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych have all reached the final – but lost, not winning a set between them. All take their place in the 2019 Wimbledon Championships again and all have to be respected – although Berdych looks past his prime now.
Also on the radar must be young German Alexander Zverev (above) – the shortest priced player outside of the top three with UK bookmakers to become this years Champion. Zverev looks to be the one who will break the (consistent) stranglehold of the fab four – but, as yet, he has never made it past the last 8 of ANY Grand Slam event and his best at Wimbledon is the 4th round, which he achieved in 2017. At 6′ 6″, Zverev has the serving power to trouble anyone, but is also a fast, aggressive baseline player, which is perfect for Wimbledon. Volleying is his weak point though, and this will need to improve if he is to become a Grand Slam winner.
BEST OF THE REST?
Many eyes – and ears – will be on controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios (above), and whether he can hold his famous temper. It was only last month where Kyrgios was disqualified in his last 32 game at the Italian Open against Casper Rudd when he smashed his racket and threw a chair on the court after a discussion with the referee. He forfeited the rankings points and prize money – but escaped any further action. Kyrgios is highly talented – but must keep his focus and attitude in check.
Young Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas will also be on many peoples radar. Tsitsipas reached the 2019 Australian Open Semi Finals before being hammered by Rafael Nadal – but his overall game and technique have drawn some fine comments – Greg Rusedski saying he is reminded of Bjorn Borg when watching Tsitsipas. High praise indeed.
The likes of Kei Nishikori, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem will be names that could go well, but it will take something very special for any of these to reach the last few days of the tournament.
Whilst we would love to see Roger Federer claim his 9th Wimbledon title and extend his lead atop the all-time Champions list, we cannot see past Djokovic claiming his fifth. To see these two go at it in the final would be a game for the ages – despite their ages – but, as per the last few seasons, maybe there will be another name contesting the final against Djokovic. Whoever it is though we expect to be watching Novak Djokovic lift the trophy on the afternoon of Sunday July 14th
- Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
- Roger Federer (Switzerland)
- Rafael Nadal (Spain)
- Kevin Anderson (South Africa)
- Dominic Thiem (Austria)
- Alexander Zverev (Germany)
- Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece)
- Kei Nishikori (Japan)
- John Isner (United States of America)
- Karen Khachanov (Russia)