Federer favourite as Nadal lurks

LONDON. — It will be interesting to see if Roger Federer’s loss last week at the Halle Open tennis tournament will have an affect on him as he heads to Wimbledon this week, or if Rafael Nadal will close in on Federer’s Grand Slam tally.

Nadal triumphed in the French Open for the 11th time last month.
Federer now leads the Spaniard by three Majors – he’s won 20 and Nadal has a total of 17.
Federer surprisingly lost 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 2-6 to Croatian Borna Coric in the Halle Open final.

He won this tournament last year in his build-up to the Wimbledon Championships, which he went on to win.
Last week’s defeat saw Federer surrender his No. 1 position in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings to Nadal.

However, the Swiss remains a favourite to clinch the Wimbledon title, where he is the top seed ahead of his biggest rival. Nadal is seeded second.

Fresh from collecting four titles on clay – the Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome events, and then one of the Grand Slam crowns at Roland Garros – Nadal will be confident he can do well at the All England Club.

However, the fact that he has not played a competitive match on grass this season could be a stumbling block.
He last won this title in 2010, and then lost in the final in 2011 to Serb Novak Djokovic.

Last year, though suffering from a recurring knee injury, Nadal only managed to reach the last 16, where he lost to Gilles Muller from Luxembourg.
Last year’s finalist, Marin Cilic, is seeded fourth this year.

The 29-year-old is also in a good position to go all the way after beating Djokovic at the Queen’s Club 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 in the longest final in the tournament’s history last week – the match lasted for two hours and 57 minutes.

South African Kevin Anderson could also lay a claim to the singles first prize of £2.25 million (R40.7 million). He comes in as seed number eight.

In the doubles, another South African, Raven Klaasen, and his American partner, Michael Venus, who are seeded 13th in the men’s doubles, will also give it a shot.

In the women’s field, many will be excited to see seven-time Wimbledon winner Serena Williams return to the event since becoming a mother in September. She will be playing for her first Grand Slam this year.
The 36-year-old missed Wimbledon last year because of her pregnancy.

She has struggled to get back into the swing of things after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian.
Williams was not seeded for the French Open due to her break from the game, but is seeded 25th ahead of Wimbledon.
Defending champion and world No 2 Garbine Muguruza will be hoping to successfully defend
her title. She beat Venus Williams in last year’s final.

Romanian Simona Halep, fresh from winning her first Grand Slam at Roland Garros, is seeded first, the same position she held at the French Open.

Source :

The Herald

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