Wimbledon is here and it’s another chance for Djokovic to add to his major titles. He is the clear favorite and for good reason. This has been his year so far, currently holding all major titles and trying to complete the calendar year grand slam; an accomplishment that is rarely seen. Djokovic has been so dominate that it seems unlikely that his historic run ends in this tournament, but it’s definitely possible. His biggest competition will come from Federer, Murray, and Wawrinka. Those are the only players that I think have what it takes to upset Djokovic and win the Title; since Nadal is still out with his wrist injury.
Wimbledon is not new to seeing upsets however, it is probably the major tournament where we see the most upsets from a low ranking player against a players in the top 10. So many top players go out early it’s impossible to predict. This is because of the surface that Wimbledon is played on. Wimbledon is played on grass which many players do not grow up playing on. Tennis players either learn the game on clay, on hard court or a little of both. The grass court for many players becomes an equalizer, if the better player is uncomfortable on grass then the lower player have a good chance of beating them. .
How is Grass different than Clay or Hard courts? Each surface is unique and takes time getting used to. Clay is the slowest surface, the ball has more to grab on to on the court which creates friction and slows it down. Hard courts are the middle speed, the ball tends to bounce more naturally and is easiest to predict. Grass is the Fastest. The ball when hit properly just slides across the court. It can be difficult to adjust the bounce of the ball because it stays so low and moves quicker than what they are used to. Players with big serves find themselves getting a lot of free points because its so hard to time and the ball gets extra speed off the grass court. In order to win on grass you have to be aggressive, normally on clay even if you put the ball on the line a great defensive player will still get a racquet on it. This is not the case on grass; if a player can get his opponent out of position and send a shot that hits close to the line on the opposite side they should win the point. Due to the speed and the aggressive play that is required on grass expect the points to be shorter than normal.
Footwork on grass- getting the footwork down for grass courts is it’s own challenge. Your feet do not stick to grass the way they do on hard courts; because of this you will see a lot of slipping and falling at Wimbledon. The Proper footwork for grass courts is small steps keeping your feet in control and not sliding unless its absolutely necessary. On clay and hard courts you will often see players slide into a shot that is just out of reach and then push off towards the other direction. This will not work on grass however, if a player tries to slide into their shot they will most likely slip and fall and the point will most likely be over. Instead a player has to keep their feet in control and run through the shot, quickly gathering and then head back towards the center. Always keep your feet moving on grass with small in control steps. A lot of players on the tour have not mastered the footwork that is required to play on grass and that why there is so much slipping.
On the women’s side it’s more up in the air. The Women’s tour tends to be more unpredictable often with a player coming out of no where to make a run at a major title. The men’s game is not like this, usually the players who are in the finals have either been there before or have been climbing there way up for quite sometime. If I had to pick a favorite for the Women’s side it would be Serena, with Azarenka or Radwanska with a good shot as well. The Men’s side I have already discussed, Djokovic is the obvious favorite, and I think Andy Murray has the best chance to upset him.