Tennis fans are all too familiar with the sight of Novak Djokovic lifting Wimbledon’s iconic gold trophy at the end of the championships in southwest London.
The same scenario is likely to follow this year, with the Serb heading to the All England Club as a dominant favorite to win more titles and increase his Grand Slam tally to 24.
If Djokovic wins as many expected, the 36-year-old Djokovic will tie Roger Federer’s record of five straight Wimbledon titles, which he shares with Bjorn Borg, for his eighth overall.
Djokovic has skipped any events on the ATP Tour heading into Wimbledon, opting instead only to play in the swanky Hurlingham Exhibition event in London.
Even in the twilight of his career, Djokovic continues to play the best tennis of his life.
Despite struggling to get in shape for the French Open, Djokovic found an A-game at the most important moment in Paris and looked almost unstoppable.
Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz looked like he could finish Djokovic in the French Open semifinals, but suffered cramps and the match ended as a match.
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Carlos Alcaraz has made great strides on grass, winning his first grass court title at the Queen’s Club.
Alcaraz openly admits grass is his worst court, but the youngster won his first grass-court title this year at Queen’s Club, the most prestigious Wimbledon warm-up on the calendar. , made great progress.
The win put Alcaraz back on top of the world rankings, but the 20-year-old will be suspended from work to stop grass-court specialist Djokovic if the two face each other in London.
Djokovic’s throne-seeking regulars Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and Holger Loon haven’t had any notable success at Wimbledon and are unlikely to threaten the defending champion’s crown. appear.
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Francis Tiafoe won his first career grass-court title in Germany and entered the world top 10 for the first time.
USA’s Francis Tiafoe, who has never made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon, also won his first career grass-court title at the Stuttgart Open and entered the world top 10 for the first time. was named in time.
Chile’s Nicolas Jary, whose big serves and powerful groundstrokes are his real weapons on the grass, also won two ATP titles after a great season rising from outside the top 150 to the world in January. , SW19 may also attract attention. 28 heading to Wimbledon.
In the women’s draw, up-and-coming superstar Jelena Ryvakina withdrew from the Eastbourne international preliminaries with the same virus that forced her to withdraw from the French Open, fears she will be unable to defend her title. is causing
The 24-year-old returned to the court last week at the German Open, admitting she’s still not fully recovered after losing in straight sets to Donna Vekic in the second round.
Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina takes on Czech Linda Noskova.
Rybakina rose to overnight stardom when she defeated Ons Jabur in last year’s Wimbledon final in three sets, becoming the first Kazakhstan player to win a Grand Slam title.
The world number three continued her success by reaching a Grand Slam final at the Australian Open in January, where she lost in three sets to Alina Sabalenka.
Belarus’ Sabalenka and Poland’s Iga świentek are among the favorites to win the title, according to bookmakers.
Sabalenka won three titles this year, including her first Grand Slam in Australia, and tied for second in the world heading into Wimbledon, a career-high.
Much like Rybakina, Sabalenka’s powerful play will make it daunting to compete on fast grass. She had a successful run at Wimbledon, reaching the semi-finals in 2021, but was ruled out in 2022 due to a blanket ban on Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament.
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Alina Sabalenka has a shot in the semi-final against Karolina Muchova at the Stade Roland Garros.
So far, Sabalenka’s only match on grass has been the German Open, where she lost in straight sets to world No. 12 Veronika Kudermetova in the second round.
Schwientek kicked off his Wimbledon preparations with a hard-fought three-set victory over world No. 58 Tatiana Mariana in the opener of Germany’s Bad Homburg Open.
The Polish player has won Grand Slam titles on clay and hard courts (three at the French Open and once at the U.S. Open) and has so far been unable to perform at Wimbledon in earnest. His best result came in the fourth round of Wimbledon. 2021 years.
Grass remains the only surface Swientek hasn’t won a senior title, but she’s starting to head home more. The turf woes of her career are interesting given that she won the only Grand Slam title of her junior career at Junior Wimbledon in 2018, but will no doubt remain a serious threat at this year’s tournament. .
Iga Siwiatek has won four Grand Slam titles but has yet to win Wimbledon.
Coco Gauff of the United States, who is currently ranked 7th in the world, is also aiming to reach the 4th round for the first time. But her preparation got off to her best start after she was easily defeated 6-4 6-0 by Ekaterina Alexandrova at the German Open.
Gauff, whose game could also complement the fast grass courts, showed significant improvement in his 6-3, 6-2 win over Bernarda Pera in the Eastbourne International opener.
The 19-year-old reached the semifinals but lost to fellow American Madison Keys.
The main draw at Wimbledon begins on Monday 3rd July and runs through Sunday 16th July.
Championship coverage is available on the BBC in the UK and ESPN and The Tennis Channel in the US.
A complete list of worldwide coverage can be found here.
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