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US Open Tennis Talking Points

The US Open ended and with it the 2018 Grand Slams came to a conclusion. One of the most controversial tennis tournaments in living memory saw Naomi Osaka claim her first Slam while Novak Djokovic claimed his 14th. Here I discuss the key talking points from a fantastic Grand Slam.

Tennis Slams
We have had a great set of Grand Slams in men’s and women’s tennis this year. Photo Via: Bank Exams Today

Umpires draw controversy

Mohamad Lahyani’s mid match pep talk to Nick Kyrgios led to fierce criticism in some quarters. Umpires are not permitted to encourage players. The US Tennis Association defended the well respected umpire but Lahyani should have known better. This controversy is largely forgotten due to Carlos Ramos giving Serena Williams three code violations in the women’s final. By the letter of the law his decision was correct but it is a rule that is rarely applied. Some players feel they are treated differently and these controversies do not help.

Next Gen close but not close enough

The future stars of the men’s game did not win a breakthrough Grand Slam but there are signs of hope. Karen Khachanov lost an eipc four set contest to Rafael Nadal while Dominic Thiem lost in a fifth set tie break to the Spanish maestro. Alex De Minaur took Marin Cilic to five sets while Denis Shapovalov did likewise with Kevin Anderson. Sascha Zverev suffered another early Grand Slam exit. This year’s semi-finalists had an average age of 30 years old. There’s no substitute for experience in Grand Slam tennis.

Kei Nishikori take two
Kei Nishikori was the youngest US Open semi-finalist at age 28. Photo By: Getty

Osaka can win more Slams

After the controversy surrounding Serena Williams and Carlos Ramos’ altercation, it is easy to forget that Naomi Osaka at age 20 has won her first Grand Slam. Her heavy hitting and slick movement saw her comfortably beat the 23 time Grand Slam champion. She played the big points exceptionally well throughout the tournament and held her nerve in the final. If she can keep herself grounded then this will not e the lat we hear of the Japanese sensation.

Naomi Osaka.jpg

Players need weather protection

This year’s tournament was played in stifling hot and humid weather conditions with many players complaining that the conditions were unfair to play in. We saw similar complaints. Temperatures at the Australian Open in January reached 40 degrees with players feeling the strain. Tournament organisers need to consider the ill effects that players can feel and although it may frustrate fans, players should not have to pull out of matches due to extreme weather.

A Special Era for Men’s Tennis

Novak Djokovic won his 14th Slam as he equaled Pete Sampras’ on the all time Grand Slam winners list. He is now only three behind Rafael Nadal and six behind Roger Federer. Age is on his side while he is back at the peak of his powers. As tennis fans we have been privileged to watch Djokovic, Murray, Nadal and Federer trade blows for the best part of a decade. Since Roland Garros in 2005, they have won 50 out of 55 Grand Slams. Simply incredible.


Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic won back-to-back Slams. Photo By: PA
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Premier League Talking Points: Spurs slip up while the rest of the top 6 win. Talking Points from an exciting Premier League week

This weekend of Premier League action saw wins for five of the ‘Top 6’  as Spurs slipped to an away defeat to Watford. The Hornets rise to third place as the Premier League takes a break with international games being played. Here I discuss the key points from the weekend’s action.

Emery must sub Cech or alter his plans

Petr Cech endured an uncomfortable afternoon as he continues to struggle with Unai Emery’s passing out from the back system. He has looked uncomfortable with the ball at is feet all season, almost scoring a comical own goal at Man City. He has made decent saves so far but he does not fit the style of play Emery demands. Emery must change his tactics or his keeper as it is hard to see Cech turning into Ederson any time soon.

Arsenal v Burnley
Arsenal beat Cardiff 3-2 but Petr Cech’s performance will worry Unai Emery. Photo via: http://www.arsenal.com

Another milestone for James Milner

James Milner assisted Roberto Firmino’s goal against Leicester in Saturday’s early kick-off. That was his 80th Premier League assist, equalling David Beckham’s total assists in the league. The lack of glamour in his game means he will more than likely not go down as one of the all-time great Premier League midfielders but his performances and stats show he has enjoyed a stellar career.

Chelsea adjusting to Sarri-Ball

Chelsea maintained their 100% record under Maurizio Sarri as they beat Bournemouth 2-0. The last time they won their first four games was in 2014-15 and they won the title that season. Sarri wants Chelsea to press the ball high up the pitch while he demands that defenders move the ball forward quickly instead of waiting for the right pass. The Blues look a settled side while Eden Hazard is impressed with Sarri’s style of play. A promising start now can they maintain it?

Maurizio Sarri
Maurizio Sarri. Photo By: Getty

Optimism fades for pointless West Ham

West Ham are currently bottom of the table with four defeats in their first four games. The last time they lost their first four games was in the 2010-11 season when they suffered relegation. Despite spending £100 million on new recruits, the Hammers’ midfield lacks drive and defensive nous while there was a lack of penetration in attack. Their new signings are yet to gel while Carlos Sanchez’s mistake led to Wolves’ late winner. They simply must improve when the league returns otherwise they are in for a long season.

Marko Arnautovic
Marko Arnautovic has not had much reason to celebrate this season. Photo By: Getty

Murray crucial for Brighton

Glenn Murray in some ways typifies Chris Hughton’s Brighton side: tigerish, tenacious and workmanlike. Murray scored twice as The Seagulls drew 2-2 with Fulham. The centre forward put himself about, knocking defenders off the ball and causing havoc for the Fulham defence. His first goal was well taken while his second was an emphatic penalty. He rose through the leagues and is an example for all lower league players.

 

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Talking Points ahead of US Open Men’s Tournament

Tennis’ final Grand Slam starts tomorrow as the best players battle it out to become US Open champion. Here I preview the action in what promises to be an action packed two weeks of tennis.

Nadal gets a favourable draw

Although Nadal will not admit it, he must be quietly pleased with his draw for the tournament. Te defending champion is on the opposite side of the draw to Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. He may have to face Karen Khachanov, Kyle Edmund and Kevin Anderson or Dominic Thiem. Nadal will feel that he can outlast those opponents and he will be determined to defend the US Open for the first time.

Rafael Nadal
Will Nadal win his second Grand Slam of the year? Photo By: Getty

Tough Draw for Federer

Roger Federer has not enjoyed a happy few months of tennis by his own high standards. He was knocked out of Wimbledon by Kevin Anderson and was comfortably beaten by Novak Djokovic in the final of the Cincinnati Open. The 20 time Grand Slam champion is projected to face Benoit Paire in round 2, Nick Kyrgios in round 3 and Hyeon Chung or Fabio Fognini in the last 16. That is before a potential semi-final with Djokovic. A tough draw indeed.

Novak Djokovic
Can Djokovic win back to back Grand Slams? Photo By: PA

How far can Murray go?

Andy Murray will play his first Grand Slam tournament since Wimbledon 2017. Murray’s return is great to see but question marks remain over his movement as a result of his hip injury. Murray is keen to quash any talk of him being a dark horse but if he is fully fit then he could be a dark horse. He could face Juan martin Del Potro in round 3 in what could be a titanic tussle.

Dimitrov v Wawrinka Part II

Grigor Dimitrov and Stan Wawrinka were paired together for the second Grand Slam in succession after being drawn in the opening round of Wimbledon earlier this year. The unseeded Wawrinka won that day and he has enjoyed an excellent hard court season – reaching the quarter finals in Cincinnati. Dimitrov has endured a difficult season but a win here could reignite his season.

Britain Wimbledon Tennis
Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland plays a return to Taylor Fritz of the U.S during their men’s singles match on day two of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Can Zverev make the breakthrough?

Alexander Zverev is a force to be reckoned with but he has not proved himself on the major stage yet. He reached the quarter finals at Roland Garros this year. He holds three Masters 1000 titles but if he is to progress deep in this tournament then he will need to show greater mental fortitude than he has in previous Slams. To his credit he managed to win five set matches on the French clay but he faces a tough draw. He has the potential to beat anyone as he has one more chance to go deep in a Slam in 2018.

The 2018 US Open promises to be an action packed tournament filled with drama. May the best player win.

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Galway v Clare Talking Points as the Tribesmen march on to final showdown with Limerick

Galway reached their second All-Ireland final in a row after overcoming a stubborn Clare side in another excellent game. Here we discuss the key talking points as Limerick discovered their All Ireland final opponents.

A Carbon Copy of Last Week

The replay was similar to the first game as Galway started strongly and surged into an early lead before Clare came roaring back. The Tribesmen were 1-9 to 0-3 ahead after 20 minutes but Clare ultimately left themselves too much to do. The wide count for both teams was high, similar to last week while Galway once again lost a big lead. It contributed to another cracking game of hurling in the summer that keeps on giving.

Micheál Donoghue gets his tactics right

Galway were caught cold tactically in the drawn match but Micheál Donoghue and his management team got their tactics right, especially in the opening period.  Galway varied their puckout strategy which reaped a rich reward especially when Joseph Cooney collected James Skehill’s short puckout and drove the ball into Johnny Glynn who slotted home Galway’s goal. Conor Whelan played a roving centre-forward role which freed up space down the middle for Canning and David Burke.

Micheál Donoghue
Michel Donoghue got his tactics right against Clare. Photo By: James Crombie/INPHO

Clare miss their chance

The Banner men showed terrific character throughout this Championship but their Achilles heel of poor shot selection was their downfall. They shot 19 wides while Peter Duggan missed a relatively straight forward free to draw the game level. Aron Shanagher missed a double goal chance when he scooped the ball onto the post after James Skehill saved his first shot. Clare will be left to ponder what could have been. It really is a game of inches.

Aron Shanagher hits the post late on
Aron Shanagher missed a glorious gal chance. Photo By: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Quality Goals

After the epic All-Ireland semi-finals last weekend, some complained that goals were becoming too rare. The three goals scored in this game were top class finishes. Johnny Glynn’s one handed finish was excellent while Peter Duggan’s goal was top class. Shane O’Donnell hit the goal of the year so far as he withstood fierce pressure from Daithi Burke and John Hanbury before dummying a shot and then striking it on the half volley. The Championship has lacked goals but these three were worth the wait.

Shane O’Donnell celebrates scoring a goal
Shane O’Donnell celebrates his epic goal on Sunday. Photo By: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Galway get extra motivation from the doubts

Joe Canning made some interesting comments immediately after Galway’s victory. Speaking to Sky Sports, the Portumna man remarked that he felt his men were not given enough respect coming into the replay.

“We felt as a group, we didn’t get too much respect. Clare only led last week for only one time in the match, and they didn’t lead at all today. We had five of our key players missing in extra-time last week as well, and they couldn’t finish it off. We thought ourselves that we didn’t get enough respect coming into today.” Galway and Canning used this perceived injustice as motivation.

Boxing, Uncategorized

Boxing Greats that fought past their prime Part 2

Érik Morales (52-9)

Érik Morales is a Mexican former professional boxer who was the first Mexican-born boxer in history to win world titles in four weight classes. He won titles in the super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight and bantamweight divisions. He was a warrior who beat 15 world champions throughout his career. After losing his second fight to Marco Antonio Barrera, he lost 7 of his last 12 fights. A true warrior.

Erik Morales
Mexican warrior Érik Morales. Photo By: Getty Images

Julio César Chávez (107-6-2)

Julio Cesar Chavez is considered by many to be the greatest Mexican boxer of all time and one of the all time great boxers. He fought from 1998 to 2005. He was 89-0-1 when he suffered his first defeat although the cracks began to appear against Meldrick Taylor and Pernell Whitaker. He lost his light welterweight title to Oscar De La Hoya in 1996 and he was never able to reclaim a major belt afterwards.

Julio Cesar Chavez prepares for battle. Photo by: Richard Mackson/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Sugar Ray Leonard (36-3-1)

Leonard retired multiple times during his stellar career. He initially retired after suffering from a detached retina but returned to beat Marvin Hagler and become welterweight champion. He retired after that fight but came back to defeat Danny Lalonde while drawing with Thomas Hearns and beating Roberto Duran. He lost his last two fights and suffered a TKO to Hector Camacho as he should have retired before that.

Sugar Ray Robinson (173-19-6)

Sugar Ray Robinson competed from 1940 to 1965 and is widely considered the greatest pound for pound fighter of all time. He went 91 fights unbeaten in the middle of his career, the third longest in history while he won the middleweight title 5 times, becoming the only person to ever do so. He was unable to win a wold title in his last five years as a professional, losing five of his last 11 fights and he wasn’t the same fighter after coming back from retirement.

Mike Tyson (50-6)

Mike Tyson is one of the most recognisable boxers on the planet. The aptly nicknamed “Baddest Man on the Planet” became heavyweight champion of the world at aged 20. The death of trainer Cus D’Amato impacted on Tyson as he suffered a shock loss to buster Douglas in 1990. He was sent to prison in 1992 and although he returned to the ring, he lost twice to Evander Holyfield, suffering a DQ in the second fight while he lost three of his last four fights as he became slow and weary.

Mike Tyson knocked out Trevor Berbick to become the youngest ever heavyweight world champion at the age of 20. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I completed part one a month earlier. Keep an eye out for more boxing content and for other sports also. Thanks for reading.

 

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Wimbledon Men’s Championship Review: Djokovic triumphs in an epic two weeks of tennis

Wimbledon 2018 was one of the most exciting men’s slams in recent memory. We had epic matches, new records, shocks and controversy. Here I look back on the main talking points from 2 weeks of action.

Djokovic is back

Novak Djokovic won his first Grand Slam title since 2016 in a relatively straight forward final. His epic win over Rafael Nadal shows that he is truly back to his best. When he won Roland Garros two years ago, he held all four Grand Slams at the same time, being the only man in history to do so. His run here proves he is back and now looks the man to beat as we approach the hard court season.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic won his fourth Wimbledon title this year. Photo By: PA

Big Servers are prospering

Kevin Anderson’s run to the final and John Isner’s run to the semis show that the big servers can make a deep run in Slams. Marin Cilic’s final appearance at Wimbledon last year and the Australian Open in January has highlighted how the taller players are now appearing at the business end of Slams. They key now is for a big server to consistently chalenge for them. Cilic was consistent up until his second round exit at SW19.

Kevin-Anderson
Kevin Anderson has made huge strides in recent years. Photo By: Getty

Federer feels the pressure

Roger Federer suffered the shock of the Championship when he lost in five sets to Kevin Anderson. The Swiss maestro was in complete control and had a match point in the third set. As the match went in to a fifth set, his forehand misfired as it did against Kokkinakis in Miami and Del Potro in Indian Wells. He seems to be putting pressure on himself after all his success. His problem seems to be caused by himself and he will need to solve it before the US Open.

Roger Federer
Federer was unable to defend his title. Sourced Via: Sky Sports

An Old Man’s Game

The men’s final was contested by two men in their thirties. It is the first time in the Open era that two men in their thirties have contested a Wimbledon final. This begs the question: where are the young guns? They don’t seem to be ready yet to beat Federer, Nadal and Djokovic in a 5 setter.

Nadal-Djokovic rivalry is up there with the greatest in the sport

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic played out a Wimbledon classic under the roof in a match that exceeded the high expectations. The two warriors slugged it out in endless rallies until Djokovic emeged victorious. The semi-final was the best game of the Championship as Djokovic now leads the head t head by 27-25. Their rivalry is up there with Nadal-Federer and Agassi-Sampras. We are lucky to witness rivalries such as this.

Nadal and Djokovic
The Nadal-Djokovic rivalry has emerged as one of the biggest in the history of tennis. Photo By: Getty

 

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Wimbledon Women’ Final: Will it be number 8 for Serena or can Kerber etch her name in Wimbledon history?

The 2018 Wimbledon Final will be contested between number 11 seed Angelique Kerber and number 25 seed Serena Williams. This match is a repeat of the 2016 final which Williams won in two tight sets. Here I preview what promises to be a fascinating encounter.

Wimbledon Women's Trophy
The Venus Rosewater Dish will be presented to the winner but who will hat be? Photo By: Gary M Prior/Allsport

Kerber’s Route to the Final

R1. v Vera Zvonareva 7-5 6-3

R2. v Claire Liu 3-6 6-2 6-4

R.3 v Naomi Osaka 6-2 6-4

R.4 v Belinda Bencic 6-3 7-6(5)

QF v Daria Kasatkina 6-3 7-5

SF v Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-3

Angelique Kerber has dropped just one set on her way to the final. Her most impressive performance was in the semi-final against the power of Ostapenko. She will come up against a similar type player in Serena Williams. Kerber’s fairly routine progress means she shouldn’t be affected by fatigue and she will need all her energy if she is to triumph here.

Angelique Kerber
Will Kerber be elebrating on Saturday? Photo By: Reuters

Williams’ Route to the Final

R1. v Arantxa Rus 7-5 6-3

R2. v Viktoriya Tomova 6-1 6-4

R3. v Kristina Mladenovic 7-5 7-6(2)

R.4 v Evgeniya Rodina 6-2 6-2

QF v Camila Giorgi 3-6 6-3 6-4

SF v Julia Goerges 6-2 6-4

Serena has peaked perfectly in this tournament. Her response to losing her first set in the quarter final showed what a champion she is. She dug in and found a way to win. Her semi-final performance was excellent. Goerges played a great match but Serena’s power and angles were too much. She will need a big performance to beat a familiar foe on Saturday.

Serena Williams final
Will Serena be roaring with delight on Saturday? Photo By: UPI

My Thoughts

Serena understandably enters the match as the favourite considering her past victories here. She is going for her eighth title and looking to equal Margaret Court’s Open era  record of 24 Grand Slams. She won 87% of points behind her first serve in the semi-final and her serve was what won her the title against Kerber in 2016. She will face a different type of pressure as she has not played much tennis since the birth of her daughter. Can she handle it?

Kerber has made steady progress throughout the tournament on what I consider to be her best surface. Her serve has been vital to her progress. She made 77% of first serves in her semi-final and will need to make a similar number in the final. The German’s defence has been wondeful throughout the Champioships and she has been excellent in nullifying the big shots of Osaka and Ostapenko.

It would be special to see Serena win her 24th Slam at the All England Club and create history. It would be equally sweet to see Angelique win her first Wimbledon after her nightmare 2017. I’m giving the nod to Serena in two tight sets or over 3 sets. It promises to be a great game of tennis.

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World Cup Final Talking Points: France and Croatia vie for glory but who will win the ultimate prize?

France and Croatia will face off on Sunday to win the World Cup. It is a final that not many predicted. France were expected to go deep while Croatia were dark horses but due to them flattering to deceive in previous tournaments, no one was sure how well this Croatian team would do. Here are the talking points ahead of the biggest game in these players lives.

World Cup Trophy
Who will get their hands on the Jules Rimet trophy? It’s anyone’s guess at this juncture. Photo By: Getty

Revenge for 1998

France beat Croatia 2-1 in the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup. It was Croatia’s first World Cup as an independent country and their achievement in reaching the semi-final made them cult heroes. They took the lead when striker Davor Suker slotted home after a wonderful assist. France replied instantly and with twenty minutes to go Lillian Thuram got his second and sent France on their way to winning the World Cup. Can Croatia avenge this loss?

France v Croatia 1998 World Cup
France celebrate their semi-final victory at the 1998 World Cup. Who will emerge victorious this time? Photo By: Matthew Ashton/EMPICS Sport

Can France’s attackers shine?

Strangely France are in a World Cup final but there are plenty of question marks surrounding the team. Their defence has grown in stature and has been excellent, barring the Argentina game. Their attack however has not been as consistent with the French public questioning Deschamps’ system of play. Antoine Griezmann stood up against Uruguay while Kylian Mbappe has been more consistent. Olivier Giroud has not had a shot on target so far. Who will be the one to step up and seize the opportunity?

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe has scored three goals at the World Cup. Can he score one more? Photo By: Getty

Fatigue

This has been a long competition for both teams – especially Croatia as they have gone to extra time in their three knockout games and penalties in tow of those (against Denmark and Russia). Many believed Croatia would tire against England but in fact they were the fresher team and that is why they won through. France are more disciplined without the ball but will their young squad struggle towards the end of the game. Fatigue could decide this game.

The Midfield Battle

Luka Modric has been outstanding for Croatia in the midfield and he will face his toughest test to date against Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante. Ivan Rakitic could be vital in helping Croatia winning this key battle. Pogba and Kante were outstanding against Belgium and if either team can gain control in this sector then they will be World Champions.

Luka Modric Croatia
Will Modric be celebrating Sunday evening? Photo By: AFP

Nerves

No player in either team has played or been involved in a World Cup final. Modric, Rakitic and Mandzukic and Griezmann have played in Champions League finals while others have played in Champions League knockout games. Those games are filled with pressure but this game is the biggest game in each of these players lives. A mistake or lapse in concentration could decide what promises to be a close game.

Good luck to both teams and lets hope for a classic World Cup final. It promises to be a cracker.

 

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Manic Monday Talking Points: Federer, Williams and unpredictable women’s draw

The second Monday of Wimbledon is arguably the best day in the tennis calendar as every player left in the draw plays their last 16 match. Here I discuss the key talking points from a hectic day of action.

All too easy for Federer

Roger Federer eased into the quarter finals at SW19 as he won in straight sets against Adrian Mannarino. He has now won 32 consecutive sets at the All England Club and he is in excellent form. He will face a tougher test against big serving Kevin Anderson but the South African will need to play the game of his life if he is to have any chance. Federer is undoubtedly the favourite heading into the quarter finals.

Roger Federer
Can anyone stop Federer retaining his Wimbledon title? Sourced Via: Sky Sports

A Piece of History for Nishikori

Kei Nishikori overcame the stubborn challenge of Ernests Gulbis to make the Wimbledon quarter finals for the first time. In doing so he has become the second Japanese player and the first male one to reach the quarter finals of all four Grand Slams after Kimiko Date did it in the women’s game. He is only the second Japanese man to reach the Wimbledon quarter finals. An excellent achievement and he may not be finished yet.

Kei Nishikori take two
Can Nishikori create further history. Photo By: Getty

Williams peaking perfectly

Serena Williams entered Wimbledon with little competitive tennis after the birth of her daughter. She has been impressive in her last two wins and with the fall of the seeds in the women’s draw, she has every chance of winning her eighth Wimbledon crown. What a story that would be?

Serena Williams
Serena Williams celebrates victory. Will she be celebrating an eighth title on Sunday?

Fall of the seeds is no great surprise

The top 10 women’s seeds have all been defeated in the women’s section of the draw. With Serena Williams being ranked at 25 for the Championships, few of the high ranking players enjoy playing on grass or have had success on the surface. The grass is quicker than any surface and does not allow players like Halep the time they have on clay. It also highlights the unpredictability of women’s tennis.

 

 

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5 Men who can win the Men’s Singles title at Wimbledon

Roger Federer

The King of Grass is looking to retain his Wimbledon crown that he won so emphatically in 2017. He has won this title a record eight times and will be the man to beat when the tournament commences on Monday, July 2nd. He is seeded 1 at Wimbledon and looks to be placed on the easier side of the draw. Despite losing the final at Halle last week, it will take a special performance to beat Federer at his favourite tournament.

Roger Federer
Can anyone stop Federer retaining his Wimbledon title? Sourced Via: Sky Sports

Marin Cilic

The big serving Croat is well built for the grass and reached the final last year. He suffered from blisters and was easily beaten by Federer. He enters the tournament having won the Aegon Championships at the Queens tennis club last weekend. He reached the final of the Australian Open and the quarter finals at Roland Garros. He is in the same side of the draw as Federer but he will not fear facing the defending champion. Winning that match could be the key to winning Wimbledon.

Novak Djokovic

The champion of 2011 and 2014 returns to Wimbledon with hope. He lost the final of the Aegon Championships where despite having match point, he lost to Marin Cilic. His run to the final is encouraging news but will he be able to last two weeks and beat the big guys? He has shown before that he has the game to win but question marks still remain. If he i physically right then he can be the king of SW19 once more.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic won his second of hi Wimbledon titles in 2014. Can he win his third this year? Photo By: PA

Rafael Nadal

Nadal did not play in a grass court tournament and instead chose to play exhibition matches against Lucas Pouille and Matthew Ebden. He beat Ebden but lost to Pouille. There are question marks hanging over his fitness and he has exited Wimbledon early for the past few years. He lost to an inspired Gilles Muller last year but from the period 2006-2011 he reched the Wimbledon final every year with the exception of 2009 when he did not play. He has the potential but can he banish the recent losses at SW19.

Rafael Nadal
Can Nadal bring his clay court form to the grass? Photo By: Getty

Juan Martin Del Potro

Del Potro is a real fans’ favourite in Southwest London and reached the semi-final in 2013 where he lost an epic match to Novak Djokovic. He has not had as much success in recent years but he has enjoyed a decent season so far, reaching the semi-final at Roland Garros. He suffered a one-sided defeat to Novak Djokovic at Queens last week and has a history of injuries. He is placed on the tougher side of the draw but he is a dark horse.

Juan Martin Del Potro
Can Juan Martin Del Potro be the dark horse this year? Photo By: Getty

Nick Kyrgios

The talented Aussie has a game perfectly built for grass. He beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014 and he reached the semi-final of the Aegon Championships last week. His temperament is questionable to say the least but if he performs to his potential then he will be a match for anyone. His biggest opponent is himself.