wimbledon champion

7 reasons why Novak Djokovic will win Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic lost out on completing the Grand Slam of Grand Slams when losing in the final of the French Open to Rafael Nadal but Bettingpro.com writer Neil Roarty explains why the Serb can bounce back at Wimbledon.

The French Open final was a thrilling tennis match between not only the two best players in the world but arguably two of the all-time greats in the men’s game. Rafael Nadal’s victory over Novak Djokovic has some people believing that the tide has turned back in favour of the Spaniard but that is not the case and here are seven reasons why Djokovic will be claiming instant revenge at Wimbledon:

1 – Djokovic is still world number one

Despite the hype over Rafael Nadal’s impressive win over Novak Djokovic in Paris it is still the Serb who sits atop the world rankings and he will head to Wimbledon as the top seed. This has to be respected and it must be remembered that other than on clay (for a three tournament spell) Djokovic has been the best player on the ATP Tour this season. He still holds three of the four major titles and the challenge remains for other players to knock him off his perch, not for him to beat them.

2 – Djokovic is the reigning Wimbledon champion

Last year’s victory at the All England Club was a huge step forward in the career of Novak Djokovic. Not only did it lift him to world number one but it also proved to supporters, opponents and himself that he had the game to win on grass. Nadal lost twice in the final at SW19 before he claimed his first Wimbledon title and then went unbeaten for two years (he did not play in 2010) before Djokovic halted him last year. The confidence of knowing you can win on a new surface cannot be underestimaed and at the moment it is Djokovic who knows that he is the best player on grass.

3 – The Big Four is now only a Big Two

For the last three or four years there has been talk of a ‘Big Four’ in tennis but the past 12 months has shown that to be wrong. Each of the last four Grand Slam finals have now been contested by Djokovic and Nadal and it is now clear that there are only two top players in the men’s game. Roger Federer and Andy Murray lag some way behind the ‘Big Two’ and if any of those players beat Djokovic at Wimbledon it would rank as a major upset.

4 –Djokovic 11 Nadal 6

Djokovic holds an almost 2:1 head-to-head lead against Nadal on any courts other than clay. This includes the last five meetings between the pair on either hard or grass courts and also takes in the last three Grand Slam finals on those surfaces. Nadal may be the King of Clay but Djokovic rules on all other courts.

5 – Djokovic is the fittest player on the ATP Tour

Djokovic’s fitness levels are incredible. He may adopt a hangdog look at times during matches but he is never out of energy. He is often susceptible to bursts of inspiration from opponents but he always manages to ride these out to go on and win matches. The likes of Andy Murray or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga can play at 100% for one or maybe even two sets before falling to half pace but Djokovic can play at 90-99% for as long as a match lasts. This means that the longer a match lasts, the more chance the Serb has of emerging victorious, as indicated by his five sets wins over Andreas Seppi and Tsonga in Paris and his epic five set victory over Nadal in last year’s US Open final.

6 – Djokovic should have won the French Open final

The French Open final was a strange match. There were a lot of breaks of serve but there was also a clear momentum shift on Sunday afternoon. Nadal took the first two sets after some blistering tennis but Djokovic, as noted in point 5, simply hung in against the Spaniard and seemed to have ridden out the storm. He rattled off eight consecutive games and but for a rain delay would have gone on and won the title at Roland Garros. It wasn’t to be and Nadal was allowed to regroup, recuperate and he came back out and took the fourth set on Monday. A clear day at Wimbledon, however, would no doubt see the Serb get the better of his rival over five sets.

7 – Djokovic has the most motivation

The defeat at Roland Garros will have stung Djokovic far more than any recent defeat has hurt Nadal. The loss prevented the world number one from achieving an historic Grand Slam of Grand Slam titles, which is something that neither Nadal nor Federer has achieved. The 25-year-old will be keen to avenge the defeat and show that losing in Paris was simply a blip. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Serb went on to win Wimbledon and then both the US Open and Australian Open titles before returning to Paris in 2013 to finally crack Nadal.

Article provided by Neil Roarty from Wimbledon-Live.com

Petra Kvitova and Novak Djokovic new Royalty at Wimbledon

Petra Kvitova shocked former Wimbledon Champion Maria Sharapova with an outstanding display of powerful tennis to lift her maiden Grand Slam at the All England Club on Saturday.

Equally surprising was the dominant display shown by Novak Djokovic who cemented his new world number one ranking by handing out a four-set defeat to Rafael Nadal, the Spaniard’s first at SW19 since the 2007 final on Sunday.


Kvitova’s shot-making ability proved too much for Sharapova as she became the first Czech woman to triumph here since Jana Novotna in 1998, while she also became the first left-hander since another Czech great, Martina Navratilova, won the title back in 1990.

The match saw eight breaks of serve as both players displayed aggression in their play, but it was the 21-year-old Kvitova, in her maiden Grand Slam final, who held on to more of her service games to see out the 6-3, 6-4 victory.

The 24-year-old Sharapova also contributed six double faults, taking her total to a tournament-high 38, and although she fluffed one less unforced error than Kvitova, her nine fewer winners didn’t help her cause either.

Kvitova’s main weapons, other than her shot selection, included her ferocious service return that left Sharapova rooted to the spot on many an occasion as the ball whizzed past her. As her body language sagged, Kvitova’s shoulders continued to rise until her first ace of the match secured the win and saw the coveted Venus Rosewater Dish in her hands.

On Sunday, the recently dominant Nadal took on 2011’s dominant force Djokovic in what promised to be a tantalising encounter.

While we weren’t treated to a five-set classic, the tennis showcased by Djokovic was mesmerising and Nadal had very little in even his vast array of weapons to halt the Serbian.

The 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 scoreline did not flatter the 24-year-old who registered his fifth win over the Spaniard this year, all in finals, and a momentous 50th win in 51 matches in 2011.

The Serb only let up the pace for a short while in the third set but it was enough for Nadal to take it comfortably.

Djokovic’s shot selection returned, though, as he found corners with some excellent cross-court efforts including one on the slide when it seemed Nadal had pulled off an exquisite drop shot to leave the contender stranded at the back of the court.

Nadal received a few fortuitous net-cords as he searched for a way back in to match but this isn’t the mentally fragile Djokovic of two years ago who may have let such things get to him.

A poor game for Nadal at 3-4 in the fourth set gave Djokovic a sight of his third Grand Slam title and he didn’t let it slip, securing victory when Nadal sent a forehand long and the two-time Aussie Open winner sank to the floor in delight.

Serena Williams: nice to see her again?

Another guest post from James Christie, Content Writer at Social Media Agency No Pork Pies. James takes a look at social media conversations about tennis player Serena Williams’ return to Wimbledon – the place she regards as her second home

Former Wimbledon champion Lyndsey Davenport was on television yesterday, telling BBC Wimbledon viewers that Serena Williams’ return from injury is “good for the sport”.

Serena Williams herself was interviewed at the start of the tournament, also saying that her tennis comeback is “good for the sport”.

But are these views representative of most tennis fans’ opinions – do the majority of the sport’s watchers really want to see another Wimbledon dominated by a Williams sister.

I used social media monitoring tool Brandwatch to gauge sentiment about Serena – a player who tend to rip up the form book every time the grass court season comes around.

On Monday, 20 June th (the opening day of the tournament) defending champion Serena received 1,648 mentions across social networking sites and news outlets.

A short and pithy article in The Bleacher Report compared Serena to Tiger Woods – highlighting how both have taken off a year from their sport to ‘rehab’ (nice to see this word used as a verb!)

The article also mentioned Serena’s many business interest outside the game. Could these distractions affect sentiment regarding her?

On Tuesday, it became apparent that her busy life hadn’t affected her form enough for her to lose the first round of the defence of her title.

Response to her victory, which she marked with tears of relief, resulted in 3,718 mentions. Were the tears a little melodramatic? Most Twitterers, in the immediate aftermath at least, didn’t seem to think so – there were only 38 negative mentions, the worst of which was arguably “she wears the most ridiculous tennis gear”.

Negative comments during the week studied were consistently low (like a good sliced backhand); implying that there is a very small, hardcore group of people immune to Serena’s charms!

The positive comments, in contrast, leapt up after the win (she received 71 on Monday and over 200 on Tuesday).

Cheepcheepbird’s tweet contained mixed praise: “Serena has painted her nails in Wimbledon colours, they look fab but how does she play tennis with such long talons?”

On Thursday, when Serena again came from a set down to triumph, it was clear that some people had had time to reflect on the tears she shed after her first-round win. Hdbaling tweeted: “Serena Williams you are such a diva!! Ur an athlete, not a drama queen!”

But Alex Raven’s Twitter message was more typical of most social networkers’ reaction. He said: “How can Serena play with those earrings in?”

135 years of ladies fighting for equal pay at Wimbledon and still all people want to talk about the defending champion’s nails and jewellery.

You get the feeling that Serena – with her love of fashion – won’t mind too much!

Sabine Lisicki is my Wimbledon champion

Sabine Lisicki is the winner of today.   The goodlooking German defeated fresh French Open winner Na Li in the second round of Wimbledon 3-6 6-4 and 8-6.  The win is a quantum leap for Lisicki who spent five months  lingering with a persistent ankle injury.

“My emotions are so, I mean, just over the moon,” said Lisicki, who served 17 aces and had 32 winners. “It’s just amazing.”

“It was very, very hard,” she said. “I really had to start from zero after being on crutches for seven weeks so it just means so much to me, you know, winning the title in Birmingham and getting the wild card here. I appreciate it so much, to be back in Wimbledon. It’s just a place that I love so much.”

Lisicki won the Birmingham tournament earlier this month and was granted a wildcard by the Wimbledon organisation. And so far, by ousting Na Li, it seems to be a good call.

Na Li had no answer to the hard serving Lisicki but remained positive at her pressconference:

“Tough match,” Li said. “But I think both players today played great. Nothing wrong, just unlucky. I have two match points. But I can do nothing for these two match points.”

“Start of the first point until the end of the match, every serve was like around 117 miles (per hour),” she said. “I mean, this is impossible for the women.”

The Lisicki party didn’t end after the match and the pressconference. It just continued online on her Facebook page:

Omg, what a match! I won 8:6 in the third set after saving double matchpoint at 3:5 in the 3rd set!!! So happy to win on Center Court in Wimbledon! The crowd was just amazing and helped me a lot! THANK YOU so much!!!
I´m playing doubles with Sam tomorrow and my next singles is vs Doi on saturday! Have a good night everyone! ♥

And because it’s a special victory for Sabine,  I find that we should celebrate too with these exclusive photos of Sabine shot by our staff photographer Ralf Reinecke!

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If Your Opponent Runs Out Of Rackets, Don’t Lend Him One Of Yours!!!

Have you ever played a tennis match where your opponent broke strings in all of his rackets? Take it from former French Open and Wimbledon champion Jan Kodes, don’t lend them one of your rackets to continue playing! The following is an excerpt from Kodes’ new book JAN KODES: A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN (A beautiful coffee table narrative book available here on amazon.com for $31.20: http://www.amazon.com/Jan-Kodes-Journey-Behind-Curtain/dp/0942257685/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281452277&sr=8-1) where the Czech legend explains why!

After the Czechoslovak International Championships at Stvanice, Kodes was nominated to play an international tournament in a spa town Zinnowitz in East Germany. On the way there the Czechoslovaks took part in a friendly encounter in Halle. Kodes lost to Luttropp 6-3, 5-7, and 4-6 there but he remembers an episode that he likes to laugh about till today.

I had a match-point in the second set at 5:2. Before the match-point my opponent’s strings broke. He proceeded to the net and extended his hand for an end-of-the-match handshake saying that he had no other racket. He had two rackets but strings in the first burst right at the start.

“Don’t be silly,” I told him, “here is my racket, let’s finish the match.”

And that is what happened – I lost that match! I never again did anything similar to that.

I was young, honest, and fair. With time I learned that nobody gives anything gratis. It was yet another lesson.


By Peter Nez

With Wimbledon only one week away, the talk has shifted from sheer dominance on the sandy surface to an all out blitz of question marks and shrugging shoulders as to who will take away lawn glory. It’s hard to refute a 76-2 record on grass for the past seven years by defending champion Roger Federer, and one would be remiss if he wasn’t, on all accounts, the decisive favorite, but circumstances are bound to change, the wind can shift, and church bells may toll, sounding off eras swaying, and epochs coming to an end, as we saw inevitably happen in France when Robin Soderling dismissed the G.O.A.T. in the quarterfinals, ending an astounding streak of 23 semis or better in a row.

Roger, who typically plays his Wimbledon warm up tournament in Halle, Germany, the Gerry Weber Open, did the same this year, only bypassing it twice in the last eight years. He had a strong week, reaching the finals, taking out some accomplished grass court players along the way, losing only to Lleyton Hewitt, a former world no. 1, and former Wimbledon champion; an accredited savant on the green stuff, in three sets on Sunday. Not a terrible start to Federer’s grass campaign, especially considering how quick the transition is from clay to grass, and the results of his arch rivals and other top players: Nadal, Murray, Roddick, and Novak, all went out fairly early in their Wimbledon warm up at the Queen’s Club in London.

Entering major tournaments in good form is all about momentum, and nothing can build momentum like match play and excellent results at preceding tournaments. This couldn’t be exemplified any more than what happened this past spring where Rafael Nadal took three back to back masters titles upon entering the French Open; riding on a mountain of momentum, there was little doubt as to what the Savage Spaniard would do at Roland Garros. I don’t think there was one ‘expert’ out there in the tennis universe who didn’t pick Nadal to win it all, and many thought that maybe spring 2010 would mirror spring 2008 for the Mallorca Madman, who won not only The French Open, and Wimbledon, but the warm up to Wimbledon in the interim, (Queen’s Club Open) taking out a red hot Novak Djokovic in the final. But all for not, Nadal lost to Feliciano Lopez in the quarterfinals in straight sets, his only other loss to Lopez coming when Rafael was a bubbly seventeen year old, raw on the tour. Nadal seemed relaxed about his loss saying he was, “looking forward to going home,” and was happy so he could, “play golf and see family.” A peculiar attitude to exude before the Super Bowl of Tennis, but who am I to speculate on Rafa’s preparation? His track record speaks for itself. A friend of mine said, about Nadal’s performance, who was a National Doubles Champion for the USTA, in his smooth southern drawl, that “It looked like he wasn’t timing the bounce as well. He looked unbalanced.” It’s not out of order to speculate that he may be feeling the magnificent run he had this past May, and a bit tired, and I don’t see any cause for alarm for Nadal fans, but I don’t get the feeling that 2010 will sing a cover song anytime soon for the Spaniard, but even more than that, I have reservations about King Roger as well.

Federer has been in a title drought since the Australian Open, and his clay season was anything but normal, and we know how important confidence is to him, and to lose to Hewitt, somebody he has owned in past meetings, in a final of a grass court tournament that he has won many times before can’t bode well. Something is amiss. I get this strange feeling that there may be something more to this “lung infection” he acquired back in February and that it hindered him more than anyone thought, including himself. Who knows, maybe the universe is saying it’s time for somebody else, that the old adage about greed may prove true. The “uncharacteristic losses” have been accumulating since 2007, and Roger fans have been biting their nails more readily during his matches these days. Between the alien arrival of the spraying forehand, and the cryptic breakdown in his first serve (something we saw full fledged against Ernest Gulbis, in Federer’s first round loss at the Rome Masters), the impenetrable veneer of the Federer palace is looking to wane. But, the caveat to that is the swirling doubts have been parading around the press rooms and fan sites before every major, and Roger seems to silence the naysayers time and time again, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he places a giant index finger across them yet again, by holding the coveted title that fortnight.

If anything, this year’s Wimbledon will be the hinge that turns the door on the rest of the season for anybody, especially the top players. Who can do it? A number of players can step up. What about Murray? Maybe he can finally reach grand slam glory that he has come so close to tasting before? Last year he was a semi-finalist and has an entire nation pulling for him. Henman Hill has now been transformed to Mound Murray. Can Djokovic finally turn back the hand of time and resurrect the career many expected he would encompass? What about Roddick? He always has a chance, as he proved last year. This is the next sunrise, the new morning, the middle of the ATP season, the cathedral of tennis, the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon, where dreams come true, and tears tremble the blades of grass, and in a men’s draw loaded up with bursting at the seams talent, anything can happen. Federer and Nadal are the two super powers, and it would be great to see them in the final again, battling it out, knifing through the English dusk with their artistry and brute will, but something tells me there may be new blood lurking in the Channel, that the familiar silhouettes may have different shapes this year coming out of the tunnel. I don’t know exactly what it is, it’s just a feeling, but I sense something blowin’ in the wind…


People Magazine is reporting that tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with breast cancer, but her prognosis is said to be excellent.

The story: linked here: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20358261,00.html reports that the nine-time Wimbledon champion cried when she was diagnosed last February. Navratilova recently competed in the Hit for Haiti fundraiser in Indian Wells, Calif., last month along with Lindsay Davenport and Justine Henin.

The People.com report says Navratilova had a lumpectomy and will begin six weeks of radiation therapy next month. It added that the nine-time Wimbledon women’s singles champion was diagnosed with a noninvasive form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS.

Philippoussis To Make ATP Champions Debut In London

Former Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis is to return to the city that he so nearly conquered when he plays in the AEGON Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall in London, December 1-6.

Philippoussis, who also reached the final of the US Open during his career, will be making his debut on the ATP Champions Tour when he lines up alongside fellow grass-court greats Goran Ivanisevic, Pat Rafter and Stefan Edberg at the season-ending event. For Philippoussis, who beat Andre Agassi on his way to the 2003 Wimbledon final before losing to Roger Federer, it will be an opportunity to renew rivalries and rekindle his relationship with the British public.

“I get goosebumps every time I go to the UK because of the British crowds,” said Philippoussis, who is universally known as ‘Scud’ for the power of his serve.

“The British fans are incredible – they have such a great appreciation for tennis. I’ve always enjoyed a lot of support from them and I hope they are looking forward to seeing me again. I certainly can’t wait.”

Philippoussis has visited the Royal Albert Hall once before back in 2006 when he played a charity exhibition match against Tim Henman, and the Australian is looking forward to experiencing the world’s most unique tennis court for a second time.

“I really can’t wait to play at the Royal Albert Hall again,” he said. “It is one of the prettiest tennis venues I have ever seen, it really is gorgeous. It’s perfect in terms of how close the crowd is to you when you’re playing and the atmosphere that creates.”

Philippoussis will join an eight-man singles line-up that already includes the 2001 Wimbledon Champion Ivanisevic, former World Number One Edberg and two-time Wimbledon finalist Rafter. The AEGON Masters Tennis could give Philippoussis the chance for revenge against Rafter, who beat him in the final of the US Open in 1998.

“I’m so looking forward to seeing all the guys again,” said Philippoussis.

“The line-up is really amazing so every match should be good. I’d love to play against Edberg, and I’m looking forward to seeing Goran again because he’s just a great guy. Then obviously Pat’s a fellow Aussie, so it should be great fun. I just can’t wait to get down there and get out on court.”

The AEGON Masters Tennis runs from the 1st to the 6th of December at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The tournament uses a round-robin format, with all players playing at least three matches each. Each day of the tournament, except the final Sunday, features two sessions – an afternoon session starting at 1pm and an evening session starting at 7.30pm. All sessions will feature a combination of singles and doubles matches. The event is the final tournament in 2009 on the ATP Champions Tour – a circuit of former World Number One tennis players, Grand Slam singles finalists and Davis Cup winners.

For more information, visit: http://www.aegonmasterstennis.com/

For tickets, go to: http://www.aegonmasterstennis.com/tickets.asp