Wimbledon 2013 preview
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Is this the greatest era in men’s tennis? It certainly feels like it. But are the Federer-Nadal, Djokovic-Nadal and Djokovic-Murray rivalries of bygone years as good as it will ever get? Well, consider this: the upcoming Wimbledon will be the first Grand Slam since last year’s Australian Open to be contested by the best four athletes in the game - all at the same time. Yes, injuries to Rafael Nadal and then Andy Murray have interrupted the four-way duel that has had men’s tennis in a stranglehold for as long as memory can remember. But now they are back – and each with their fair chance of going all the way. Nadal, fresh off a record eighth French Open victory, has proved what we always knew deep down: that no injury – no matter how bad – can keep the Spaniard from winning major titles. His chances may be smaller on the greens of SW19 – while it is unclear how his knees will survive a second best-of-five set tournament in succession – but the 27-year-old’s incredible competitiveness means he is always in the running. Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, was a whisker away from dethroning Nadal at Roland Garros and – as reigning world number one – is the most consistent player in the world. Already with an Australian Open title to his name in 2013, the Serb will relish the chance to reclaim the trophy he won in 2011. And then there is Murray – the home favourite - whose recent Grand Slam record reads Runner-up, Winner, Runner-up. Despite the possibility of the Scot meeting Nadal as early as the quarter-finals, the Olympic gold medallist and Queen’s club champion undoubtedly has what it takes to finally win Wimbledon. And last but never least, Mr Roger Federer – last year’s champion and 17-time Grand Slam winner. He went without a title for the first five months of the season and suffers from ongoing back trouble, yet the Swiss has blossomed since switching to grass, winning his 13th title on the green surface in Halle. But Federer does look vulnerable. The manner of his defenceless French Open exit to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will worry those with a penchant for the 31-year-old’s grace and charm. The Swiss is almost certain to reach his 37th consecutive Slam quarter final but is the prospect of winning an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon enough to propel him to ultimate glory? The resurgence of the women’s game
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