Djokovic and Nadal are chasing the title at Wimbledon

Djokovic and Nadal are chasing the title at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are leading the title race at Wimbledon, where eight-time champion Roger Federer, the world’s top two players and favorite standings will be missing.

Djokovic is vying for the seventh title at the All England Club to reach the same level as the great American Pete Sampras.

Nadal, fresh from his 14th French Open victory and an extensive 22nd league record, is halfway to the first men’s Grand Slam calendar in more than half a century.

The third Slam tournament of the season has already caused political upheaval even before the first ball was served on Monday.

The decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players after the invasion of Ukraine means that there is no place for the number one in the world Daniil Medvedev or the eighth in the ranking Andrey Rublev.

Both the ATP and the WTA, which control the men’s and women’s tours, reacted by deducting ranking points from the tournament.

For the first time since his debut in 1999 – despite being canceled by Covid in 2020 – Federer will not be appearing as the 40-year-old recovers from knee surgery.

Also missing is Germany’s world number two Alexander Zverev, who suffered a serious ankle injury in a horrific injury in the French Open semifinal against Nadal.

However, Medvedev and Zverev never shone at Wimbledon, with neither player making it to the fourth round.

Djokovic and Nadal, in third and fourth place, are the top seed which means that if they are to face each other for the 60th time, they can only be in the final.

– “I love Wimbledon” –

Djokovic, the champion in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2021, could play in the last Slam of the year.

His refusal to be vaccinated is likely to exclude him from the US Open later this year.

A scary defeat in the quarterfinals by Nadal at the French Open, which led to the ouster of the champion in Paris, will probably give extra motivation.

Nadal won the last of his two Wimbledon titles in 2010, having won his first with an epic victory over Federer two years earlier.

The 36-year-old Spaniard arrives at Wimbledon with the Australian and French Open secured.

He is halfway to becoming only the third man – and first since Rod Laver in 1969 – to complete a calendar Grand Slam.

Nadal has endured a bittersweet relationship with Wimbledon.

Two titles were accompanied by three lost finals as well as absences due to injuries in 2004, 2009, 2016 and 2021.

It remains a question mark about his endurance for the two weeks at Wimbledon after playing the entire French Open with his annoying left foot anesthetic.

Nadal has since undergone a course of radiofrequency stimulation, a treatment aimed at reducing nerve pain in his leg.

“I love Wimbledon,” Nadal said. “I had a lot of success there. A player like me, I’m always ready to play at Wimbledon.”

– Beretini is waiting –

In the event of a fall for Djokovic or Nadal, then Italian Matteo Beretini, second to Djokovic in last year’s final, would be the most likely beneficiary.

The world number 11, Berrettini, won consecutive titles on the meadow in Stuttgart and Queen’s.

“I do not know if I am the favorite, as Novak and Rafa (Nadal) are always there; Rafa has already won two Slams and no one expected him to win in Australia,” said Beretini, 26. Wimbledon Opportunities.

“I do not feel I am the favorite, but I know I can do it, I can not pull the hair out of people’s eyes.”

Of the remaining top 10, French Open runner-up Casper Ruud lost in the first round to his two previous trips to Wimbledon.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has fallen to the first hurdle three times in four, while the Spanish teen star Carlos Alcaraz made his debut in the main draw only in 2021, reaching the second round.

Felix Auger-Aliassime reached the last eight last year, while 10th in the standings Hubert Hurkacz, the grass champion at Halle last weekend, was a semifinalist in 2021.

On the way, the Polish player defeated Federer in the quarterfinals which was the last appearance of the Swiss star on the tour.

dj / bsp

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