This year’s Wim­ble­don win­ner could be any­one ...

The Wim­bel­don men’s draw is chock a block with pos­si­bil­i­ties this year. The big four are back with Rafa Nadal and Roger Fed­erer in the pound seats. Stan Wawrinka is the usurper among the elite quar­tet as No­vak Djokovic strug­gles with the con­cept of War an

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

Dark horses or good timers: Mi­los Raonic, Marin Cilic, Grigor Dim­itrov, Juan Martin Del Potro, Feli­ciano Lopez

Mi­los Roanic is the sleep­ing gi­ant among the dark horses as last year’s run­ner-up to Andy Mur­ray. Like Mur­ray, he hasn’t had the best sea­son and fell out in round one at Queens, but con­sis­tent per­for­mances at Grand Slams sees him as the ever-present danger man. The big-serv­ing Marin Cilic brings the Go­ran Ivani­se­vic fac­tor to the grass and his thriller dual in the Queens fi­nal with even­tual win­ner, vet­eran Feli­ciano Lopez, who negated the mas­ter blaster with a bit of serve and vol­ley of his own, sees both as silent as­sas­sins for Wim­ble­don. Juan Martin Del Potro will bring on the tears and cheers, in­jury per­mit­ting. There’s noth­ing brit­tle about this Ar­gen­tinian when he starts the dance of pasión. Win or lose, it will be a tear-jerker. Bul­gar­ian Grigor Dim­itrov has learnt some stern lessons this year, the Oz Open semi-fi­nal loss to Roger Fed­erer be­ing one. More im­por­tantly, he re­vealed in that match that he’s got the ca­jones. It’s time for Baby Fed to grow up. You can add the French flair­ers Gael Mon­fils and Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga to this bunch if you’re in it for a good time.

The spe­cial­ists: Giles Muller, Karolovic, Micha Zverev

The dy­ing breed? These ro­man­tics will make a case for the lost art of the serve and vol­ley. Micha reached as far as the quar­ters in Mel­bourne early this year. And he went down sto­ically stick­ing to the serve-and-vol­ley mantra. That’s his game. This time he’s on grass which brings the in­trigue when it comes to the Ger­man. Gilles Muller has been around the block. He reached the semis at Queens and his form through­out the year will leave most hop­ing they don’t have to come across the man from Lux­em­bourg in the draw. The same goes for Ivo Karlovic, at 211cm the tallest ten­nis player in history with many aces up his sleeve.

#Nex­tGen: Alexan­der Zverev, Do­minic Thiem

Not since Fed­erer started sweep­ing up at Wim­ble­don has the ti­tle gone to any­one out­side of the big four elite. But these young ty­ros have come to play, and they don’t bring a knife to a gun­fight. Alex Zverev, 20, has been on fire this sea­son, join­ing No­vak Djokovic as the youngest player to hold a Mas­ters ti­tle when he beat the Serb in the Ital­ian Open fi­nal. He has claimed three tour ti­tles this year and reached the fi­nal in Halle, show­ing his knack for grass, los­ing to, yes, Fed­erer. Thiem, 23, has the one-handed back­hand to ri­val the best of ‘em – yes, Stan (Wawrinka), even you – and he fires base­line mis­siles from any hand all day long. He’s a clay­court spe­cial­ist, the only player to beat Rafael Nadal this year, but his grass­court warm up has been wob­bly. It re­main to be seen if he can adapt to the slick sur­face of SW19. Zverev in par­tic­u­lar, is ready to an­nounce him­self.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.