Tak­ing the lawn view

Ser­ena’s Grand Slam bid and Mur­ray’s home run will be among top story lines at Wim­ble­don.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Bill Dwyre bill. dwyre@ latimes. com

LON­DON — The Wim­ble­don story lines came into clearer fo­cus here Satur­day, as many of the lead­ing play­ers met with the media.

Will Ser­ena Wil­liams win a third straight ma­jor ti­tle and put her­self in po­si­tion to win a rare cal­en­dar- year Grand Slam at the U. S. Open?

Andy Mur­ray cau­tioned that Wil­liams, who lost in the third round last year, needs to be care­ful to “not get ahead of her­self.”

Will Scot­land’s Mur­ray drive this place wild with another ti­tle to go with his cel­e­brated 2013 cham­pi­onship and bring on another grand Bri­tish mo­ment?

“I en­joy play­ing in high­pres­sure sit­u­a­tions,” Mur­ray said, in clas­sic, dry, non­com­mit­tal Mur­ray fash­ion.

Will the sud­denly fad­ing Rafael Nadal, the king of clay who is try­ing to win a third ti­tle on his least fa­vorite sur­face ( grass), play above his No. 10 seed­ing?

“On grass, the feel­ing is you have to be fo­cused on all games, on ev­ery point,” Nadal said.

Will Novak Djokovic, the de­fend­ing cham­pion and No. 1 men’s player, be af­fected by his de­ci­sion to play no lead- in grass- court tour­na­ments while the other mem­bers of the Big Four, Roger Fed­erer, Mur­ray and Nadal, not only played in them, but won ti­tles.

“I needed the time off with my fam­ily,” Djokovic said, af­ter a Fri­day ex­hi­bi­tion hit- and- gig­gle here.

Will Stan Wawrinka, who up­set Djokovic in the French Open fi­nal, stop prais­ing the es­tab­lished top four and start feel­ing like he’s no longer on the out­side of that group, look­ing in? He is ranked No. 4, af­ter all. Nadal is 10th.

“I think what they have achieved in the last 10 years is amaz­ing,” Wawrinka said, cling­ing to the more com­fort­able out­side im­age, even though he, not Nadal, is seeded fourth here.

Can Fed­erer, the fa­ther of four and just six weeks shy of his 34th birth­day, win an eighth ti­tle here?

“Wim­ble­don comes around quickly,” he said. “You come in with many more doubts.”

Wil­liams, 33, will re­main the top story, un­til she ei­ther loses or wins her sixth Wim­ble­don ti­tle and that third straight ma­jor.

She is seeded No. 1, of course, and her main stum­bling blocks should come from the next three seeded play­ers. They are No. 2 Pe­tra Kvi­tova, last year’s win­ner; No. 3 Si­mon Halep, and No. 4 Maria Shara­pova.

But, in­ter­est­ingly, her tough­est chal­lenge could very well come from her 35year- old sis­ter Venus, also a f ive- time cham­pion here. They could meet in the fourth round. Venus Wil­liams is seeded 16th.

Play be­gins Mon­day and runs through July 12.

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