Djokovic seeks more splen­dor on the grass at Wim­ble­don

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv -

Pe­ruse the list of re­cent men’s Grand Slam win­ners and one stat jumps out: Since 2017, only No­vak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Fed­erer have won sin­gles ti­tles at the Aus­tralian, French and U.S. Opens and Wim­ble­don. And of that so-called “Big Three,” one has dom­i­nated the past year’s Slam play: the man dubbed “Nole.”

Mon­day, July 1, and con­tin­u­ing over the next fortnight on ESPN and ESPN2, Djokovic will de­fend his ti­tle on the grass courts of Lon­don’s All-Eng­land Club as he faces down chal­lenges from Fed­erer, Nadal and a host of up-and-com­ing tal­ent in the 2019 Wim­ble­don Cham­pi­onships.

A win here would give the 32-year-old Serb his fifth Wim­ble­don ti­tle (three away from Fed­erer’s record of eight), his 16th Slam (four short of Fed­erer’s 20) and his fourth Slam cham­pi­onship in the past five, hav­ing claimed vic­to­ries in 2018 at Wim­ble­don and the U.S. Open and in Jan­uary at Mel­bourne.

There was no shame in his only Slam loss, which came last month in Paris. Bat­tling whip­ping winds, Djokovic sim­ply met his match in a good young player on his power game when he was van­quished by Austrian Do­minic Thiem in a hard-fought semi­fi­nal that spanned four hours over two days be­cause of rain. Thiem would then go on to lose in the fi­nal to Nadal, who would claim his record 12th French Open ti­tle.

That loss notwith­stand­ing, Djokovic comes in as the odds-on fa­vorite at Lon­don. A vic­tory would only ce­ment his World No. 1 ranking and his stand­ing as one of ten­nis’ all-time greats.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.