When Federer walks on Centre Court in hopes of winning another Wimbledon title, he’ll be relying on that same serve that capably lifted him past Safin. He’ll also be counting on his love affair with playing on grass and his steadfast confidence.
I’m sure a lot of tennis fans are wondering what kind of title match they’re in for on Sunday. Will it be a wipe-out like Nadal over Federer in the French Open final a month ago? Or will it be a tightly-contested, hold-your-breath, sit-on-the-edge of-your-seat classic?
Well, I can tell tennis fans this: If it becomes unfortunate to see a similar one-sided final to the one at Roland Garros in early June, it’s not Nadal who will likely be inflicting the punishment. After all, Wimbledon is played on grass and it’s hard to forget that Federer’s been the king of the lawns over the last five years.
My feeling is we’re going to be treated to a close five-set battle between two stars gunning for this year’s title deed to Centre Court.
Here’s one thing I write without hesitation: I truly believe that Sunday’s mens’ showdown is the most anticipated Wimbledon final since the two championship matchups between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe in the early 1980s. Borg won his fifth in a row with a five-set victory over McEnroe in 1980. McEnroe won the first of his three Wimbledon titles with a four-set victory over Borg in 1981.
The Federer-Nadal final could justly be billed as the heavyweight championship of mens’ tennis. And the odds-makers have not been leaning one way or the other like I have in my bold prediction — they say it’s even money on the match. Don’t buy that as the time has come for Nadal to put his name in the record books as a grass genius.
After 16 consecutive years of always showing up at Wimbledon, winning five titles along the way, Venus Williams pulled out of the grass-court Grand Slam tournament Tuesday, citing a lower back injury.
Take a look at all of the Wimbledon women's singles champions in the Open era.
Scenes from Down Under
Check out the best images from the 2013 Australian Open.
The best of Wimbledon
The best images from the Grand Slam tournament at the All-England Club.
French Open 2012: Top 10 Shots
June 10, 2012: John McEnroe, Ted Robinson, and Mary Carillo look back at the Top Ten best moments from the 2012 French Open.
Without a Wimbledon championship
Take a look at the best tennis players never to win at the All England Club
Men's singles champions
See all of the men who have hoisted the singles trophy at the All England Club.
June 23-July 6