The new roof on No.1 Court. Final set tie-breaks at 12 all. A ‘sun for days’ weather forecast… This is Wimbledon 2019.
Those who enjoyed the latter stages of Isner-Anderson last year won’t be happy with the measures taken to put a cap on potential serve-bot-athons. In all honesty, such fans deserve no sympathy – we prefer winners resulting from moments of magic, not one player physically outlasting the other in a war of attrition.
Defending champ and tournament favourite Novak Djokovic may have avoided the Fedal half of the draw but still finds himself in a tough quarter regardless – in Round 4 any of Auger-Aliassime/Dimitrov/Monfils represents a toughie as will a likely QF versus Medvedev/Tsitsipas.
Roger Federer is re-writing the tennis record books almost on the weekly these days. No-one has ever notched 100 wins at any of the majors and reaching the SFs at this year’s Wimbledon will get the job done for the old GOAT. Interestingly, if Feds is to fall before the semis (skip to Berrettini tip), this particular ‘first’ could well happen within 12 months anyway – the Swiss Maestro has 97 Australian Open wins and Rafael Nadal is currently sat on 93 Roland Garros wins, a mind-blowingly ridiculous 13th French Open title will put Rafa bang on the century. Such numbers highlight the prolonged dominance of these two.
Newly crowned French Open champ and world no.1 Ash Barty is very much the one to beat right now – she’s always been a threat on grass thanks to a decent serve and vicious slice backhand but now appears to have the confidence to match her game. A tough draw and the rarity of back to back Slam titles in the current era stand in the likable Aussie’s way.
It’s surprising to see Naomi Osaka at such a long price (low 20s). Yes, she’s had a few hiccups lately, not managing to string more than 3 wins together since Melbourne, but we reckon it’ll be another case of Big-Time-Naomi showing up. If you’re after more short-term Osaka gains – north of 1.5 vs Putintseva looks a big price (ignore the result from Birmingham!).
We quite fancy a deep run from Italian Matteo Berrettini at this year’s SW19. The 23-year-old has been improving nicely over the last couple of years and has won 8 of 9 recent grass court matches, including lifting the title in Stuttgart. He just has the small matter of a potential 4th Round clash with Roger Federer to negotiate before it’s really on.
Everyone’s favourite WTA expressionist, Jelena Ostapenko, has made the QFs and SFs of the last 2 Wimbledons. Matching or bettering that performance will rely on her streaky nature of tennis to hit a purple patch – regardless, whether she hits 50 winners or 50 UFEs Penko is worth keeping an eye on for the fist-pumps and eye-rolls alone.