It’s not about the money
Originally published on: 19/06/13 00:00
The prestige of victory at one of sport’s most famous tournaments is what is so coveted and with history on the line and a number of talented players in with a fighting chance of hoisting the trophies aloft, this summer at SW19 promises to be special.
On the men’s side, Roger Federer will be looking to call yet another record his own. The Swiss is currently tied with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw on seven Wimbledon titles but if he can defend his crown he will become the first man to win eight golden trophies at the All England Club.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion has endured a disappointing opening half to the season, failing to reach a final in the first five months, but once grass is underfoot the fans, the players, and – most importantly – Federer, know who’s boss.
Standing in his way will be last year’s beaten finalist Andy Murray. At Wimbledon, the Scot has either improved or equalled his results each year and after coming closer than any Brit in 74 years to capturing the title in 2012, the 26-year-old will be hungry for his own taste of history come early July.
Former champions Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will be hoping to spoil both home hopes and record-breaking attempts. The Serb, who won the title in 2011, has reached the semi-finals or better at the last 12 Grand Slams and will arrive in London as the favourite, while Nadal proved with his remarkable comeback from injury that his willpower trumps any lingering weakness in his knees. He too will pose a serious threat for the title.
On the women’s side, the Williams sisters have made Centre Court their own over the course of the last decade and Serena will be odds-on to defend her title, which would bring her tally in London to six and the family’s to 11.
The 2004 champion Maria Sharapova and Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka will be ready to pounce on any signs of weakness from the 16-time major winner, while Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova will fancy their chances at making surprise runs deep into the second week once more.
For our complete Championships preview, featuring an exclusive interview with three-time champion Boris Becker, form guide, stats and a spotlight on British hopes at Wimbledon, get your hands on a copy of our July issue. Subscribe before the end of June quoting the code THP13 and you will receive a double-sided limited edition A2 poster featuring Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.