It’s grass court season, baby. The oldest tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon, gets underway tonight at 8pm AEDT from London. Get the strawberries & cream ready, chuck your best white outfit on and catch all the action on Channel 7, 7TWO or on your favourite device with 7plus. We are going to be doing a full preview of the tournament, as well as looking at Australia’s best hopes for singles glory…. #furthestaussie
World no. 1 Novak Djokovic and World no. 5 Angelique Kerber were the 2018 champions at the All England Club. Novak heads into this year’s edition as the sole favourite at $2.40, meanwhile Kerber comes in as the 4th favourite at $10.
The Big 3
There’s 3 things certain in life – death, taxes and the big 3. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal continue to dominate the ATP Tour. Between them, they have won 53 of the past 64 majors, stretching back to Federer’s first ever Wimbledon triumph in 2003 (including the last 10 grand slams). It’s tough to see anyone outside of those 3 names challenging for the title at this years Wimbledon.
If there is a challenge, it is likely to come from the big servers on tour. Name’s such as Marin Cilic, John Isner, Kevin Anderson and Milos Raonic should be heading to the second week. Of the new generation coming through, Greek seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas should make a run, while Canadian youngster Felix-Auger Aliassime will be there or thereabouts. But, our dark horse to watch on the men’s side hails from Italy. Form on grass is huge, and there’s no one more red hot at the moment than Matteo Berrettini – watch this space.
It’s a completely different story in the WTA, with 9 different winners at the past 10 grand slams meaning your guess is as good as ours. Naomi Osaka’s reign as world no. 1 was ended by our home-grown favourite – Ash Barty. Her maiden grand slam win at Roland Garros was monumental, and has placed her at the centre of Australia’s hopes for singles glory at Wimbledon 2019. Second favourite to Barty is Karolina Pliskova, who heads into the event in fine form after taking out the Eastbourne title. 2 time champion and 2019 Australian Open finalist, Petra Kvitova, should also figure prominently in the latter stages of the tournament.
Serena To Catch Court?
37 year old, Serena Williams, heads into Wimbledon chasing Margaret Court as the all time leader in Grand Slam Singles titles (24). If she triumphs in London, Serena would draw level with Court, and surely head into her home slam in New York as a favourite to set a record of 25 Grand Slams… and then sail off into the sunset as the undisputed GOAT.
There are 13 Australian singles players suiting up in the 1st round at Wimbledon.
Former junior champion at Wimbledon, Ashleigh Barty, brings her feared slice backhand and phenomenal serve to London and looks primed to make it 2 Grand Slam victories in a row.
Ajla Tomljanovic and Sam Stosur have winnable first rounds. So does Australia’s biggest improver in recent times – Astra Sharma. The 23 year old medicine graduate is making her debut at the All England Club, and could upset seeded player Sofia Kenin. Arina Rodionova did well to come through qualifying and has a chance to progress further against Taylor Townsend. Daria Gavirolova, however, is having a year to forget with injury and has drawn 8th seed Elina Svitolina.
Alex De Minaur has had a tougher go of things in 2019. Injuries and a lack of form have meant Alex has had to adjust to life after his breakthrough year. If he finds form, he should push past Marco Cecchinato in the first round.
The most polarising Aussie, Nick Kyrgios, takes on fellow Aussie Jordan Thompson in the first round. Jordan has had a fantastic year after finding form on the challenger circuit. Nick won’t want to lose to his countrymen, and should turn it on with the serve when he needs to. Past that, we actually think he has a genuine chance to take out Rafael Nadal in the 2nd round. Are we crazy?
Bernard Tomic has a tough first assignment against Jo Wilfried Tsonga, but John Millman and Matt Ebden have genuine chances to progress into the latter rounds. The latter particularly loves the grass, and should account for Diego Schwartzman. Alexei Popyrin will likely take out former top 10 player, Pablo Carreno-Busta.
Our pick for the Australian that will go the furthest at Wimbledon 2019? See below.
Women’s Singles and #furthestaussie –
Men’s Singles –
Heart says Roger Federer
Head says Novak Djokovic
Take your pick.