Wimbledon 2013: Vision’s predictions


It’s that time of year again. The British public are captivated by a fortnight of world class tennis as Wimbledon, the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament, gets underway. For the first time in a year, the full contingent of the men’s ‘big four’ will participate in a Grand Slam, and this has divided opinion on who will claim the trophy. The main talking point so far has been Rafael Nadal’s fifth seed, with the result being a potential quarter-final date with arch-rival and defending champion Roger Federer. Once again, British hopes rest on Andy Murray to end the 77-year wait for a champion and half of our pundits expect him to prevail. Meanwhile, in the women’s draw, everyone agrees that Serena Williams will defend her Wimbledon crown given her tremendous recent form, but are undecided on where her main challenger will come from. But one thing is for certain – a fortnight of glorious tennis awaits us all.

Dave Washington – Editor

andyMen’s champion: Andy Murray

Patriotic favouritism? Not at all; I honestly believe Murray has an excellent chance of winning Wimbledon this year. He’s a better player than 12 months ago, and goes into the tournament well rested after missing the French Open and in form after prevailing at Queen’s. His draw isn’t bad either, with the first potential test coming in the quarter-finals against Tsonga. Nadal or Federer then await in the semis, but a gruelling five-set epic between those two could play into Murray’s hands. It won’t be easy, but the opportunity is there to end the wait for a British Wimbledon champion.

delpo croppedDark horse: Juan Martin Del Potro

The person who has benefited most from the draw is the number 8 seed Del Potro. The Argentine has the power game to see off the threat of Dimitrov and Nishikori, as well as to beat David Ferrer in the quarter-finals. A former US Open winner, Del Potro has the proven ability to beat the top players, and however unlikely it is, he could well be worth a bet to be crowned Wimbledon champion.


serena croppedWomen’s champion: Serena Williams

It really is hard to look past Serena Williams in the women’s game. The defending champion and five-time winner at SW19, Williams is still going strong despite being 31, and is in top form after her recent victory at the French Open. A kind draw as well appears to have been granted to her, and you struggle to find anyone in women’s tennis who can match her for sheer power and determination to win. She is the clear favourite, but you never know – it only takes one bad day and you’re out of the tournament. The problem is those bad days are a rarity.

Caroline-Wozniacki-Wimbledon-78882[1]Dark horse: Caroline Wozniaki

Women’s tennis is so much more open than the men’s game, and you feel there are a large number of talented ladies who have the ability to reach at least the semi-finals. My tip is Caroline Wozniaki, a player who seems to be gradually returning to form after a difficult 2012. It’s hard to believe that Wozniaki is only 22 but she has already won 20 WTA Singles titles. However, she is still missing an elusive Grand Slam. Wozniaki has never quite delivered in the major tournaments, only reaching one final, but the ability is undoubtedly there. Her draw is not easy, but this could be the time when she re-emerges as one of the dominant forces in women’s tennis.

James Scott – Deputy Editor

nadal croppedMen’s champion: Rafael Nadal

Counter-intuitively, I think that the winner will emerge from the tougher half of the men’s draw. In modern tennis, the eventual champion often has at least one tough match prior to the semi-finals which helps them play into form. Nadal has been quite simply the dominant player this year, reaching the final in every tournament he has entered and accumulating 2000 more ranking points than his closest rival. However he can only be marginal favourite; the differences are so small between the top players that it will come down to the playing conditions and how they perform.

delpo croppedDark horse: Juan Martin Del Potro

The only potential dark horse is Juan Martin Del Potro because he has a better run and won’t play one of the top players until the semi finals. He is the only top 10 player to win a Grand Slam title outside of the ‘big four’ and the Argentinian knows how to get the job done. On his day, Del Potro is a match for anyone else in the world and with a decent draw he has an outside chance of reaching the final. He is a greater threat than Ferrer, but to be honest I don’t see it possible that the winner won’t come from the top four.

serena croppedWomen’s champion: Serena Williams

I can’t see past Serena, five times champion already, on a 31 match winning streak and fresh off the back of a French Open triumph. Serena’s only weakness is her inconsistency. She’s no Roger Federer, able to perform to an immensely high standard, match after match, year after year.  She quite often suffers surprising early losses in slams, before she has properly clicked into gear. However, on her favourite surface and on her current form this is an unlikely prospect. If Serena were to fall, expect Maria Sharapova or Victoria Azarenka to pick up the pieces.

kvitova croppedDark horse: Petra Kvitova

An outside bet would be for Petra Kvitova to regain her form that took her to the 2011 title, Kvitova seems to have somewhat declined since her surprise triumph, and her mental game seems to be the primary issue. However if she regains some of the magic on grass she could be a real danger. Also look out for Tsvetana Pironkova. The Bulgarian, pretty much the last of the grass court specialists has an uncanny ability to hit form at the Championships having done virtually nothing the rest of the year.


Jack Bradshaw – Former Deputy Editor

fed cropped 2Men’s champion: Roger Federer

Time and again, we underestimate old Roger at our peril. Last year, he was easily beaten by Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals and most pundits reckoned he would struggle at SW19. Oh how wrong we were. This tournament may be his toughest assignment yet, because he could face all three of Nadal, Murray and Djokovic. Nevertheless, he comes into the tournament with a Halle title under his belt and, ultimately, his status as the best grass court player in the world remains intact. Fed fans will also be praying for rain, because he’s unbeatable under the roof.

dan brandsDark horse: Daniel Brands

Don’t be surprised if this unpredictable package sends a top seed on the early train home. The German thumps the ball harder than anyone and won a set against Nadal in the French Open. On the lawns of Wimbledon, his powerful serve and forehand combination will win plenty of cheap points, but he needs to protect his weaker backhand to succeed. The world no.56 is similar to Nadal’s 2012 nemesis, Lukas Rosol, in that his performances are either brilliant or lamentable. Could face Berdych in the second round – I smell an upset.

serena croppedWomen’s champion: Serena Williams

I would like to think someone could beat Serena but I can’t see it happening – especially after the withdrawal of Svetlana Kuznetsova. She is probably the greatest women’s player of all time and, saving her best tennis into her 30s, she will go on to win multiple more Grand Slams. Her first serve is as powerful as some of the guys; indeed her average speed is roughly the same as David Ferrer. What more can I say? She might play badly enough to lose one set, but two? No chance.

Russia's Maria Kirilenko celebrates herDark horse: Maria Kirilenko

The 26-year-old Russian is playing the best tennis of her career and a maiden Grand Slam semi-final appearance is surely just around the corner. She reached the quarter-finals last year, only to lose in three very close sets to eventual finalist, Agnieszka Radwańska. Kirilenko’s game suits grass because she is excellent at the net and moves extremely well – she will be a handful for anybody.


Miles Kravitz – The Tipster

djokoMen’s champion: Novak Djokovic

I’m sorry but for me Djokovic wins this, he’s pure class. The Serb got to the semi-finals last year and lost to the eventual winner, Federer. I was impressed by his effort in the French Open a few weeks ago, losing to clay expert Nadal in a 16 game 5th set semi-final. In addition he is fortunate with being on the other side of the draw to Murray, Nadal and Federer. He carries a good set of recent results, winning in Australia, but Wimbledon is where he really comes to form on the grass. I expect Federer to challenge but think Djokovic is the man to beat this time round.

A-jubilant-Jo-Wilfried-Tsonga[1]Dark horse: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Tsongas is a player who has steadily progressed over the last few years to now be world no.7. Although he won’t reach the final, he’s impressive on grass and is entertaining to watch. He carries some form this year having reached the semi-finals in France and the quarters in Australia. I think he has a good chance of reaching the last four in SW19 this year, like last year, but then becoming unstuck against a higher seeded player.


serena croppedWomen’s champion: Serena Williams

Her sister has pulled out through injury meaning Serena can focus fully on the singles. She won it last year, in 2010 and is the favourite this time round. As for form, she looked impressive at Roland Garros a few weeks ago beating Sharapova quite convincingly in the final. She buckled against a rank outsider in Australian Open quarter-finals, but for me she’s still got the quality to do the job.


shazzaDark horse: Maria Sharapova

She’s one to watch (for obvious reasons), but also seems to have that ‘box office’ effect wherever she goes. People have followed her since she won here as a teenager and, although she has slipped over recent years as brand Sharapova has grown, she’s still a very good tennis player. Form is temporary, class is permanent.



Michael Thurloway – Former Sports Editor

andyMen’s champion: Andy Murray

Murray has had a watershed year. He well and truly put behind him any comparisons with Tim Henman, always the “nearly man” of British tennis, with a Wimbledon final appearance, Olympic gold medal and US Open title, the first grand slam by a Brit for over 70 years. He has justified his place in the “big four” of men’s tennis, with three consecutive grand slam final appearances. With a British crowd behind him at every turn, this is Murray’s year to end the wait for a British winner of the men’s singles at Wimbledon.

03wimbledon2-articleLarge[1]Dark horse: Tomas Berdych

It’s hard to look beyond the “big four,” but if anybody is going to challenge them it could be Berdych. A former Wimbledon finalist, the draw has been kind to Berdych who would have to slip up badly if he is not to make the quarters. A likely match-up with Djokovic would await there, and then Ferrer in the semis. Grass courts often reward players who know how best to play on them, and Berdych’s record suggests he could be the one to cause a surprise.


serena croppedWomen’s champion: Serena Williams

Whether you look at current form, or her record at Wimbledon, there can only be one winner and that is Serena. A unique player in women’s tennis, it seems like Serena can turn on the style at will. When she has her head in the game she is literally unstoppable, as we saw at the French Open. Add that to the fact that Williams always comes into Wimbledon fully prepared and ready to challenge, and it creates a worrying sign for the rest of the women’s game.

Caroline-Wozniacki-Wimbledon-78882[1]Dark horse: Caroline Wozniacki

Beyond Serena, the women’s game is ridiculously open, making it extremely difficult to pick a dark horse. The competition is Serena’s to lose, but if she slips up, then any one of up to 20 players would fancy their chances. Wozniacki has shown some form in the build-up to Wimbledon, with a semi-final appearance at Eastbourne. She has threatened to break through for a while without doing so, and has a particularly average record at SW19. But, just like boyfriend Rory McIlroy from a couple of years back, now cold be her time to make a statement.

Tom Davies – Scene Editor

andyMen’s champion: Andy Murray

Ok, I’ll confess, I have a certain soft spot for the gruff Scot. I think it’s high time that a man who can rival my own world-weary bitterness reached the highest echelons of British sport. But on a serious note, this prediction may be a little more than the standard self-loathing brand of tireless British optimism. Fresh off his success in 2012, Murray looks better than ever, and if he can get past a beleaguered Nadal or Federer off the back of what would be a titanic quarter-final clash, I have a serious inclination to back him in a potential final against Novak Djokovic.

bernard-tomic-490x346[1]Dark horse: Bernard Tomic

I received a tip a while ago from a tennis enthusiast – Daniel Taylor (incidentally now a sports writer for the, ahem, Nottingham Tab) who spotted Tomic when he was little more than a babe in arms, and his trust has certainly not proved unwarranted. A Wimbledon quarter-finalist last year, with a few titles already, at just 20 years of age he certainly seems to enjoy the event. Although young players in tennis can prove erratic in the Grand Slams, his previously strong temperament and an extra year of experience could provide the gifted Tomic the tools to pull off an almighty shock.

serena croppedWomen’s champion: Serena Williams

Oh Serena, you really can’t tip anyone else. As my old man always said “never bet against a woman who can use her thighs to turn your head into puree”. The unstoppable powerhouse that is Serena Williams is as ever the one to beat at Wimbledon, and I would not be surprised if, despite another new crop of talented, skinny blonde women with surnames ending in “-anska” or “-chenko” joining the fray, Serena the Despoiler once again puts them firmly to the sword without so much as breaking a sweat.

Agnieszka-Radwanska-faces-health-issues-in-a-press-conference-Tennis-News-168964[1]Dark horse: Agnieszka Radwanska

Radwanska cuts an unassuming figure in women’s tennis. Her arrival on Centre Court to face off against Serena Williams in last year’s final was met with rousing crowds of “Agn-hang on who” and the early stages of the match certainly seemed to support the hypothesis. Serena looked set at one point to simply pick the slight framed, Radwanska up and use her as a toothpick, taking the first set 6-1. The young Pole was simply lost, but before Williams could break out the mincer and grind Radwanska into organic sausage, she came back, very nearly pipping Serena to the crown. One to watch for certain.

2 thoughts on “Wimbledon 2013: Vision’s predictions

  1. I really think Nadal is the one to watch here, reaching 7 of 9 finals. If there is a Nadal-Federer quarter final then I see Nadal coming through in 4 sets. Murray may be a much better player now, but I don’t think he has yet reached the standard of Nadal and I think that if anyone deserves this crown it’s Nadal! Vamos Rafa

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