Will Nadal & Williams Continue to Dominate at Wimbledon?

Jun 23, 2013 by

One of the reasons we love watching professional tennis is due to the high level of competition and unpredictability, but Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal are threatening this feeling with their dominance with both winning the French Open. Of course, Nadal is expected to face stiff competition at Wimbledon while Williams is the red hot favorite to grab the women’s crown. Both players have lost just 2 out of their last 45 games; Nadal has won 22 straight while Williams has won 31 matches in a row! Nadal has 12 Grand Slam titles while Williams has 16, just 2 behind the women’s record held by Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.

Different Surface, Different Outcome?

Will the king of clay prove to be dominant in the grass arena of Wimbledon?

Will the king of clay prove to be dominant in the grass arena of Wimbledon?

While the French Open was on a clay court, Wimbledon’s grass court presents a whole new challenge. Nadal has won the tournament twice (2008 and 2010), while losing three finals (2006, 2007 and 2011), but is not the favorite this year. He is on another planet on clay having only ever lost 1 match out of 60 in the French Open, where he has scooped 8 titles.

However, while Nadal is the best ever clay court player, he is ‘merely’ world class on grass and was knocked out by #100 world ranked Lukas Rosol in round two last year. In Nadal’s defense, he had an injured knee that kept him out of the sport for 7 months afterwards and rather painfully caused him to miss the Olympic Games and 2 Grand Slam tournaments. This is why he is only world ranked #5. Normally, Nadal likes to play a grass tournament just before Wimbledon, but believes that rest is a better option this time around. He will simply use the practice courts and continue to work on his much improved serve, so don’t write him off.

Serena has a great track record at previous Wimbledons and is poised to take this year's.

Serena has a great track record at previous Wimbledons and is poised to take this year’s.

Williams is in even better form than Nadal and has won 5 Wimbledon Grand Slam titles. Indeed, she is better on grass than on clay and is almost impossible to oppose in England. Her recent French Open triumph was only the second time she has won at Roland Garros, 11 years after her first success. Williams is also dominant on the hard courts with 5 Australian Open titles and 4 US Open wins. If you watched her in Paris and thought her serve was hard to counter, just wait until you see her smash dozens of aces past bemused opponents at Wimbledon, where her serve is much more potent!

She has embarked on a career renaissance after a humiliating first round exit at the French Open in 2012 to an opponent ranked #111. Williams rededicated herself to the sport and has won 74 out of 77 matches since and 3 of the last 4 major tournaments, including a gold medal at last year’s London Olympics.

Far from being content, Williams insists that she continues to seek improvement and may retire the day she feels that her skills start to dip even slightly. Over the years, she has found that skipping warm-up tournaments and saving herself for the big events is the best way to succeed.

As of right now, Williams and Nadal seem unbeatable, but the beauty of tennis is that this state of affairs never seems to last too long.

Image license #1: Creative Commons (view source)
Image license #2: Creative Commons (view source)

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