Eight players to watch at Wimbledon

June 18, 2011
EIGHT to watch

The 125th edition of Wimbledon gets underway Monday at the All England Club. On the men’s side, it’s difficult to imagine anyone outside the
top four seeds winning the title, given how well they’ve been playing. The women’s field, by contrast, is rife with uncertainty. Here are the key players:

MEN

Rafael Nadal (1)

Age: 25

Birthplace: Manacor, Spain

Grand Slam titles: 10

Wimbledon titles: 2 (2008, 2010)

2011 record: 45-7

A contender because: The two-time and defending champion should be rested and fit following his sixth French Open triumph.

Novak Djokovic (2)

Age: 24

Birthplace: Belgrade, Serbia

Grand Slam titles: 2

Wimbledon titles: 0

2011 record: 41-1

A contender because: The Serb has played the best tennis of his career this year, displaying a mental resolve to match his prodigious talent.

Roger Federer (3)

Age: 29

Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland

Grand Slam titles: 16

Wimbledon titles: 6 (2003-07, 09)

2011 record: 34-8

A contender because: Grass is the Swiss master’s canvas. He’s out to prove that neither his No. 3 seed nor looming 30th birthday is a factor.

Andy Murray (4)

Age: 24

Birthplace: Dunblane, Scotland

Grand Slam titles: 0

Wimbledon titles: 0

2011 record: 22-8

A contender because: Yet to win a major, the Scot dismantled Andy Roddick en route to winning this month’s grass-court tune-up at Queen’s.

WOMEN

Caroline Wozniacki (1)

Age: 20

Birthplace: Odense, Denmark

Grand Slam titles: 0

Wimbledon titles: 0

2011 record: 45-8

A contender because: The hardest worker in women’s tennis, Wozniacki could silence skeptics by bolstering her No. 1 ranking with a major title.

Li Na (3)

Age: 29

Birthplace: Wuhan, China

Grand Slam titles: 1

Wimbledon titles: 0

2011 record: 27-9

A contender because: On the heels of her French Open title, China’s first Grand Slam singles champion is confident, fit and mentally strong.

Maria Sharapova (5)

Age: 24

Birthplace: Nyagan, Russia

Grand Slam titles: 3

Wimbledon titles: 1 (2004)

2011 record: 26-7

A contender because: The former No. 1 reached the semis of the French and is the only non-Williams in the field to have won Wimbledon.

Serena Williams (7)

Age: 29

Birthplace: Saginaw, Mich.

Grand Slam titles: 13

Wimbledon titles: 4 (2002-03, 2009-10)

2011 record: 1-1

A contender because: Despite two foot surgeries, a pulmonary embolism and an 11-month hiatus, the former No. 1 has unrivaled power.

— Liz Clarke

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