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Saturday 2 July 2011

Gladiators to fight it out on grass

The Wimbledon 2011 final will be a cracker of a contest. More so, in the light of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic swapping their titles of World No.1 and 2 respectively a day before their `Battle Royale'.

Djokovic had an incredible run this year till the French Open semi-final where Federer spoiled his party before succumbing to the eventual winner, Nadal. Till then, Djokovic won everything that came his way including two back-to-back victories over Nadal on clay (Nadal’s favorite surface) at ATP Masters in Rome and Madrid.

Going by current form and as the newly crowned World No.1, Djokovic is the favorite to lift the trophy on Sunday and if he does this will be his first Wimbledon title.

Djokovic has never been in a Wimbledon final though he has made it to the semi-finals couple of times. In 2007, Djokovic lost (retired hurt) to Nadal trailing by 2 sets to 1 and in 2010 he lost to Thomas Berdych in three straight sets.

Djokovic’s overall grand slam win percentage stands at 50. Till date, he has appeared in 4 finals. While he won two Australian Open titles {against Tsonga (’08) and Murray (’11)}, he lost two US Open Finals {to Federer (’07) and Nadal (’10)}.

Nadal on the other hand has made it to the Wimbledon finals 5 times including 2011 and has won and lost the title 2 times each and has never lost to Djokovic at Wimbledon.

Nadal’s overall grand slam win percentage stands at a staggering 83.33%. Nadal is appearing in his 13th grand slam final in which he will bid for his 11th major title and third at Wimbledon.

While Nadal is struggling a bit on the fitness front, Djokovic’s temperament is not at the same level as it was before the French Open 2011. The new tag of No.1 may also add to the pressure in addition to being in his first Wimbledon final.

However, both of them hate to lose and will come hard at each other especially Nadal, having lost his No.1 ranking. It will be no less exciting than Gladiators fighting it out at a mini Colosseum with grass surface.

Like any other Tennis fan, I just can’t wait to see when the Chair Umpire announces `Play'.

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