Andy Murray is back at Wimbledon to defend his Men’s Singles Champion title. Player and pundit Tim Henman talks us through the players Murray will have to beat to bring the trophy home a second time…
Best Wimbledon: Champion 2008, 2010
He’s number one in the world and was in great form to win at the French Open. Can he go on to victory at Wimbledon? It’s difficult – no one expected Nadal to go out in the first round last year. You only get a fortnight to recover and that’s why it’s great that from next year Wimbledon will start a week later. You absolutely cannot write off Nadal, he’s a serious contender. I’d be very surprised if this year’s winner was not Nadal, Djokovic, Federer or Murray.
Best Wimbledon: Champion 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
A lot of people might write him off but I think this is Federer’s chance. He played well at the Australian Open, losing in the semis to Nadal. In April he made it to the final of the Monte Carlo Masters. Grass is the toughest surface to defend on and that affects a lot of the top players – but not Federer, because his game is so attacking.
Best Wimbledon: Champion 2011
Djokovic has been playing fantastically well this year and is ranked number two. He was particularly strong at the Rome Masters, beating Nadal to win. Of course, he then lost to him in the final of the French but he’s a proven winner on grass and I think he has to go into Wimbledon as the one to beat. He’s an incredible athlete with a very solid all-round game.
Best Wimbledon: Secound round 2011, 20112, 2013
He’s not such a big name but he’s really improved in recent months. He lost to Ivo Karlovic in the first round of the French open, but that isn’t a reflection of how strong he is at the moment. He started the year ranked 23 and is now 13. It’s a massive climb and if he’s on form, he could do really well at Wimbledon.
Best Wimbledon: Champion 2013
2014 has been difficult for Murray as he’s had to come back from his back surgery, but he’s definitely moving in the right direction. He was disappointed to lose to Nadal in the French Open semi-finals, but he’s as good as anyone on grass. He should go into Wimbledon feeling relaxed and excited about returning to the place of his greatest success. It must be a huge honour to walk out onto Centre Court on the first Monday as defending champion.
Best of the rest:
The Austrian lost to Murray in Rotterdam early this year but put up a really good fight. It’s going to be interesting to see how he adapts to grass but he’s an interesting outsider to watch.
The Polish number one has gone off the boil a bit this year but he had a great run at last year’s tournament, reaching the semi-finals. His game has got so much fire power that he’s always a threat.
John Isner and Ivo Karlovic
These two — American and Croatian respectively — are always going to be dangerous on grass because they’re tall and have powerful serves.