Wimbledon Preview: Nadal to beat Federer in final
Sometimes it depends on who wants it more.
Returning from injury, Roger Federer wanted it more in the Australian Open final, where he stormed back from 1-3 down in the fifth set to his friendly rival Rafael Nadal. Roger had something to prove by winning. Rafa didn’t.
That’s why Nadal wants it more at Wimbledon. He knows he should have beat Federer in Melbourne. Never mind the losses to Federer at Indian Wells and Miami finals. Nadal rolled through the clay season, winning Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Roland Garros.
Nadal’s in better recent form than Federer, who skipped the clay season, lost early in Stuttgart then won Halle over a relatively weak field. Nadal has the confidence of whipping Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem and everybody else in Paris. He perhaps feels that Roger was afraid to play him on clay this year.
That should give Rafa the confidence to win Wimbledon, despite recent struggles on grass. Rafa is serving better than ever — up the middle, into the body or out wide — and his backhand has become a trusty weapon. He’s also a great net rusher and volleyer, if he needs to beat Federer to the punch.
Rafa’s problem earlier this year was hitting tight, short forehands into Federer’s improved backhand in Melbourne and the US events. Rafa fixed that glitch on clay and gave sluggers like Thiem and Wawrinka little to attack. If Rafa can continue that form, he’s going to hoist the trophy again at the AELTC.
(words and images by Christopher Johnson, Globalite Media all rights reserved)