STARNBERG, May 21, 2019
The clay court season isn’t usually the time to weigh up the prospects of grass court contenders, but it’s that time of the season where contenders are starting to make their prospects heard. For World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who has won three Grand Slams in a row and remains on course to make it four in a row on the clay of Roland Garros, it’s Wimbledon where his chances of reaching Roger Federer’s record Grand Slam tally might get within his grasp.
Arguably playing the best tennis of life, Djokovic after post-2017 surgery has been a force. His destruction of world number two Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 was underlined by the fact he had so few unforced errors. He looks very much like a man on a mission to overhaul Federer.
A new breed of Wimbledon rivals
The top three of Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer have led the game for an entire generation. While Andy Murray inserted himself into the conversation for a while, his best days look behind him. So too for Federer, who hasn’t reached a semi-final in a Grand Slam since winning his 20th Grand Slam in Australia in 2018. It seems likely that Djokovic’s main threat will come from a new group of young players.
At just 20 years of age the precocious, talented Greek has already broken into the Top 10 and picked up two ATP titles along the way. He took the scalp of Federer in the Australian Open earlier this year and Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Kevin Anderson and Dominic Thiem en route to the final of the Rogers Cup in Toronto last year to 2018 as the ATP Most Improved Player of The Year.
It seem like an eternity since the last Austrian dominated the tennis world, but Thiem certainly has the air of the next Thomas Muster. At World No. 4 and aged 25 he is in the prime of his life, ready to challenge the very best. His latest title in Barcelona came at the expense of home favourite Nadal and he denied Federer a sixth title at Indian Wells in March proving he is capable of upsetting the best on their favourite surfaces.
Current World No. 3 is this 22 year old German. While his 2019 form has dipped somewhat, he has collected nine ATP titles in the last two seasons. Notably taking down both Federer and Djokovic in the ATP finals in London late last year.
While Medvedev isn’t yet on the same page as Thiem, Tsitsipas or Zverev when it comes to wins, he is certainly one of the players in the same kind of mould Djokovic found himself in at the start of his career. A defeat in the ATP Masters 1000 event in Barcelona in the final against Thiem is his closest yet and a win looks increasingly likely this season which could raise his belief for a lot more.
The latest Wimbledon odds available for one of these players to make a Grand Slam breakthrough at Rizk are generous: Zverev (13.50), Tsitsipas (23.00), Thiem (51.00), Medvedev (67.00). In addition to its sportsbook another option is to play the 500 online casino games available, where Rizk has a commitment to transparency and fairness in their deposit bonuses and free spins.
For many tennis fans, it looks certain that Djokovic’s fitness, form and desire remain head and shoulders above his peers right now and 20 Grand Slam titles are within his reach. If he is to be stopped, it could be by one of these four young players itching to follow in his footsteps at the summit of the World Rankings.