Stars Set Scene at Wimbledon

Published On June 24, 2013 | By Francesca Pelletier

It seems like the French Open final was just yesterday, but now it’s time to turn to the grass and watch the greatest in tennis go head-to-head at Wimbledon. Rafael Nadal is already out, but there are plenty of other strong contenders to keep an eye on. Here’s a look at some of the top players to watch.

Novak Djokovic

Wimbledon Titles: 1

Last Year’s Result: Lost in semifinals to Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6

What’s at stake this year: Djokovic, who has not been on the court since the French Open, has a friendly draw as he will not have to face No. 2 Andy Murray or No. 3 Roger Federer until the finals.  The Serbian star has lost some momentum from his breakout year in 2011, but his easy draw might pave the way for him to capture his second Wimbledon trophy. A Djokovic win would be emotional after the recent death of his first and beloved coach, Jelena Gencic.

Roger Federer

Wimbledon Titles: 7

Last Year’s Result: Champion, beat Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4

What’s at stake this year: No player in Wimbledon history has ever won as many consecutive titles as Federer. He is a fan favorite year after year and he has the hardware to prove it. The devoted veteran enters the competition as the defending champion and will look to take home his eighth championship, but Federer has not played his best tennis this year. Before winning the title at the 28-man Wimbledon tune-up in Halle, Germany earlier this month, Federer had not won a single event this year. Perhaps the best tennis of his year has yet to be played and Federer is simply saving it for the Wimbledon lawn.

Andy Murray

Wimbledon Titles: 0

Last Year’s Result: Lost in final to Federer, 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 4-6

What’s at stake this year: The native son of the tournament, Murray looks to finally capture the title this year on the strength of his end-of-year success in 2012. The British star won both Olympic gold and the U.S. Open, marking his first title on Wimbledon grass and his first Grand Slam win. However, since losing to Djokovic in the finals of the Australian Open, Murray has not been at his best. The injury bug had Murray battling against a great deal of back pain for much of the spring and eventually led to his withdrawal at the French Open. But if Murray is healthy and can capture the title, he would be the first British native to do so since Fred Perry did it in 1936.

David Ferrer

Wimbledon Titles: 0

Last Year’s Result: Lost in quarterfinals to Murray, 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 4-6, 6-7(4)

What’s at stake this year: Having reached his first Grand Slam final at this year’s French Open, Ferrer should enter the tournament with the utmost confidence.  The Spaniard, who battled against Rafael Nadal in the finals at Roland Garros just two weeks ago, did not drop a set the entire tournament until facing Nadal. Despite the end result, Ferrer regained the world No. 4 spot from Nadal after earning more points this season, and with Nadal already out at Wimbledon, this year will be Ferrer’s golden opportunity to make a name for himself on grass.

Maria Sharapova

Wimbledon Titles: 1

Last Year’s Result: Lost in fourth round to Sabine Lisicki, 4-6, 3-6

What’s at stake this year: Sharapova has definitely proved herself on and off the court these days. Her 2013 year has been marked by a No. 3 World ranking and a couple of small scene victories. But Sharapova has not won a major since winning the French Open last year, and she may have opened up a can of worms for herself at Wimbledon with her verbal jabs at Serena Williams. If the two women face each other on grass, it will be very interesting to see how that match unfolds.

Serena Williams

Wimbledon Titles: 5

Last Year’s Result: Champion, beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 5-7, 6-2

What’s at stake this year: Since the year 2000, only three women aside from Serena or Venus Williams have captured a Wimbledon title. Battling back from a serious injury, Serena is entering the tournament with not only a No. 1 seed, but also a nearly perfect record this year. With her French Open win just weeks ago, Williams has won almost as many tournaments (6) as she has dropped sets (10). Williams has solidified herself as the favorite to win the tournament, and with her current off the court feud with Sharapova, Williams will have even more motivation to take care of business.

Sloane Stephens

Wimbledon Titles: 0

Last Year’s Result: Lost in third round to Lisicki, 6-7 (7), 6-1, 2-6

What’s at stake this year: Sharapova is not the only competitor in the tournament this year that has made a few comments about tournament favorite Williams. The 20-year-old Stephens, who beat Williams at the Australian Open, opened up about her relationship with Williams this year after her astounding victory, saying Serena stopped talking to her after she lost to Stephens. But the young star has struggled since her Australian Open Victory, and she will look to regain a position at this year’s Wimbledon to take down Williams again.

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