Andy Murray will play no part in Wimbledon this year – and it’s hard now to see how one of four men don’t come out with the gold trophy next week.
The Scottish star has been missing since last year’s Wimbledon, with a hip injury forcing him to have surgery and embark on a long period of rehabilitation that appeared to be nearing an end ahead of what has to be his favourite slam.
Sadly, Murray announced that he was to sit out this year’s event with a ‘heavy heart’, saying it’s too much on his body to play five sets yet.
And with the former world number one and two-time Wimbledon winner out of the competition, you have to consider it a weaker tournament in the men’s category.
Even with his injury issues, he made it to the quarter finals last year, losing to American Sam Querrey in a five-setter. So Murray is a threat regardless of form or fitness. His absence must have came as a boost to those who fancy their chances of winning this year.
Based on 888sport.com’s outright betting, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Marin Cilic and Rafael Nadal are the favourites – each coming in close to the other in odds.
And you’d find it difficult to disagree.
Of course, the draw dictates that we won’t get that four in the semi-finals as Djokovic, Cilic and Nadal are all on the same side of it, but you’d have to back two of those three making it to the final four.
As for Federer, he may have spent the last few months perfecting his game away from competitive action, but it’s Wimbledon and the Swiss superstar knows all about getting the job done at SW19.
He’s the record winner of the tournament with last year’s victory taking him out on his own with eight victories.
Federer did suffer a shock loss to Borna Coric in the Gary Weber Open final – a defeat which ultimately cost him number one in the world rankings – but does that really matter going into a tournament he’s been so successful in?
Federer kicked off his Wimbledon with a comprehensive victory over Dusan Lajovic yesterday so he’s well on the way to success.
As for the rest, Cilic is off to a winning start after beating Yoshihito Nishioka in straight sets yesterday while Djokovic and Nadal should see off their first round opponents today.
From there, it’ll be all focus on going deep in the competition and everything points towards that being the case.
Federer is Federer.
Djokovic isn’t quite Djokovic, as elbow surgery earlier this year has led to a period of recovery for the Serbian, but he was once dominant at Wimbledon and has won the competition three times so you can bet he’ll turn up in London with all guns blazing.
Cilic has been bang in form through 2018, going all the way to the final at the Australian Open before bowing out in the quarters of the French. Significantly though, he’s made it to at least the quarter finals in every Wimbledon since 2014 and will fancy his chances after losing the final to Federer last year.
And for Nadal, he’s had injury problems too, but he’s world number one, he’s won the French Open this year and has twice won at Wimbledon.
Good luck to anyone trying to stop this fab four.