The tennis world looks up to Roger Federer as among the greatest in the sports. He has 18 Grand Slam titles and holds the distinction as among the few that completed the career Grand Slam. Federer's winning streak continues this year as he picked up the Australian Open and hopes to make Wimbledon 2018 his number eight. Will the Swiss end up celebrating a few days from now?
Tennis legend John McEnroe thinks so. Holder of three successful Wimbledon campaigns, McEnroe can't imagine anyone getting the better of Federer at All England, Yahoo! Sports reported. The defending champion, Andy Murray, is a big suspect. To be sure, Murray is the crowd favorite and it has to be a big plus but the world No. 1 is nursing a sore hip.
The Scot skipped two-week worth of matches prior to Wimbledon that only cemented doubts he'd be able to repeat this year, let alone advance far enough to tussle with the big names. The odds-makers would like to believe Murray is the least of Federer's worries.
More likely it would be the resurging Rafael Nadal. The Spanish pride just pocketed the French Open a few weeks back and is tipped to bump off Murray from the top of ATP ranking before the end of 2017. But all the good prospects about Rafa will all depend on his Wimbledon performance.
While Nadal has 15 career Grand Slam wins, only two counts as Wimbledon and gauging on his recent showings at All England the Spaniard is hardly the formidable foe that he was when facing Federer. And more so when it comes to Wimbledon as Yahoo noted Nadal's best performance so far at the tourney in recent was a fourth round finish in 2011.
So it would seem the other strongest contender to the title apart from Federer is former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The Serb has won three Wimbledon championships but analysts doubt if he could make it four this year. ESPN said Djokovic is a "struggling star," at the moment, the fact highlighted by his dismal stints both at the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year.
McEnroe said with the way things are going for Djokovic, his recent parting with coach Boris Becker and the period of adjustment with current tutor Andre Agassi, the player appears to be distracted and lacking the will to win.
Djokovic out of shape, mentally and physically, should make it easier for Federer to realize his plan - get to lift The Championships trophy again. And he had plotted ahead his moves heading to Wimbledon. Federer opted out of Paris just to make sure he remains fresh on his way to All England.
He is also making sure that his mind is in synch with his body. "The idea is to be mentally fresh still and eager to play," the Swiss was reported by Yahoo as saying.
Likewise, Federer acknowledged being the favorite and tipped by the likes of McEnroe to capture Wimbledon 2017 is definitely a boost. But he insisted anyone from the top contenders - Murray, Nadal and Djokovic - remains a threat to be taken seriously.
"I do believe Wimbledon will be won by one of the top contenders. I hope I'm there and if John (McEnroe) thinks so that's even better," Federer said.