Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday June 26, 2019

Grass season is fast and furious and even though many of us have just barely finished processing what happened at Roland Garros—Wimbledon is here. So what have we learned in these last two weeks? Let’s take stock…

1. Federer’s a Contender for #21

Perhaps this is the biggest takeaway on the men’s side. Roger Federer survived—and actually thrived on the clay—and it may make him even more dangerous this year on the grass. Federer won the Halle title and he’ll head to Wimbledon with momentum from that victory and a lot of match play under his belt.

The Swiss took a different approach to grass season this year. Federer decided to play more on clay this spring and less on grass this summer, and it may not change the way he plays at all, but perhaps doing it this way will give Federer more confidence about his ability to grind out longer points if he needs to at Wimbledon.

Yes, grass-court tennis is more about quick hits and aggression, but these days the surface is pristine and allows for more long rallies. If Federer’s experience on the clay makes him a more dimensional player, or a more confident one, on grass then it will have all been worth it.

2. Big three Mystery

Other than their comments on Wimbledon’s seeding formula, we haven’t heard or seen much from defending champion Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. That’s nothing new. They’ll be rested and ready to go next week at Wimbledon and, once again, the Big 3, will probably dominate at SW19.

It’s odd when two of the three favorites at a Slam enter the draw without a single official match on the surface, but such is the way of the grass-court season.

Tennis Express

3. Barty a True Favorite at SW19

If there is one player that can be immune to the pressure of playing a Slam a week after climbing to No.1 in the world it would be the laid back Ash Barty. The Aussie backed up her Roland Garros crown with a waltz to the Birmingham title last week, so she’s already proven that she can win a major and barely blink in her next event. So why shouldn’t she be able to run the table at Wimbledon? The grass suits her game way better than clay and she is only defending third-round points.

4. Other WTA Contenders (top rung)

Barty isn’t the only player that could be considered a title contender at Wimbledon. Angelique Kerber has shown some solid tennis on grass—the German has won six of her first seven matches on the surface this summer and will face Simona Halep on Thursday at Eastbourne. Serena Williams is bound to find her form at some point and if that happens here at Wimbledon, it could be her time to re-emerge. Karolina Pliskova and Kiki Bertens are also looking like legit contenders on that top rung of favorites at SW19.

5. The Women’s Field Will be Wide Open Again (the next few rungs)

Players and pundits talked about how the field would not be so wide open at Roland Garros last month and then we ended up with three teenagers in the second week and two in the semis. All the favorites went out early and chaos reigned supreme again. Expect more of the same at Wimbledon.

Will it be as crazy as last year when not a single Top 10 seed made the quarter-finals (and only one made the second week)? Unlikely, but rest assured, there will be shockers and it will be beautiful.

Tennis Express

6. Forget About the Big Three for a Minute

It may be hard to picture anyone other than Djokovic, Federer or Nadal winning Wimbledon, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t ground to be gained in the next-big-thing turf war that is currently happening in men’s tennis. Can Stefanos Tsitsipas take another step at Wimbledon? How about his kryptonite, Felix-Auger Aliassime—is the 18-year-old ready to win his first match at a major? This Wimbledon will also be important for young players like Karen Khachanov, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev. Each has proven that they can be effective on the grass and now would be a good time to take it up a notch higher.

7. Is Sevastova Ready to Make a Splash?

How is it that Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova has won 16 matches and lost just four at Mallorca, while at Wimbledon she’s gone just 1-6? Maybe this is the year that Sevastova finally comes good at SW19? Each year we have a pleasant surprise like this at SW19. A player who makes sense on the grass and finally makes good. Think Elena Vesnina’s semi-final run in 2016 or Magdalena Rybarikova in 2017.

Lucky Letcord Podcast

8. The Title Winners—what does it mean?

You win a title on grass before Wimbledon and you have our attention. Here’s who triumphed in the first two weeks on grass.

Matteo Berrettini continued his fine season in Stuttgart where he held in all 50 of his service games and took down Felix-Auger Aliassime in the final. The 23-year-old also reached the semis at Stuttgart and has now made his Top 20 debut. Keep an eye on him.

Caroline Garcia took the Nottingham title and she’s certainly capable of doing some damage at Wimbledon. Alison Riske won ‘s-Hertogenbosch and she’s a threat on grass for sure, as is 20-year-old American Sofia Kenin who saved three championship points to take her second title of the season at Mallorca. And let’s not forget about Feliciano Lopez, who won both singles and doubles at Queen’s. The Spaniard is a three-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist and he’s in good form once again.


Latest News