After two quick three-setters on Friday, the stage has been set for this year’s Wimbledon Finals. Each finals features one clear favourite, and one rising star.
On the Women’s side we have number one ranked player in the world, Serena Williams, facing off against Russian 21st seed, Vera Zvonareva. This is Zvonareva’s first appearance in a grand slam finals. It wasn’t an easy path for Zvonareva as she had to take out top players such as Jelena Jankovic and Kim Clijsters. Serena, who is the defending champion and a 12-time Grand Slam winner, is the clear favourite to win this year’s tournament and it shouldn’t take too long for her to capture her fourth Wimbledon title. This would put her one behind her big sister Venus’s five Wimbledon crowns. The finals will take place on Saturday morning at 9:00 am EST.
On the Men’s side, we have an interesting match-up featuring number one ranked player in the world, Rafael Nadal, and current 13th ranked player, Tomas Berdych. Berdych is also making his first ever appearance in a grand slam finals. On Friday, Nadal and Berdych each had tough opponents to beat if they wanted to have a chance at this years title. Nadal faced off against local favourite Andy Murray, while Berdych played third ranked player, Novak Djokovic. While many expected long fought battles in the semi-finals, both Nadal and Berdych cruised to three-set victories to cement their spot in the finals.
Nadal is looking to capture his 10th Grand Slam title, but it won’t come easy as Berdych has been playing incredible tennis as of late and has proven that he does not get intimidated by the best players in the game. To get the the finals, not only did he have to take out Djokovic in the semis, but he managed to take out clear favourite Roger Federer in a four set match earlier this week. It was Federer’s second loss in seven years at Wimbledon, where he was 51-1 since 2003. It is also the first time in 8 years that Federer will not be playing in the Finals.
After the loss, Roger Federer was his usual selfish, cocky self, blaming the loss on his poor play and “injuries” rather than the incredible effort by his opponent. Federer said, “I couldn’t play the way I wanted to play. You know, I am struggling with a little bit of a back and a leg issue. That just doesn’t quite allow me to play the way I would like to play. So it’s frustrating to say the least. Looking forward to some rest, anyway.” Anybody who watched the match could clearly see that Federer was not struggling with any injury problems, the only thing he was struggling from was Berdych’s unbelievable shots and focus.
Although Nadal is the favourite entering the finals according to the rankings, he will not be able to take his match-up lightly with the way Berdych has been playing. I expect the finals to be an very entertaining match (way more than the Women’s finals) and with the struggles that Nadal was having early in the tournament, Berdych has a chance to capture his first Grand Slam Championship. The men’s finals will take place on Sunday morning.
The rankings on the men’s side will be shaken up a bit after this tournament comes to a close. With Berdych’s finals appearance he has already guaranteed himself a top 8 ranking for the first time in his career. Also, Roger Federer will slip to the #3 spot for the first time in nearly seven years.