The men and women alight on the grass courts of The All England Club for the 131st playing of the Championships, Wimbledon. It's the third slam of the season and the most cherished. Roger Federer, who seeks to capture his 18th major and record setting 8th Wimbledon title, won his 5th Australian Open in January. Rafa Nadal captured his 15th major and record 10th title at the French Open at Roland Garros. Fed and Rafa have found a virtual Fountain of Youth at ages 35 and 31 respectively, They are both are playing like they're in their early 20's. They're as good as ever and it's super for tennis.
On the women's side, Serena Williams won her 23rd Slam at the Australian and 20 year old Latvian upstart Jelena Ostapenko surprisingly won at Roland Garros. Serena is pregnant and not playing, so the women's side should be interesting and wide open.
The penultimate major at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club commences Monday. ESPN and ESPN 2 will televise with ESPN broadcasting the Women's Final Saturday, July 15th, two weeks from today, at 8 AM CT. ESPN will televise the Men's Singles Final on Sunday, July 15th, at 8 AM CT.
Can Fed capture his record setting 8th Wimbledon title to break the record he holds with Pete Sampras? Can Rafa keep the resurgence going like Fed and win his 3rd Wimbledon title. With Serena pregnant and not in the picture this year, will there be an upstart capturing the women's crown. It's pretty wide open on the women's side, but there is a lot of young and veteran talent.
What about Novak Djokovic, who's also on Roger's heels, like Rafa, for all time Slams with 12, and has won 3 times at Wimbledon in 2011, '14 and '15. Novak now has the great Andre Agassi as his coach, and it showed today as Novak won the Aegon International at Eastbourne, England in the final over Gael Monfils. Andy Murray is the defending champion at the All England Club and has captured 2 Wimbledon championships with his other victory in 2013. The Scotsman is on his home turf and he plays well here.
With that analysis, here are the predictions for the 2017 Championships, Wimbledon.
Djokovic over Fed
6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3
This will be a Battle Royale with Novak prevailing.
Rafa over Andy Murray
6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
See Rafa keeping his momentum going and gunning for major 16.
Djokovic over Rafa 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 5-7, 6-4
Like Novak to outlast the Rafa in an epic, and capture his 4th Wimbledon Championship and 13th Slam. Novak looks back after this weekend. The Agassi factor is starting to kick in and Novak has found his game again. Rafa will give him a heckuva battle though.
Champion: Novak Djokovic
Karolina Pliskova over Angelique Kerber
The 25 year old from the Czech Republic has been knocking on the door after reaching the finals of the U.S. Open last year and just winning the Aegon International beating Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets today. I like the hot player.
Simona Halep over Johanna Konta
6-4, 5-7, 6-3
"Jo" is 26 from Sydney Australia and won at Miami and just defeated Kerber in the quarters of the Aegon tournament this week, but had to retire in the semis. She's playing well. But I like Simona, the 25 year old from Romania, who just made the French finals before losing to Ostapenko, to play for that elusive first major.
Pliskova over Halep 7-5, 6-2
Karolina has extremely powerful strokes and a ballistic serve. She's got plenty of momentum after today's victory at Eastbourne. I see her getting over the top at the All England Club and capturing the coveted championship.
Champion: Karolina Pliskova
Men: Nick Kyrgios
I see the 22 year old Australian ready to compete for a title very soon. He'll play well here.
Women: Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline is not usually a sleeper. but the 26 year old from Denmark is seeded 6th, and I see her doing well here.