Lleyton Hewitt was the last man other than Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray to win Wimbledon when the Australian lifted the crown in 2002. The leading four players in the men’s game have held a monopoly on the title at the All England Club, including back-to-back victories for Novak Djokovic. The Serb will aim to join a select company of players to win three successive tournaments this year after the 2020 competition was cancelled.
Federer, Pete Sampras, and Bjorn Borg are among the names to have achieved the feat. Djokovic will be hoping he can join them and etch his name further into the history of the sport, moving one step closer to surpassing Federer as the most successful player of the Grand Slam era. Djokovic is the leading contender in the tennis betting odds for the crown, and he proved that he has lost none of his vigour amid the rise of the next generation.
He put Daniil Medvedev to the sword with ease at the Australian Open, defeating the Russian in three sets. However, Medvedev does have the potential to cause an upset at Wimbledon and his career is trending in the right direction.
The Russian reached his first Grand Slam final in 2019 at the US Open, defeating two-time champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the process. Nadal awaited him in the final, but the Spaniard fended off a brilliant comeback from the right-hander to claim the crown in a thrilling five-set classic.
He returned to Flushing Meadows in 2020 and reached the semi-finals, only to be beaten by the eventual winner Dominic Thiem. Although Medvedev did end his season on a high note with revenge over the Austrian, beating him in the finals of the ATP Tour at the 02 Arena.
A victory in the United Kingdom could suggest that Medvedev could take his exploits to the grass courts, despite one area of concern being his performance on grass. His previous best outing at Wimbledon was the third round, which he reached in 2019 where he was knocked out by David Goffin.
Over the course of his career, Medvedev has a 60% win ratio when playing on grass, winning 18 out of his 30 contests. Therefore, he needs to raise his standards to realise his ambitions of making his Grand Slam breakthrough at the All England Club.
Djokovic is a seasoned campaigner on grass, and although Federer is not the dominant force he was at the peak of his powers, grass remains his most dangerous surface. Nadal is no slouch at Wimbledon either, even if he is perhaps more vulnerable than the other two greats on grass.
Medvedev’s one win over a player in the top-10 of the world rankings on a grass court came at Wimbledon in 2017 when he knocked Wawrinka out of the tournament in the first round. It has been four years since that victory, pressing the need for an improvement.
At the age of 25, Medvedev is not a fledgling player anymore. He needs to start putting his stamp on the game and it can begin by toppling one of the greats on the biggest stage of them all.