• Thursday, July 25, 2024

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Wimbledon 2024 men’s singles: Three main talking points

This could be the first Wimbledon men’s final in 22 years not to feature one of the ‘Big Four’.

Carlos Alcaraz defeated Djokovic in a thrilling five-set final last year to win the Wimbledon title. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: EasternEye

CARLOS ALCARAZ will defend his Wimbledon men’s title starting Monday (1). His main rival is expected to be world number one Jannik Sinner rather than Novak Djokovic.

A win for the 21-year-old Spaniard will give him back-to-back Grand Slam titles after his French Open victory and his fourth major title overall.

Djokovic, a seven-time champion, is doubtful due to injury, as is Andy Murray, the winner in 2013 and 2016.

Here are three key points ahead of the tournament at the All England Club:

Sun setting on golden generation?

Roger Federer, an eight-time champion, has retired. Rafael Nadal, a two-time winner, is skipping the tournament to focus on the Olympics. Seven-time champion Novak Djokovic recently underwent knee surgery, and Andy Murray, who won in 2013 and 2016, has had a back operation.

This could be the first Wimbledon men’s final in 22 years not to feature one of the ‘Big Four’.

Djokovic, 37, lost a thrilling five-set final to Alcaraz last year. This year, Sinner took his Australian Open title, and a knee injury forced Djokovic to withdraw before his Roland Garros quarter-final. Alcaraz then won the French Open.

“I really will only play (at Wimbledon) if I know I am in a state which is good enough to go far in the tournament and fight for the title, so that’s the condition,” Djokovic told reporters after a training session in London, his right knee still heavily strapped.

Murray, also 37, famously defeated Djokovic in the 2013 final, ending a 77-year wait for a British men’s champion at Wimbledon. Now ranked 115, Murray had a cyst removed from his back last weekend. Like Djokovic, he is not certain to play, with a decision expected by Friday when the draw takes place.

Alcaraz, Sinner open new era

It has been 21 years since the first two Grand Slam titles of the year were not claimed by Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic.

For Andre Agassi and Juan Carlos Ferrero at the 2003 Australian Open and Roland Garros, read Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz in 2024.

Sinner, 22, is the first Italian to be world number one and showed confidence by winning his first grass-court title in Halle last weekend.

“I’m looking forward to Wimbledon,” said Sinner, who was a semi-finalist in 2023, losing to Djokovic in straight sets. “I played some good tennis last year. I’m more confident for sure.”

American dreamers

In the Open era, American men have won the Wimbledon title 15 times. However, the last US winner was Pete Sampras in 2000.

Andy Roddick lost three finals, all to Federer in 2004, 2005, and 2009. “I threw the kitchen sink at him but he went to the bathroom and got his tub,” said Roddick after losing the 2004 final.

This year, the United States has four men in the top 20, with Tommy Paul winning his first grass-court title at Queen’s. Paul, now ranked 12, made the last 16 at Wimbledon in 2022, while Taylor Fritz reached the quarter-finals that year, losing to Nadal in five sets.

Sebastian Korda, ranked 20, was runner-up on grass at ‘s-Hertogenbosch and made the semi-finals at Queen’s. Korda reached the last 16 at Wimbledon in 2021. His father Petr reached the quarter-finals in 1998, the same year he won the Australian Open.

(AFP)

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