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Wimbledon 2007 Preview

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It is my favorite time of the year: The Championships, Wimbledon fortnight.

The grass courts at the All England Club hold tradition and the place where legends are born. It was in Centre Court where Roger Federer won his first grand slam in 2003, Bjorn Borg won five consecutive championships from 1976 to 1980 and Pete Sampras cemented his greatness in 2000 eclipsing Roy Emerson in total grand slams won.

This year Federer is seeking to tie Borg’s record of five consecutive Wimbledon championships. His only real challenge is Spaniard Rafael Nadal who has defeated him in the clay courts of Roland-Garros three consecutive years. However Nadal is a clay court specialist and doesn’t stand a chance against Federer on Federer’s best surface.

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The women’s side features more uncertainty. With no dominant player the championship is up for grabs. Top seeded Justine Henin has never won Wimbledon but could capture a Career Slam with a win. Defending champion Amelie Mauresmo has not looked consistent all year, and 2004 champion Maria Sharapova has struggled all year with an injured right shoulder hindering her serve.

Most compelling are the Williams sisters who are trying to make a comeback this year. Serena Williams, ranked outside the top 100 prior to the Australian Open, went on to dominate Sharapova in the finals. She is now ranked 8th in the world and has the 7th seed in the tournament, however she is hindered by hamstring problems. Venus Williams has not shown any consistency all year after an injury plagued 2006.

My prediction: Roger Federer defeating Novak Djokovic and Jelena Jankovic defeating Serena Williams.

AP Photo by Victor Romero