Back in the 1970s, heavyweight boxing enjoyed a genuine “golden age” as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman vied for supremacy; during that decade the self-proclaimed “Greatest”, the slugger and the massive puncher thrilled satellite audiences around the world... and there’s an argument to say that men’s tennis is in the middle of a similar era courtesy of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
I’m not a massive tennis fan, but these three are incredible athletes... moreover they display genuine humility when being interviewed... impressive in an age dominated by money...
There were pretenders to the boxing triumvirate all those years ago... Ken Norton for example. He defeated Ali, but never became world champion... the tennis parallel is surely Andy Murray... a decent player on his day (despite the constant injuries), but will he ever win a Grand Slam?
Personally I would say “no”; the British no.1 is Henman reincarnated and will always find one too good (at which point he becomes Scottish again...). Oh and he’s certainly not the most endearing person in front of a microphone either...
I don’t think there’ll be too many shocks in this year’s men’s singles and I would expect the winner to be either Nadal or Djokovic. As for the women’s event... well that’s much harder to call. I would love to see my current fave Tsvetana Pironkova have a great tournament, but the Bulgarian’s “reward” for beating Vesna Dolonc is a second-round clash with the in-form Maria Sharapova. So my tip (kiss of death maybe, but remember where you read it first) is Australia’s Sam Stosur... actually my tip is to take an umbrella with you if you’re heading to SW19, Sam is more of a selection. Even so... come on Tsvetana!
All my own work... almost.