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Novak Djokovic Favored To Win Wimbledon As Rafael Nadal Pulls Out Of Tournament
Tuesday, 06/22/2021
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Novak Djokovic is the favorite to win Wimbledon this year, with Rafael Nadal pulling out of the tournament in an effort to preserve his tennis career. A number of top players have pulled out of major tournaments as of late - Roger Federer decided to pass up on the French Open, giving Wimbledon priority, while Naomi Osaka also pulled out of the Open, as well as Wimbledon, due to mental health concerns.
Djokovic is the overwhelming favorite to defend the championship he won in 2019. American bookmakers are offering competitive odds on the tournament so, of course, sports betting sites in Virginia have offers going at the moment. The Serbian is -109 to emerge successfully. Stefanos Tsitsipas is next up at +500 after losing to Novak in the final of the French Open. Sportsbooks are handing out odds of +600 on Daniil Medvedev, +1,100 on Roger Federer, and +1,400 on both Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev.
Meanwhile, Djokovic has made the strange decision to compete in doubles at the Mallorca Championships prior to Wimbledon but former world No.1 Tracy Austin reckons the veteran knows what he’s doing despite the gap between the Open and Wimbledon being two weeks instead of three for the first time since 2014 as Roland Garros was pushed back a week this year.
“He knows what he’s doing,” Austin asserted.
“He’s done a great job with his scheduling. And, this year, obviously it’s back to being compressed. Just two weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon. He had a tough final against Tsitsipas. So physical [and] mental, we forget that part sometimes.
“So, he needed this week to kind of relax. And then, [he’s] not going to play singles the week before a Major. I think doubles, going there and getting some match play and getting some practice on the grass is perfect for this compressed schedule.”
Former player Todd Woodbridge has also backed Djokovic to have a successful Wimbledon, though his body is racking up the miles.
"The Golden Slam - it is very much on the cards, there is no doubt about that," Woodbridge claimed on Sports Sunday. "What Novak managed to produce in Paris, in two comebacks from two sets to love down, is some of the best mental stuff you'll ever see.
"And he's just freshening up, he's down in Mallorca on grass courts getting ready for his preparation for Wimbledon. He most definitely goes in a heavy, heavy favorite for Wimbledon. Now, he does get a bit gnarly at times on court but he's an athlete that's able to focus that into what he needs to do to get the result done.”
As for Nadal, the Spaniard will be skipping Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, citing his intention to take care of his body in an announcement posted to Twitter last week. Nadal’s coach Carlos Moya has since confirmed the player was feeling exhausted and is in need of well-deserved rest.
Nadal, 35, played 22 matches on clay since April, winning the Barcelona and Italian Opens. He also made it to the French Open semis. Moya has indicated that the surface presented a tough challenge, both physically and mentally.
"The clay court tour was very tough, with a lot of physical and mental pressure," the coach pointed out. "Rafa finished exhausted. He is going to take a well-deserved rest, this is a marathon, a long-distance race in which hard decisions have to be made and he has considered that the best thing is to stop to come back full of strength.
"Rafa two years ago reached a point of great mental fatigue that was very difficult to get out of and now he has indicated that he was close to that again. He cannot afford (to play in) a Grand Slam if he is not at 100%."
Nadal’s decision to withdraw from the aforementioned events has been linked to his heartbreaking loss to Djokovic at Roland Garros. Moya did not refute rumors of the same but noted Wimbledon comes too soon after the French Open, with COVID-19 requirements also influencing the decision.
"The defeat has not affected as much as the fact that there is a week less than usual to prepare for Wimbledon, as well as the context in which we are with the pandemic," he explained. "It is difficult on a mental level to face the confinements prior to a great match, to play with little public, etc. This affects Rafa, he is a person who has a great connection with people and it was hard to go to London with a quarantine in between."