Wimbledon 2012: Now or Never for Roger Federer After Rafael Nadal's Exit
Roger Federer sees light at the end of the Wimbledon tunnel.
Who'll advance to the Wimbledon Final?
For once, Rafael Nadal isn’t there to block it.
2012 will mark a rare occasion. Only one of the Big Three in Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic will earn a Wimbledon final berth. The trio has won an amazing 28 of the last 29 Grand Slams, and the vast majority of the time two of them are featured in the final match.
Thanks to Nadal’s early exit, this year will present Federer with his best shot to win a Grand Slam since 2010. Because he’ll never possess a better opportunity, he must take advantage.
In the semifinals, Federer will face off against the world’s No. 1 player in Djokovic. The Associated Press reported that Djoker discussed Federer’s drive going into the matchup. He said (via FOX News), "Roger has been on the top of the men's game for so long. This is where he won six titles. He definitely wants to prove himself and to everybody else that he can win it once again."
However, as hungry as Federer must be, Djokovic has to be licking his chops, too. If it weren’t for Rafa, he would’ve entered the tournament having won four straight Grand Slams as well as six out of the last seven. Sure, Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are no slouches, but they deserve to be heavy underdogs against any of the Big Three.
Will Federer ever be presented with a better opportunity?
For Federer, the stars will likely never be more aligned. At this point in most tournaments, he’d still need to defeat two legends to claim the crown. With only one in his path, he’ll regret it if he falls short of the finals—again.
After winning five straight Wimbledon tournaments and six out of seven, Federer has failed to reach the final match the past two years. Losses to Tsonga and Tomas Berdych prevented him from taking on Nadal or Djokovic.
This year, however, Federer dodged an early upset.
He dodged Rafa, and he must finish strong, because he's running out of time.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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