Wimbledon 2013: Looking Ahead to Most Intriguing Potential Matchups

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Wimbledon 2013: Looking Ahead to Most Intriguing Potential Matchups
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It's no secret that Wimbledon is the most prestigious tennis tournament of the year.

There's something about the tradition of players wearing all white, the atmosphere of Centre Court and the history that sets it apart from the other three Grand Slam tournaments. 

And like every year prior, 2013 promises to serve up some lasting memories as the best players in the world gear up for the fortnight at SW19, which begins with the start of the first round on Monday. 

Below we'll look ahead to the two most anticipated matchups at the All England Club this summer.

 

Maria Sharapova (3) vs. Victoria Azarenka (2)

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With Serena Williams dominating the women's game at the moment, Victoria Azarenka vs. Maria Sharapova has become by far the best competitive rivalry in women's tennis.

The great news for tennis fans is that the two stars will meet again in the semifinals at Wimbledon this summer if they can survive a few upset bids along the way, via Tennis Channel's Court Report:

Sharapova and Azarenka needed three sets to determine a winner at the 2013 French Open semifinals earlier this month, and the rivalry has gone back and forth since it began back in 2007. Neither player has won more than two matches in a row against the other. 

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Azarenka leads Sharapova in head-to-head matchups 7-6, beating her in 2-of-3 Grand Slam matches. But Sharapova has defeated her the last two times and has something Azarenka wants—a Wimbledon title.

Both players have a similar style, and both prefer the faster-playing hard courts. And they have never met at Wimbledon, or on grass for that matter.

It's been almost a decade since Sharapova won her first-ever major here in 2004, but she was a finalist in 2011. Meanwhile, Azarenka is a two-time Wimbledon semifinalist who has played her best tennis here over the last two years.

 

Rafael Nadal (5) vs. Roger Federer (3)

There's a very good chance that the two most decorated champions in the men's game today will meet at the quarterfinal stage of Wimbledon this summer, as seven-time winner Roger Federer and two-time champion Rafael Nadal find themselves in the very same bracket, via the tournament's official Twitter account:

Federer and Nadal have met three times at Wimbledon, but not since their epic 2008 final, which went five sets and lasted nearly five hours. That match was arguably the greatest ever played, which means fans would be drooling over a reunion in the quarters this summer.

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Before their memorable showdown in 2008, Nadal suffered back-to-back losses to Federer in the Wimbledon final in 2006 and 2007. 

But Nadal has practically owned Federer as of late, though, winning six of their past eight meetings dating back to the start of 2011, including two Grand Slam wins at the French Open and the Australian Open.

Nadal has won his last two meetings with Federer this year and hasn't dropped a set to the Swiss legend since the 2012 Australian Open semifinals. Still, Federer's greatness on grass is a mighty equalizer, and with an eighth career title at the All England Club, he will become the greatest Wimbledon champion of all time

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.

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