Wimbledon Contenders: Andy Roddick, Tomas Berdych, Andy Murray & Robin Soderling
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As the clock ticks down to the start of Wimbledon, four male contenders are vying for the coveted crown.
All of these players are chasing their chance at glory—the chance to be crowned a Wimbledon Champion.
Andy Roddick is due for a breakout at this year's Wimbledon. After making the finals in 2004, 2005, and 2009, Roddick would lose to Lu Yen-hsun in the fourth round at Wimbledon 2010.
Roddick's serve is the toughest to return in the game, but he will need more than a great serve. He will need to start strong, take the lead early, and serve well. Roddick's focus this year will be his willingness to take chances, as he tends to rely on his strong serve and powerful baseline hitting.
That may serve him well during hard court season, but this is Wimbledon. He will need to rush the net and change up his game if he hopes to win. His power and fortitude will pay dividends going into the second week.
Tomas Berdych defeated Roger Federer in the quarters, and then Novak Djokovic in the semis to reach his first Grand Slam final last year at Wimbledon. Berdych would lose the final in three sets to Rafael Nadal.
Beating two top players was just the career boost Berdych needed. Berdych is a big, strong player with a good serve and good movement on grass. Berdych volleys well and favors a flat shot, which is beneficial in grass play.
Although Berdych is a complete player, he will need to turn up the aggression. Berdych will need to replicate the same drive and determination he had in 2010 if he is to make the finals this year.
Native Andy Murray is the hometown favorite. If Murray wins, he will be first Brit to do so since Fred Perry in 1936.
Murray has been under intense media scrutiny for his failure to win a Grand Slam title. Although he is mentally tough, this added pressure has left his game unstable.
Although Murray's defensive game is coming together in a big way, that's not enough to get him past the first week. He will need to attack more from the baseline as well as the net.
Murray will also need to take control of the match from the beginning and maintain that control throughout. He needs to let go and leave it all out on the court.
Robin Soderling could be the biggest threat at this year's Wimbledon. He lost in the quarters last year to eventual champion Rafael Nadal. After his loss, he also secured a career high number five ranking.
2010 was the best career season for Soderling. After switching coaches twice within 5 months, 2011 has been unsteady.
Soderling has a big serve and a forehand that commands power. He wins because he keeps players on the defense—his is a strong offensive game. If he can keep his serve and forehand going he could win this tournament.
Time will tell if one of these players can rise to the occasion in this place called Wimbledon.
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