Six Dark Horses That Could Be Dangerous on the Lawns of Wimbledon
Upsets are all too common at Wimbledon.
The unpredictability of the grass catches players off guard when they least expect it. And for the following six players, they must up their game if they hope to achieve their crowning glory.
Which of the following dark horses become the next Wimbledon Champion?
Mardy Fish: The Veteran
Mardy Fish—the veteran—continues to make strides in the ranking, now at a career-high No. 9. This currently makes him the highest ranked American male on the ATP tour.
Mardy's game is a physical one. He can move around the court better than he ever has. He has a precision serve and volley game. Mardy doesn't have a lot of weapons, however, he does have a traditional game, which is a bit foreign to some players on the tour.
His consistency will be his opponents undoing.
John Isner: The Marathon Man
John Isner—the marathon man—set a record for the longest match in tennis history, and now he's set for a rematch with fellow record setter, Nicolas Mahut.
For a bigger player, John is a real threat for whoever plays him. He has a dominate serve, which allows for few opportunities for his opponents. However, John is still learning to play on grass. He tends to hit and bounce up his volleys, which doesn't work on grass.
If he plans on making the second week, John needs to bounce his volleys through and step up his game. Mahut is looking for revenge and last year's play strategy won't cut it.
Milos Roanic: The Rising Star
Milos Roanic—the rising star—is making his debut at Wimbledon.
Milos has an amazing serve, even when his game is mediocre. This alone could be enough to get him through to the second week.
Milos knows he belongs at Wimbledon. He has a confidence and composure that has been missing on the tour for quite some time.
After making the Memphis finals and winning at San Jose this year, he may have what it takes to make it to the finals.
Na Li: The Champion
Na Li—the champion—is always dangerous.
She is fresh off her 2011 French Open victory. Na has made the quarterfinals in 2006 and 2010 and is looking to take her first Wimbledon crown.
Na serves and moves well on grass and can play her game here. The key for Na is to be able to handle the pressure of another Grand Slam. She tends to be too up and down.
If she can tap into that fighting spirit she had at the French Open, she will be more than a dark horse at this year's Wimbledon.
Victoria Azarenka: The Queen
Victoria Azarenka—the queen—has everyone waiting for her to make her move at a Grand Slam tournament.
Victoria is a very aggressive player with a big serve. However, she is not comfortable on grass and has yet to be able to adapt her game to it. Victoria likes to play forward and create big bounce on her volleys. This will not serve her well at Wimbledon where the play is much slower.
Victoria could easily be a contender this year if she can adjust her game to grass and keep her temper in check.
Petra Kvitova: The Lefty
Petra Kvitova—the lefty—made the semis here in 2010, giving Serena some of her toughest competition during the tournament.
Petra is comfortable on grass and has adapted her big game to it. Petra, like Na and Victoria, has a tendency to be up and down. Consistency needs to be her focus if she plans to make the finals this year. Her game has improved since last year.
If Petra can keep her focus, she will a force to be reckoned with.