French Open 2019 Men's Final: Early Predictions for Rafael Nadal at WimbledonJune 9, 2019
Rafael Nadal is the King of Paris once again after winning his 12th French Open title Sunday with his impressive 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Dominic Thiem in the championship round.
However, can Nadal's dominance on the red clay translate to a victory on the speedy grass surface at Wimbledon? The London tournament is almost always the high point of the tennis year, ranking a slight but significant edge over the other three Grand Slam tournaments in Australia, France and the United States.
Nadal has the skill set to win in London, but he has not performed at anything close to the level of dominance he has set for himself in Paris. He has won twice at Wimbledon, but his last title was in 2010.
He will face intense competition from the best players in the world who will want to stop him and claim the title for themselves.
Nadal will have to be prepared for the usual suspects, meaning Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. However, Alexander Zverev and Thiem, as well as a number of other players like Kevin Anderson, Juan Martin del Potro, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kei Nishikori could rise up and play their best matches against Nadal and keep him from winning in London.
Djokovic, not Nadal, was the top seed in Paris, and he will almost certainly have the same pre-tournament assessment in London.
Djokovic is the ATP's top-ranked player, and the 32-year-old has a 23-5 record in 2019 with two tournament victories and more than $5 million in prize money earned.
Djokovic has won 55 percent of all points played this year, including an impressive 56 percent of second-service returns. He has converted 50 percent of the 222 break-point opportunities he has faced.
The Serbian superstar has won at Wimbledon four times in his career, including last year's championship.
No player gets the love and respect from the Wimbledon crowd like Roger Federer. He has been a dominant player there throughout his career, winning eight championships. His most recent came in 2017, and while he is 37 years old, he is still a competitive player with outstanding conditioning.
Federer is the third-ranked player, according to the ATP standings, and he has to be motivated to get another shot at Nadal after losing in three sets in Paris to Nadal in the semifinal round.
Federer has a 22-3 record in 2019 with two tournament titles and more than $3 million in prize money. He has excelled in all areas of his game throughout his career, and his 93 percent success rate on his own serve this year is noteworthy.
Thiem, 25, is the fourth-ranked player in the world, and he is coming off a strong performance in Paris that saw him defeat Djokovic in five sets in the semifinal round. He was able to win the second set against Nadal in the championship match, and that was no small feat.
However, after winning the second set, Nadal turned it up a couple of notches and dispatched Thiem without a problem.
Zverev is another player deserving of strong consideration because the 22-year-old German has been improving quite a bit. He has a 19-10 record this season with one tournament victory to his credit, and he has earned nearly $900,000.
Nadal is at the peak of his game. He overpowered Federer and dominated Thiem in winning the semifinal and final rounds in Paris.
He should have the confidence needed to play his best tennis at Wimbledon. However, he is likely to have to go through Federer and Djokovic if he is going to win the title since he will either be the No. 2 or No. 3 seed.
A match against Federer is probable for the semifinal, and Djokovic would be his likely championship-round opponent.
Grass is not his preferred surface, and while he will sell out to win, he will not get through both of them. Federer will push Nadal to five sets in the semifinal, and while he will survive that match, Djokovic will get the best of him in the championship round.
Nadal will lose with the title on the line at Wimbledon.