After his victory in the Australian Open final against Andy Murray, Roger Federer will no doubt be hoping that he can complete a world famous Grand Slam of victories this year in the men’s competition.
Serena Williams will also be hoping that she too can lift all four majors in one season, but it looks like being a very tough task for both of these immeasurably talented tennis stars to get anywhere near that achievement.
French Open: The tough challenge from Europe…
The next major is the French open at Roland Garros and this is a particularly unhappy venue for Federer, who has won just once here, in 2009.
However Rafael Nadal will be seeking to reclaim his crown as king of the clay courts once again and there is an increasing number of talented players who are a real threat to Federer on this surface.
Robin Soderling was a finalist last year, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer are both excellent practitioners on the surface and Gael Monfils is always a threat in his home country, especially at odds as high as 67.0, with Titanbet.
The same is true in the women’s draw with Serena facing stern opposition from Belgian duo Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, not to mention former champion
Ana Ivanovic and the underrated Elena Dementieva. However for me, the challenge from Europe is very strong and I think that Nadal and Henin will triumph in Paris.
Wimbledon: Can Federer make it number seven?
It is at Wimbledon where Federer will stand his best chance of lifting another Grand Slam this year. The Swiss maestro is almost untouchable on the surface. But I find no value in the odds offered by the betting exchanges.
Challenge will come from Nadal once again, but also expect Murray and the big service games of Mario Ancic and Novak Djokovic to dominate.
Federer however will be confident of claiming his seventh title, to equal the modern day record of Pete Sampras. In the womens draw it is hard to see past the power games of both Williams sisters on grass.
Both breezed to the final last year and it is hard to make a case for anybody to break their stranglehold on the surface, though this year, I feel Venus may well be motivated enough to break her sisters grasp on the title.
The US Open: Time for Murray to shine
While Federer will be confident of another hard court success in the US, the time will be right for Britains Andy Murray to make a real run at the title he himself feels offers his best chance of a Grand Slam title.
Although comprehensively dismantled by Federer in Australia, the Scot should be confident of victory at Flushing Meadow which suits his game and also his personality.
The women’s side should also see a change in that despite the Williams sisters being on home soil, I expect a strong challenge to emerge from the Eastern Europeans with Safina, Dementieva and Ivanovic all needing to prove their class in a major.
It’s hard to look past Kim Clijsters as well, and with a year on the circuit behind her, Justine Henin should also be right in the mix.
So all in all, it promises to be a spectacular year and here, in short are my tips to take the three remaining majors this year, together with an outside bet worthy of consideration.
French Open : Men : Rafael Nadal – There’s never been a better player on clay and Nadal will prove it again at Roland Garros this year.
Women : Justine Henin – She went close in Australia and with more games behind her and on her favourite surface, she will end the Williams sisters dominance.
Outsiders : David Ferrer & Elena Dementieva
Wimbledon : Men : Roger Federer – The Swiss maestro will make it number 7, but it will be much tougher this time around.
Women : Venus Williams – The Williams sisters will continue to dominate on grass, but this time Venus will get the edge in a tense final.
Outsiders : Mario Ancic & Caroline Wozniacki
US Open : Men : Andy Murray – It’s time for the Scot to produce at the highest level. Clay and Grass are not his best surfaces, and the US Open should be his no 1 aim this year.
Women : Dinara Safina – She’s been number one, but without the Grand Slam success to back it up. That could change at Flushing Meadow this year
Outsiders : Novak Djokovic & Caroline Wozniacki