New Delhi: The most coveted tournament of lawn tennis Wimbledon will be special one in many respects in 2011. For the past eight years, Roger Federer with six titles under his belt and Rafael Nadal having bagged two tournaments have dominated the proceedings at Wimbledon.

With both players reaching the final of the recently concluded French Open have displayed a sublime form and tennis aficionados are looking forward for a fierce rivalry between the two legends at Wimbledon.

Making his 13th appearance at Wimbledon, Federer will be aiming to equal the record of seven tournament wins by Pete Sampras. The US legend won the prestigious Wimbledon in 1993, 94, 95, 97, 98, 99 and 2000 while the Swiss power Federer has won the trophy in 2003, 04, 05, 06, 07 and 2009.

Having won the Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010, Nadal has posed a major threat to the supremacy of Federer on the grass court.

History was created in Wimbledon 2010 when the first round match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut turned out to be the longest one in tennis history. 

The match which started on June 22 and ended on June 24 witnessed 11 hours and five minute gruelling battle between the two players.  At the end, Isner emerged victorious with 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-3). 70-68.

Believe it or not, the two players will yet again lock horns in the first round of Wimbledon 2011. It was a major surprise which sprung up as the draws for the first round matches were announced. Isner who has earned the nickname of ‘Giant Killer’ and Mahut will be the centre of attraction for the tennis fans in the first round of the tournament.

In addition to Federer and Nadal, British Andy Murray and Serbian Novak Djokovic are among the two other top contenders for the Grand Slam title. With the support of the home crowd, Murray is expected to reach the semi-final stage where he can face World number 1 Nadal. If third seed Djokovic manages to reach the semi-final stage, he may clash with six time champion Federer.

Fourth seed, Murray has been one of the unfortunate players of the grass court who during his five earlier appearances at Wimbledon, reached the semi-final stage in 2009 and 2010 only.

India gets an easy draw in the first round

Indian tennis players Sania Mirza and Somdev Devvarman have got an easy draw in the first round. Ranked 60th in the world, Mirza will play 98th seeded Virgine Razzano of France in the first round. Meanwhile, Somdev presently ranked 68th will play 110th seed Denis Gremelmayr of Germany in the first round .

Women’s title has many contenders

The last four Wimbledon titles have been shared by the William sisters but the two have not played much in the past 10 months. As a result, Serena’s ranking has dropped to 26th while Venus is holding the 33rd rank in the world. However, keeping their past performances in mind, they still dominate the international scenario.

The dominance of William sisters can be gauged by the fact that during the past 11 years at Wimbledon, they have won the trophy on nine occasions. French Amelie Mauresmo won it in 2006 while Maria Sharapova who lifted the trophy in 2004, are the only two players to win the coveted Wimbledon trophy in last 11 years.

Venus has lifted the Wimbledon trophy on five occasions (2000, 01, 05, 07, 2008) while her younger sister Serena has won the prestigious open four times (2002, 03, 09, 2010).

The Russian beauty Maria Sharapova has once agin returned to dazzle the stage. After lying low for a long period, she stunned the tennis fans by reaching semi-finals of French Open. Winner of Wimbledon in 2004, Sharapova will give a tough fight to the top ranked players.

World number 1, Caroline Wozniacki lacks the experience of winning a Grand Slam title. Despite being ranked number 1, 20 year Wozniacki from Denmark has not one a single Grand Slam. In 2010, she could only manage to reach the pre-quarter final stage of the tournament.

Chinese Li Na is maintaining a good form. However, Na’s performance at Wimbledon during the past few years has not been praiseworthy, with her best being the elimination in the quarter final stage of 2010 only.

JPN/Kautilya Singh

MEN's RANKING
Ranking
Name
Country
1
Rafael Nadal
Spain
2
Novak Djokovic
Serbia
3
Roger Federer
Switzerland
4
Andy Murray
England
5
Robin Soderling
Sweden
6
David Ferrer
Spain
7
Tomas Berdych
Czech Republic
8
Gael Monfils
France
9
Mardy Fish
USA
10
Andy Roddick
USA

WOMEN's RANKING

Ranking
Name
Country
1
Caroline Wozniacki
Denmark
2
Kim Clijsters
Belgium
3
Vera Zvonareva
Russia
4
Na Li
China
5
Victoria Azarenka
Belarus
6
Maria Sharapova
Russia
7
Francesca Schiavone
Italy
8
Petra Kvitova
Czech Republic
9
Marion Bartoli
France
10
Samantha Stosur
Australia

Men's winner since 2000

YEAR
NAME
2010
Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2009
Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2008
Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2007
Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2006
Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2005
Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2004
Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2003
Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2002
Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2001
Goran Ivanisevic (Croatia)
2000
Pete Sampras (USA)

Women's winner since 2000

YEAR
NAME
2010
Serena Williams (USA)
2009
Serena Williams (USA)
2008
Venus Williams (USA)
2007
Venus Williams (USA)
2006
Amelie Mauresmo (France)
2005
Venus Williams (USA)
2004
Maria Sharapova (Russia)
2003
Serena Williams (USA)
2002
Serena Williams (USA)
2001
Venus Williams (USA)
2000
Venus Williams (USA)