Sport Tennis

Tennis trouble

Written by James Potter

Men’s tennis could become very predictable this year as the sport’s depth continues to diminish. Novak Djokovic may have the best chance to win the elusive Grand Slam in recent years, a feat only ever achieved by Australian Rod Laver. The powerful Serbian looks to be at the height of his strength and must be licking his chops at the prospect of adding to his trophy cabinet.

Andy Murray stands as his only serious threat. The Scotsman answered many of his critics last year with impressive Grand Slam and Olympic results. Although Murray can’t beat Djokovic at his best, he will at least give the Serbian a run for his money.

The only other two contestants worth considering are Federer and Nadal. These two giants of the game are like champion racehorses who have had plenty of starts – their coats are turning grey and the retirement paddock is calling. I’m surprised Federer is still lacing up his shoes. He is really going to have to lift to push for a Grand Slam this year. For the first time in nearly a decade the game’s greatest ever player will not start as favorite to win the Australian Open. Nadal is crippled but has the mentality of a bull running down the streets of Pamplona. If he gets back into shape and views this year’s French Open as his swan song, then he will be Djokovic’s biggest hurdle. As far as the rest go, Del Potro, Ferrer, Tsonga and Berdych keep making up the numbers, but to see any of them challenge the Joker is very hard to imagine. I really hope I’m wrong but it could be a very predictable year in a sport which desperately needs some new up-and-coming talent.

It’s important to ensure the right conditions are in place in a professional sport, but to hold the game which pays your bills to ransom is another thing entirely. I will observe with interest where ice hockey stands in years to come. Hopefully, it will serve as a reminder to sports worldwide that we should not take the supporting public for granted.