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Roger vs. Rafa and the Build Up to Wimbledon

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Who is the greatest, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal? Plus the early odds released for Wimbledon.

Roger vs. Rafa and the Build Up to Wimbledon

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been looking down at the rest of the tennis landscape for quite some time.  They are the top two players in the game (though Novak Djokovic would disagree) and because of Nadal's recent successes in Grand Slams, the inevitable question has risen.  Who's better?

The easy choice is Federer.  Just look at his resume: Federer has won 16 grand slams throughout his career, including 5-peats at Wimbledon and the US Open.  He makes his blistering serve look effortless, can lay a vicious drop shot, or just methodically pick you apart.  He hasn't won a Grand Slam event since the 2010 Australian Open, but his performance recently at the French Open showed us all that Federer isn't done yet.

Then there's Nadal.  He won his first Grand Slam at the French Open in 2004 and has won each year but one (2009 to, who else, Federer).  He couldn't break through anywhere else though, and many thought that he would only win there.  Then Rafa one at Wimbledon.  Then at the Australian Open.  Than another at Wimbledon.  Finally he took a US Open.  Nadal now has 10 Grand Slams and is number one in the ATP Tennis rankings.  Nadal isn't just a one-trick pony anymore.  His raw athleticism gave him a huge advantage on the clay courts at Roland Garros, but now his game has become complete.  He's won four of the past six Grand Slam events, and it seems like this is now Nadal's time.

When all is said and done, Nadal has to catch and pass Federer if he wants to be known as the greatest.  Jon Wertheim over at SI.com answered the question and had this to say:  

So here's my take: Federer is still the G.O.A.T. And he doesn't even feel Nadal's hot breath on his neck. At least not yet. Federer has six more Slams. He's been to nearly twice as many Slam finals. Plus, he has that vastly underrated semifinal streak to which Nadal hasn't come close. If you were trying to argue against Federer, there's no question that his 8-17 record against his rival would be Exhibit A. Unquestionably, this cuts against Federer. But it's still a tad misleading. The bulk of Nadal's wins have come on his preferred surface and Federer's least favorite surface. Nadal is younger, he's a better competitor -- which is to say, a peerless competitor -- and, body willing he may ultimately take the mantle. But I don't think we're there yet.

Nadal isn't there yet, but he has the chance to get there.  He's young, hungry, and talented.  Federer is still the greatest, and it won't be a while until he gives up that title.

Wimbledon Odds:  Just as soon as the French Open ended, we are only one week away from Wimbledon.  The pre-tournament odds were released, and there are no real surprises there.  Nadal is the easy favorite, but I think this could be the tournament where Novak Djokovic finally breaks through.  He doesn't have that winning streak to worry about anymore and can ride the momentum of a semifinal appearance at the French Open, even if he was clearly outclassed by Federer there.  If there is a Nadal/Djokovic final, I take Djokovic.

Let Charged.fm get you the best seats for Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic when they vie for the US Open title in August! 

On the other side, Kim Clijsters has to be a favorite despite her meltdown at the French Open.  If Venus and Serena Williams participate, which it looks like they will, they have to be considered for the championship as well.  Serena won at Wimbledon last year, but has had medical setbacks, including a blood clot in her lung, that took her out of the game.  I wouldn't bet against the Williams sisters, as Wimbledon is one of the events they care a great deal about. 


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