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Federer, Serena will win Wimbledon: Bollettieri
Rediff Sports Bureau | June 26, 2007 12:00 IST
Of the two, Serena Williams is the less obvious pick. Bollettieri has his reasons -- and typically of a man who has made a reputation for creating champions out of seemingly unpromising material, it is something in the former world number one's mind that he homes in on.
The coach points out that Serena has, ahead of the only Grand Slam event to be played on grass, said in unambiguous terms that she will not let herself in for another debacle like the French earlier this year, when she was blasted off court by Justin Henin.
'And when she is talking the talk, saying she wants a third Wimbledon title to match Venus, and that she envisages playing seven matches this fortnight, she usually walks the walk,' says Bollettieri, of why he is betting the farm on the American ace to take top honours.
Not that it is going to be a one-woman romp: Bolletteiri picks Amelie Mauresmo, Henin, Maria Sharapova [Images] and Jelena Jankovic as the potential dangers in the field.
The men's side, Bolletteiri believes, is far clearer: Swiss ace Federer to win a fifth straight title, equaling the legendary Bjorn Borg. However, Bollettieri believes, 'FedEx' could be tested a lot more, this year, than he was during his earlier four wins.
The one player Bollettieri picks to upset the champion's applecart is Marat Safin [Images], who Federer will likely meet in the third round. 'As is always the case with Federer, his opponent would need to be at his absolute peak to win while Federer simultaneously had an off-day,' he writes.
While lamenting that the serve and volley style of play is in danger of following the dodo into extinction (Bollettieri picks Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi as the only two players left in that category), the ace coach also suggests that this year, there is nothing in the field to suggest that an outsider has what it takes to stun the field.
Which doesn't mean there are no dark horses worth watching: Bollettieri picks Nicolas Mahut, among the men, and Vania King, among the women, as being marquee value.
And then there is Bollettieri's pick of the game to watch: Martina Hingis [Images] against Naomi Cavaday of Great Britain, on the infamous Court 2.
Photograph: Getty Images