Wimbledon 2016 – Old Guard Starting To Feel The Pain

Photo of author
Written By Mostafa Moradi

Now’s the time for a young player to step and go for glory at Wimbledon as the old guard admit they are tired and worn out.

Tennis desperately needs an injection of fervour and energy to displace the old favourites who have had their time.

And Wimbledon could be the springboard for a player with the heart and strength to make an impression.

Former world number one and two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal, 30, is out with a wrist injury.

The wrist is the latest in a long line of disappointing injuries for Nadal, as aches and pains in his knees, back and shoulders have led him to withdraw from several recent tournaments.

Veteran Roger Federer, 34, is edging his way back after a back injury and has admitted he hurt his knees while running a bath.

Federer has won Wimbledon 17 times among his 17 grand Slam wins.

Djokovic going for clean sweep

Andy Murray has admitted he needs a rest.

“My body needs to recover before Wimbledon,” he said. “I have played a lot heavy, slow physical matches on clay which have been in difficult conditions.

“I definitely need some time to recover before going back to grass and training again.”

Of course, that leaves top seed Novak Djokovic, but a fast, strong game will put pressure on the rest.

Djokovic has won the last two Wimbledon tournaments and is aiming to defend the title and the US Open title to become the first man since Australian Rod laver in 1969 to hold all the Grand Slam titles in a single calendar year.

“I’m not arrogant, but I think this is achievable,” said the Serb.

This year’s Wimbledon starts on Monday, June 13.

Sharapova to appeal doping ban

Meanwhile, another high profile absentee will be Russian Maria Sharapova, who faces a two-year competition ban for failing a drugs test.

She was suspended in March after officials detected a prohibited drug in her system at the Australia Open in January.

“I cannot accept such an unfairly harsh ban and will appeal the ruling,” she said.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam winner, argues the drug use was unintentional and not aimed at performance enhancement.

She also claims the ban was halved from four years the International Tennis Federation wanted.