The Spaniard says the tournament is always capable of throwing up a shock (Picture: EPA)Rafael Nadal expects the top three to all fight it out to win this year’s Wimbledon, but says the tournament is ripe for one of the many emerging young players to spring a surprise.
No player outside the so-called ‘big four’ – Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – has won at SW19 since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002, some 17 years ago.
Murray will not take part in the singles this year, but the other three have won the last 10 Grand Slams in a row, and Nadal expects the usual suspects to be there or thereabouts once again.
Nadal comes into Wimbledon off the back of winning the French Open (Picture: Getty)‘The candidates to win I suppose are Federer, Djokovic, and there are young players who are playing well too,’ the Spaniard told Movistar Plus. ‘We’ll have to see how they compete.
‘It’s a special tournament, different from the rest, and there are more chances of a surprise. It’s a unique tournament.’
Wimbledon’s unique seeding formula is likely to see world No.2 Nadal seeded below Federer, despite being higher in the rankings, which he isn’t too pleased about.
He continued: ‘I think it’s the usual thing. Wimbledon is the only tournament of the year that they do what they want in that sense, with their own criteria.
Nadal expects both the old guard and the stars of the future to be competitive (Picture: Getty)‘Whether I’m two or three, I’ll have to play at my best. I will accept being three if they see it that way and I will fight to try to win my matches.
‘The only thing that does not seem right to me about this story is that it is only Wimbledon that does it, only one tournament. It has not only happened to me, it has happened to other players. They do not respect the status that some players have earned throughout the season.’