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Article:Wimbledon 2008- Federer's Sternest Test

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Wimbledon 2008 kicks off tomorrow with defending Champion Roger Federer gunning for his 6th straight title. In all circumstances he would have started as firm favorite, but this time its a little different. Federer has had a torrid year so far losing the Australian Open title to Novak Djokovic and getting absolutely blitzed by nemesis Rafael Nadal at the French Open final earlier. Federer has probably the toughest draws he has had at Wimbledon in a long time and it shows with an opening round against Dominik Hrbaty who is no push over. Gail Monfils could be a third round opponent and we all know the test he gave Federer at the French Open semi final. Fourth round could be harder as he goes up against former World Number 1 and previous winner, Leyton Hewitt or hard hitting Fernando Gonzales. The question all fans were asking was where would no. 3 seed Djokovic be placed. Well, Federer will have to overcome him if all goes well till the last four. Nadal, the no.2 seed, has a relatively easier draw with a potential match up against youngster Gulbis in the second round. American Andy Roddick will have to beat 4th seed, Russian Nikolay Davydenko in the quarters if he wants a show down with Nadal in the Semis. Nadal has been a finalist here for the last 2 years and took Federer to five sets last time around. Everyone knows and says that Nadal has added more artillery to his game and is ready to take on Federer for the title this year. Nobody can write Djokovic off as well. I still love watching Federer play and am hoping he will make it six on the trot this year. In the womens section of the draw, after Henin's early retirement, Ivanovic the new world number one, would be favorite along with glamour girl Sharapova. Defending champion Venus Williams will have her own say in the matter and feels lucky to have her sister Serena in the other half of the draw. However Venus could run into some serious trouble in the quarter final where she could face no. 2 seed Jelena Jankovic who has made the semis of all the slams so far this year. Sister Serena could have a huge match with Frenchman Amelie Mauresmo as early as the third round. Anna Chakvetadze would probably be the first test for Ivanovic in the quarter final stage. Serena could take on no.4 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the last eight. Sharapova who is the no. 3 seed is in Jankovic's half of the draw. The last point I would like to make is when the women are placed in such a format which has been followed all over the world where 1 plays 4 and 2 plays 3, why shouldn't it be for the men as well. 1-4 2-3 has always been present in every tournament in every sport.


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