Grand Slam Favourites in 2015

Over the last decade, four men have dominated when it comes to Grand Slam tennis events. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and to a lesser extent, Andy Murray are in a different league when it comes to the four major tournaments, and in the last five years, they have won 18 of the 20 Grand Slams that have taken place. With Federer now 33 years of age, and Rafael Nadal continuing to struggle with injuries, it may be that others stand a chance in upcoming events. While Novak Djokovic has already landed the first Slam of 2015 with his victory at the Australian Open, we could well see a first time Grand Slam winner at one of the three tournaments that remain this year. Players such as Kei Nishikori, Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer are all knocking on the door and there should definitely be more opportunities for those outside the big four in the coming months.

Bookmaker Betfair have some special markets on exactly how many Grand Slams will be won by the big four, and it's Novak Djokovic who is currently in the driving seat as far as those odds are concerned, with the Serbian available to back at a shade of odds on to end the current campaign with two Slams to his name. Djokovic has already taken the Australian Open, and the Betfair odds compilers feel that the world number one is more than likely to take another major title before the end of the season. Novak is 11/4 to win one Grand Slam, 3/2 to land two, 2/1 is available on Djokovic winning three, while the Serb going all the way at all four Grand Slams during 2015 is currently on offer at odds of 7/1.

Andy Murray once again finished runner-up at the recent Australian Open, but when you consider the struggle that the Scot has had with a back injury, the Murray camp can take plenty of encouragement from his run to the final. Andy Murray is currently a 2/5 chance not to win any of the three remaining Grand Slams this year, but he has previously been successful at both Wimbledon and the US Open and with those two tournaments still to come, the 15/8 on offer about Murray winning one Grand Slam title in 2015 could well be the more attractive bet. Murray will need to perform well before the clay court season starts if he is to overtake Rafa Nadal as world number three, with the Spaniard playing his best tennis on that particular surface. Nadal has looked a shadow of his former self since returning from a wrist injury, but may well be seen to better effect once the clay court matches begin in earnest, and would certainly have decent claims come the French Open. His chances are very much reflected in the Betfair specials market, with the sportsbook going 11/10 about the Olympic gold medalist winning one Grand Slam in 2015, while there is even money available for Rafael Nadal to end the season having won no Grand Slams.

Grand Slam roundup looking towards 2015

Looking back at 2014, it shows that it was a watershed year and the cartel of the "big 4" was broken and although not over, the domination is certainly is. Novak Djokovic is still in his prime and will be the guy to beat in 2015, but as the US Open showed that when he is slightly distracted and his priorities were marriage, a baby due and full of the joys of life, he got beat by the young Kei Nishikori. Winning a Slam is a tough business, that even the best need to have as an all-encompassing mission, one that takes enormous energy and focus. Rafa Nadal is interesting because it is hard to imagine that he will be able to come back as quickly and strongly to top level form as he did after a similar injury break in 2013. I will stick my neck out and discount him for the Australian Open and see if he can win the French again. Wimbledon is a week later for the first time in 2015, so he will have the extra week to recover for Wimbledon. Roger Federer has had a great year and is attacking the net more to shorten points, benefitting greatly from Stefan Edberg, one of the greatest volleyers in history. However time slowly ravages at the edges of an athlete’s body and a little speed, flexibility and recovery time is lost. Winning seven matches is probably beyond him unless he can get through six of them without a marathon as he did at Wimbledon this year on his way to the final leaving enough in the tank to push Novak to the limit in a five set thriller. Roger is such a great champion and I have so much respect for his ability to keep reinventing himself to keep pace, for his pure love of the sport, competing because he enjoys it, not just to win. I humbly say that Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that he can still win. Andy Murray has not been mentally on it at Grand Slam focus level since he won Wimbledon. He has to somehow find the level of calm aggression that he had for eighteen months from January 2012 through to his Wimbledon triumph where he was arguably the best player on the planet.

Wimbledon Master Plan

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The Wimbledon Master Plan sets out the All England Club's vision for the future of the Club’s grounds and is a framework against which new development will be assessed and refined.

In the video below, All England Club Chairman Philip Brook discusses the origins and vision for the Wimbledon Master Plan.

Djokovic: "World Group should be once a year"

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World No 1 Novak Djokovic said that Davis Cup comes at wrong timing and that it should be organised once a year.

"This is the only official team competition we have in sport and that is the reason why it has a unique place in our career," he said. "Unfortunately, it comes at a very bad timing. Right after Australia, right after U.S. Open, right after Miami. It comes after a very long period of tournaments, and most of the top players reach the final stages of those tournaments."

Emirates Announces Sponsors hip of Roland Garros Tennis Tournament

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PARIS, France – 17 April 2013: Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines and Roland Garros have announced a five-year agreement appointing Emirates as Official Partner of the Roland Garros tournament® starting with the 2013 edition from May 21st to June 9th, 2013.

The announcement was revealed today by Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline and Jean Gachassin, President of the French Federation of Tennis, during a press conference held in Roland Garros Stadium in Paris.   

World Group play-offs draw (vid)

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The draw for the 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-offs has been revealed, with both Spain and Switzerland given home ties and Australia and Great Britain drawn away.

No. 1 seeds Spain will play Ukraine as the visitors bid to reach the World Group for the first time. The tie could feature Rafael Nadal, who expressed his desire to play in the competition in September.

New four-year deal with the International Tennis Federation (ITF)

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The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has decided in favour of Sportradar for the exclusive worldwide distribution rights of ITF Official Data. The four-year agreement officially started on January 1, 2013, and means unprecedented access to the ITF’s vast data.

This co-operation opens up new horizons in the realisation of exciting new live betting products and enables Sportradar to offer a 24/7/365 Live Tennis Betting offer for 30,000+ matches per year.