Usual names are found at Wimbledon, week 2
LONDON — As usual, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are playing well at Wimbledon, leading the way into Week 2.
“It’s their turf,” said Ernests Gulbis, who stood in Djokovic’s way in the third round but failed to present too much of an obstacle. “It’s their home court.”
Indeed, it is.
Not since Lleyton Hewitt won the championship 15 years ago has someone other than Federer (a record-equaling seven titles in that span), Djokovic (three), Nadal (two) or Murray (two) left Wimbledon with the men’s singles title. In addition, that so-called Big 4 accounts for eight runner-up finishes during that stretch.
Count Federer among those shrugging at the quartet’s success so far this fortnight, with only one set dropped among the lot.
“I thought that everybody this week was going to find their form, especially speaking about Andy and Novak. … With me, I hoped I was going to be there. Whereas with Rafa’s confidence, I thought he was also going to be there,” said Federer, who has a cold. “So I’m not that surprised. But it’s great.”
This Grand Slam season has been just like old times.
Following a period in which Djokovic, then current No. 1 Murray overtook Federer and Nadal in the rankings, and started regularly appearing in — and winning — major finals, the latter two have reasserted themselves.
First, Federer returned from missing the last half of 2016 while letting his surgically repaired left knee heal and has been as impressive as he’s been in quite some time.