‘Novak Djokovic is heaviest Wimbledon favourite for a very long time’, feels tennis great

Ewan West
Novak Djokovic Wimbledon 2022
Novak Djokovic with the Wimbledon trophy

Tennis legend Todd Woodbridge thinks Novak Djokovic is the heaviest favourite to win the Wimbledon title for a “very long time” ahead of the 2023 Championships.

The 16-time Grand Slam doubles champion also asserted that the Serbian great has a “real chance” of completing a Calendar Grand Slam this season.

Djokovic won a men’s record 23rd Grand Slam title last month by downing Casper Ruud to secure his third French Open crown.

The 36-year-old is bidding to tie his great rival Roger Federer’s record of eight Wimbledon men’s titles with victory at the All England Club. The world No 2 has won the last four editions of the event and has not lost a completed match there since 2016.

A Wimbledon triumph would also see Djokovic keep his hopes of winning all four major titles this year alive.

Woodbridge, who won Wimbledon a record nine times in men’s doubles, sees Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz as the only contenders to prevail at the All England Club.

“Djokovic is probably the heaviest favourite coming into Wimbledon that I’ve seen for a very long time. I didn’t see the contender [to challenge him] this year until Queen’s Club,” Woodbridge told AusOpen.com.

“I still don’t think Alcaraz, over five sets, has the consistency of concentration on grass to get Novak. We know he has the game to beat him. The result at Queen’s, though – I didn’t expect Alcaraz would win that tournament.

“Winning Queen’s had been a big precursor to going on and doing well at Wimbledon – if not winning it – for 40 to 50 years. Automatically, those extra matches Alcaraz got throughout that week, and that confidence, are really the thing that make him that one contender who can really worry Novak.

“I can’t go past Novak. After the Aussie Open, I wasn’t being flippant, I said I could see him winning the [Calendar] Grand Slam this year. And I think it’s a real chance. And Alcaraz is knocking on the door, as a sub-plot.”

The Australian also backed world No 3 Elena Rybakina to defend her title in the women’s singles event at the grass-court major.

“On the women’s side, although she’s under-prepared, I’m going for back-to-back championships for Rybakina,” said Woodbridge.

The 2023 Wimbledon Championships begin on Monday, with the women’s and men’s singles finals to be played on July 15 and July 16 respectively.

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