Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U 2

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U 2

Article excerpt

WHAT TO WATCH FOR AT WIMBLEDON

With the men's and women's French Open singles champions officially crowned, it's time to look ahead to Wimbledon. After all, it starts in less than a fortnight, as the Britons say.

I think that might be one of my favorite turnarounds in all of sports. Two of the four Slam tournaments only two weeks apart, and on surfaces about as different as the ones on Mars and Venus.

As the tennis world makes the transition to grass, these are a few of the top storylines we'll be watching for at Wimbledon:

-- Roger's redemption: World's No. 1 Roger Federer will be out to prove that his abysmal performance this weekend in the final against Rafael Nadal was a fluke -- and what better place to do that than the venue where he has been invincible.

-- Rafa's rise: Nadal (left) came as close as anyone has to dethroning Federer last year, pushing him to five sets and two tiebreakers in the final. Tennis legend Bjorn Borg even said after watching Sunday's final that this could be Rafa's year to win Wimbledon.

-- American angst: Another poor showing at Roland Garros leaves the American ladies and gentlemen with plenty to prove. But Venus Williams is the queen of Centre Court, and if anyone can redeem the U.S. hopes, it's her. Andy Roddick and Lindsay Davenport also should be back in the field.

-- Serbia's sweetheart: After winning the French Open title and becoming the first player from her country to be ranked No. 1 in the world, Ana Ivanovic must quickly learn how to handle life on top of the tennis world. Also look for a potential budding rivalry with Maria Sharapova -- tennis fans now have two top stars to watch with looks to match their talent.

-- Sharapova's scene: The Russian returns to the site where her star shot to prominence in 2004, when she won the title as a 17-year-old. But that was four years ago. This year, she started strong with an Australian Open title, and a worthy showing here could reinstate her at the top of the tennis rankings. …

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