Written by Martina Hingis
With Rafael Nadal out of these Championships, Roger Federer now has a great opportunity to win Wimbledon for a seventh time. Nothing is guaranteed, though, as we saw when Roger had to come from two sets down in his third-round match against Julien Benneteau. I have such admiration for Roger and the way that, after all those years on the tour, he’s still fresh and hungry and ambitious to win titles, and he could be the main beneficiary of Nadal’s defeat in the second round.
Roger has had a mental block when it comes to playing Nadal. That’s because Nadal’s game can really hurt Roger, with those cross-court balls into his backhand.
I think Roger has much more of a gameplan in his matches with Novak Djokovic. He knows what he has to do to beat him and he creates opportunities against him at the grand slams. Roger beat Djokovic in the semi-finals of last year’s French Open, and at the last two US Opens he’s held match points against him in the semi-finals.
Rafael Nadal looked exhausted, physically and mentally fatigued, in his match against Lukas Rosol. I think winning in Paris, beating Djokovic in the final, took so much out of him. He was fine for an hour against Rosol, but then he looked so tired. Rosol played a great match, but Nadal was a long way off his best. I hope fans understand with Nadal. It would really help the players if there was an extra week between the French Open and Wimbledon, with the gap increased from two weeks to three.
That would make a big difference as after a grand slam, you are so tired because of the stresses, the city, everything and you need to mentally relax. So, if you go deep into the French Open, you often feel as though you don’t have time to properly prepare for Wimbledon. I’m sad for Nadal, but this was the first time that he had lost that early at a slam for seven years. I wish I could have had a record like that.
Caroline Wozniacki is struggling for momentum and confidence at the moment, and I think that can be traced back to playing too much tennis – going from one tournament to another without taking a break. She is such a great player and lovely girl and I was sad to see her go out in the first round. I’m sure that her team and many fans felt the same. I’m not sure whose decision it was for her to play so many tournaments – maybe that was hers, or the people around her – but it now seems as though she is fresh and hungry again.