2011 Wimbledon Men’s Final Odds, Free Picks, Tips and Predictions: Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal: Wimbledon is regarded as the most prestigious tournament in tennis, and Sunday’s final will have a dream matchup fit for such a highly-regarded event. Defending Wimbledon champ Rafael Nadal, arguably the top player in the tennis world today, will face Novak Djokovic – the unquestioned hottest player in 2011. The top two players in the world will be on center stage in the sport’s biggest tournament. It doesn’t get much better than that.

After dispatching crow favorite Andy Murray in the semifinals, Nadal finds himself with a chance to add to his growing legacy. A win for Nadal would give him 11 Grand Slam titles in his career, and three at the All-England Club. It would also move him one step closer to catching and possibly passing Roger Federer’s record of 16 major titles. Nadal hasn’t lost a match at Wimbledon since Federer beat him in 2007, missing the 2009 tournament with an injury and winning in 2008 and 2010.

Djokovic knocked of upset-minded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the Wimbledon finals for the first time in his career, continuing an impressive run of dominance. He is now an incredible 47-1 in 2011, and he opened the year with a 41-match winning streak. Djokovic is a two-time Grand Slam winner, having won the Australian Open twice, including earlier this year. For all he has already accomplished, Sunday’s final is a big opportunity for Djokovic. The hard court specialist could cement his status as one of the top players in the game with a grass court victory in a major tournament against the most feared player in the tennis world.

The head-to-head numbers favor Nadal, who holds a 16-11 career record against Djokovic. However, Djokovic has gotten the better of Nadal four times in 2011, beating the Spaniard in the finales at Indian Wells, Miami, Rome and Madrid. You can devalue Djokovic’s victories at Indian Wells and Miami if you want because both tournaments are played on hard surfaces, but Madrid and Rome are both clay court events. Nadal is supposedly the king of clay, but that didn’t stop Djokovic. The question is whether or not he can do the same under the bright lights of a major final.

The experience edge goes to Nadal in a landslide. He holds a 10-2 career record in Grand Slam finals, while Djokovic is just 2-2. Past results may not directly count for any points Sunday, but the knowledge that comes with having played on the biggest stages against the toughest competition time and time again can’t be overlooked. Nerves are definitely not going to be a factor for Nadal. We just don’t know if the same can be said about Djokovic.

Djokovic does have the advantage of being the underdog in this matchup. He has nothing to lose as he tries to defeat the man that has dominated the tennis world for the greater part of three years. Meanwhile, Nadal is at a stage in his career when every loss could be viewed as the beginning of the end to his time on top. Djokovic would seemingly be the next in line, and Sunday’s contest could go a long way to determining if and when he usurps Nadal.

This matchup has all the makings of a grueling, five-set thriller. Both Nadal and Djokovic are simply playing too well right now to go down without a fight. Unfortunately for Djokovic, he is facing an opponent every bit as hungry as he is. Nadal is one of the most intense competitors that sport has ever seen, and he has his eyes on becoming the greatest player in tennis history. Just as Nadal had to learn how to beat Roger Federer through repeated failures, Djokovic will have to do the same before he can surpass Nadal. Expect a back-and-forth contest before Nadal eventually takes control in the final set.  

2011 Wimbledon Men’s Final Prediction: Rafael Nadal Wins in 5 Sets


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