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Former player Bjorn Borg has dismissed Rafael Nadal’s chances to defending his title – claiming that Andy Murray and Roger Federer will be the ones to target this year.
World No.1 Nadal, who was shocked in the fourth round of Roland Garros to Robin Soderling as he missed the chance to win five straight French Open titles, and his knee problems are now troubling him.
The 23 year-old Nadal, who also missed Queen’s, as Murray became the first homegrown champion to lift the title in 71 years, but was scheduled to play in a practice session at Wimbledon and will possibly participate in an exhibition match played in Hurlingham Club.
Borg, the last man to triumph the Paris and London, feels the Spainard will be a spent force at SW19.
“Nadal is always a dangerous player because he is the best in the world – but what happened in Paris and then the injury, I am picking Murray or Federer,” said the Swedish ace, who surprised the tennis world with his sudden retirement in 1983 at age of 26.
“I am sure he was very, very disappointed when he went home after Paris. That defeat took him many, many days to get over.
“Nadal is saying he has got an injury, but he has to be fit at Wimbledon if he wants to go all the way, and I do not think he will go all the way this year.”
Borg, the holder of 11 Grand titles to his credit, believes World No.3 Murray has the game to become the first British winner at SW19 since Fred Perry in 1936.
“Andy has had a great year,” said Borg, who was at London for the introduction of the HSBC Champions of Wimbledon.
“I do not think he was ready to win Wimbledon last year, but it is a different story now. He is ready to win it this year.
“He has no weaknesses, he can play on all kinds of surfaces and I was very impressed what he did on the clay court surface. He was hitting the ball extremely well.
“Andy Murray seems to find himself on the court and knows how to behave, focus and play his game.
“He has matured a lot as a person over the last year and as a tennis player.
“If you compare him now to a few years ago he is a completely different player on the court.
“He is ready to win a Grand Slam tournament and is one of my favourites to win Wimbledon.
“Andy is physically and mentally strong, but there is going to be huge pressure – however, he can handle it if he focuses on the things he can do.”
Borg added: “If not Wimbledon, he can win the US Open, but if he does not win Wimbledon this year, then he has a good chance in the years to come.
“One day, eventually, Andy Murray will win Wimbledon.”