WIMBLEDON 2014: 'Murresmo,' other things to watch

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 21, 2014 at 1:11 pm •  Published: June 21, 2014
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LONDON (AP) — Last year's Wimbledon was the most unpredictable in memory.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova — owners of a combined 10 titles at the All England Club — were all gone by the end of the second round. Five-time champion Serena Williams left in the fourth. Add in the record-equaling withdrawals or mid-match retirements because of health problems.

And to cap it all, Andy Murray finally gave Britain the men's champion it had wanted for more than three-quarters of a century.

What might 2014 have in store? Here are five things to watch at Wimbledon, where play begins Monday:

'MURRESMO': The pairing of Murray and his new coach, Amelie Mauresmo, was quickly dubbed "Murresmo," and their partnership is sure to draw a lot of notice. For one thing, Murray won the grass-court Grand Slam tournament — the first British man in 77 years to do so — with Ivan Lendl in his corner. For another, it's unusual for a top male tennis player to be coached by a woman, although Murray was coached for years by his mother, current British Fed Cup captain Judy. Asked about the hiring of Mauresmo, 2013 Wimbledon runner-up Novak Djokovic said: "I don't know how that's going to turn out, this relationship. But it's definitely an interesting decision."

THE USUAL SUSPECTS: A member of the so-called Big 4 has won each of the last 11 Wimbledon titles — seven for Federer, two for Nadal, and one apiece for Murray and Djokovic — and few would be surprised if someone in that quartet makes it an even dozen. The top-seeded Djokovic, champion in 2011, is a popular pick, although he himself offered this: "I wouldn't say it's so obvious that the 'usual suspects' ... will reach the final stages." Nadal's ninth French Open title was followed quickly by his third consecutive loss on grass; the stuff is rough on his knees. If Federer, now 32 and a father of four, is going to seriously contend for an 18th major title, it figures to come at Wimbledon, because he excels on grass, last year's stunning second-round exit notwithstanding. "I feel like, yeah, if things click here, I should be able to win the tournament," Federer said.

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