By Britwatch Team
- PART 1: The Britwatch team make their Slam predictions for 2016
- PART 2: Olympic glory beckons, but for who?
- PART 3: We gaze into our crystal tennis balls for our favourite Brits
It’s that time of year when the Britwatch tennis writing team decide to flex their prediction muscles and name their favourites for the big honours in 2016! In Part One we look at the Slams.
Men’s Grand Slam Champions Predictions
|Australian Open||French Open||Wimbledon||US Open|
|Ros Satar||Andy Murray||Novak Djokovic||Novak Djokovic||Novak Djokovic|
|Niall Clarke||Novak Djokovic||Novak Djokovic||Novak Djokovic||Stan Wawrinka|
|Naomi Cavaday||Novak Djokovic||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||Andy Murray|
|Glenys Furness||Andy Murray||Rafael Nadal||Andy Murray||Novak Djokovic|
Australian Open – Andy Murray: If there is ever a time for the Brit to stake his claim in a Slam he enjoys playing in, and has reached the final of four out of the last five years, it is now. Playing as consistently as he ever has with admittedly a few blips here and there, and coasting along on the wave of GB’s Davis Cup victory, the time is now for Murray to strike.
Of course his main opposition in the ‘Happy Slam’ could well be Novak Djokovic who will come into 2016 with a truly dominant year to defend. Of course the impending arrival of Murray junior could well intervene, but this is a Slam he could and sometime should win.
French Open – Novak Djokovic: I suspect if he cannot start the year as he closed out 2015 then this will be his Holy Grail. This feels like it will be his year, but he can expect sturdy opposition from the King of Clay Rafael Nadal, and also from the defending champion, who will want to cement his place in the current highest order of players.
Wimbledon – Novak Djokovic: With the French and Wimbledon hot on each other’s heels, my prediction is Djokovic putting together a mighty spin, although it wouldn’t surprise me to see Murray challenge him for the finals.
US Open – Novak Djokovic: This is probably the hardest one to call. The impact of the Olympics in the latter half of the year shakes things up a lot. It is hard to see anyone else atop the Empire State on the following Monday, especially if the year’s first honour goes elsewhere.
Australian Open- Novak Djokovic: The world number one has ruled the Australian Open since the change in surface eight years ago. Half of Djokovic’s grand slam titles have come in Melbourne and he will be expected to add to that collection. It is too difficult seeing who can topple the Serbian on his best surface, so Djokovic to beat Murray in the final.
French Open- Novak Djokovic: It is the one elusive slam for the world number one, but after so many close attempts, he will finally get his hands on the Rolland Garros title and complete the career grand slam. Last year it took a ‘Stanimalistic’ performance from Wawrinka to stop him, there will not be a repeat this year. Djokovic defeats a resurging Nadal in the final.
Wimbledon- Novak Djokovic: There is recurring theme here. It is hard to see where Djokovic loses because he is so far above the rest of the field. It may be a third straight final with Federer and yet again Djokovic will prevail.
US Open- Stan Wawrinka: Going on a limb and predicted a third grand slam in as many years for Wawrinka. Djokovic, chasing the calendar slam, will suffer a shock exit and it will leave the door open for Wawrinka who defeats Murray in the final.
Australian Open – Novak Djokovic: This tournament always inspires Djokovic to be at his best and after his performance in London I can’t see how this year is going to be any different. His physicality is his strength and after a rest and pre season training no one will be able to beat him in the best of 5. Andy will be the runner up but it will set up a good season for him.
Roland Garros – Novak Djokovic: With Nadal not at his best and Fed and Murray not fans of the clay Novak is the only outcome for this title. Stan will put in a good showing and make the final but Novak will have a years worth of revenge waiting for him.
Wimbledon – Andy Murray: It is his favourite surface, favourite tournament and favourite time of year so absolutely Andy will win this one. I am anticipating an incredible final as Djokovic puts up a good fight but I think Andy will be too good and produce some of his best tennis ever.
US Open – Andy Murray: He has done it before and he is playing even better now. This all hinges on Murray retaining his number 2 spot through to the US but winning Wimbledon should secure that for him. Someone else, probably Federer, will take out Djokovic and Andy will dispatch Federer in the Final.
Australian Open – Andy Murray: Murray has been close before with only Djokovic standing in his way on previous finals. Likely to be facing Djokovic again in the final, but with the Davis Cup win behind him the focus is now on the first slam of the year. If he can get a good run at Djokovic and take the first set Murray will take this one this time
French Open – Rafael Nadal: Having had a poor season last year, Nadal will show that he is back to his best by winning “his” slam and regain his title of King of Clay (admittedly, never really lost as although he didn’t win the French or the Clay Masters last year he is still one of the best on the surface)
Wimbledon – Andy Murray: After failing again to win the French open, Murray will return to the green grass of home. Having a storming run at Queens, Murray will then find himself in the final of Wimbledon again, and in a repeat of 2013 will defeat Djokovic in the final.
US Open – Novak Djokovic: Having come close in the others, this will be the one that the Serb wins, he will still be #1 as he will have consistently reached finals of Masters and win all of them! Desperate to end the year with a slam, Djokovic will be all out to win this one.
Women’s Grand Slam Champions Predictions
|Australian Open||French Open||Wimbledon||US Open|
|Ros Satar||Simona Halep||Garbiñe Muguruza||Agnieszka Radwanska||Serena Williams|
|Niall Clarke||Serena Williams||Garbiñe Muguruza||Petra Kvitova||Maria Sharapova|
|Naomi Cavaday||Serena Williams||Garbiñe Muguruza||Serena Williams||Serena Williams|
|Glenys Furness||Serena Williams||Serena Williams||Agnieszka Radwanska||Petra Kvitova|
Australian Open – Simona Halep: Time to shake things up a little. Halep really impressed me with her talking the talk this year but it is really time to walk the walk. The first time I encountered the scrappy Romanian she was like a bunny in the headlights in the Stuttgart All Access sessions with the media – this year a far more accomplished figure in front of the press. She even had all the answers when she suffered some surprising losses.
But now the time is ripe to get those results in and she needs a fast and confident start in 2016. So let’s kick things off with a Slam title!
French Open – Garbiñe Muguruza: Perhaps it is a little uncharitable to count out Serena Williams at this stage, but again there is a golden chance to see a new name, and quite frankly time to see the next generation moving up! Muguruza has played well in Paris, and now has the added confidence of making a Slam final, on a surface that had never been her favourite, so imagine how she could perform on one she likes! Now working with Sam Sumyk, who took Victoria Azarenka to two Australian Open titles, the World No. 3 should have her eyes on the prize on the dirt.
Wimbledon – Agnieszka Radwanska: This is another of my left field calls – watching Radwanska battle her way to the WTA Finals title, perhaps this will be her year. Wimbledon is the only Slam final she has made in her career, pushing eventual champion Serena to three sets. Hopefully now she has the self-belief to go for it in 2016.
US Open – Serena Williams: Having set the stall out for other players – it is time for Serena to take centre stage, and this will be where she equals Steffi Graf’s Slam total of 22. The pressure of trying for a Career Slam may have proved too much in 2015, and there is no doubt she needed time to recover over her US Open loss.
She still has it within herself to topple Margaret Court, and if I could be a little cheeky and recant my earlier predictions, she may well nab the three titles she needs to equal the Aussie if Halep, Muguruza and Radwanska stumble as she still remains the most dominant force in women’s tennis.
Australian Open- Serena Williams: Keen to get herself back on track after the shock US Open defeat, Serena will start the season with victory at the Australian Open, tying Steff Graf. The American will beat Muguruza in the final.
French Open- Garbine Muguruza: Third time will be a charm for Muguruza on her best surface as she defeats Sharapova in the final. The Spaniard made a big break through in 2014 and if she continues in the same vein it is difficult to see her not winning a big event.
Wimbledon- Petra Kvitova: I was edging towards a surprise winner but i could not pin point a name so decided to play it safer. Kvitova is a former two time champion so it is known her game suits the grass and it will be certainly difficult to beat her. The finalist will be either Bencic or Radwanska in a surprise.
US Open- Maria Sharapova: I made a prediction of Serena only winning one slam in 2016, so the US Open will go to Sharapova, defeating Halep in the final. The Russian is a former champion here and seems like one of the safer bets outside of Williams.
Australian Open – Serena Williams: Not much to say really. Serena is the best by a long way and if she is playing at 70% or more of her capabilities she will have this one wrapped up comfortably. The final will be a repeat of last year with a victory over Sharapova.
Roland Garros – Garbiñe Muguruza: In 2014 Paris propelled Muguruza on to fabulous form which resulted in her finishing the year in the number 3 spot. Clay is her favourite surface (she is Spanish after all) and once Williams has had enough she has the potential to be our very own ‘Queen of Clay’. Muguruza will take out Williams in the Semis and then Radwanska in the final.
Wimbledon – Williams: But which one?! Please can we let Venus be in the other half to Serena and we could be on for a Williams – Williams final and what a treat that would be! Remember Venus has finished the year at number 7 and if she hadn’t met Serena so early in Wimbledon and US could have been top 5. My prediction? Serena will beat Venus in the final.
US Open – Serena Williams: So Williams will oust Sharapova in the final as we all once again ask ourselves the question “how on earth has Sharapova not won more Slams?”. Look down the other end of the court and you will see your answer in the form of Serena… The undisputed number 1.
Australian Open – Serena Williams: Hard to see past anyone other than the top woman player in this – the first slam of the year will be a good place for Williams to start her year. Having had a good period of time off at the end of the season Williams will be fresh and raring to go.
French Open – Serena Williams: Again, wasn’t really any other to see winning this on the WTA side. Serena always seems to do particularly well at the French, this year will be no different. Looking to get the back to back double in slams, this will again be Williams’ year.
Wimbledon – Agnieszka Radwanska: Maybe off the wall a bit, but Aga has been on the edge of winning a major slam title for a while now, this will be her year as she will have a run to the final without facing any top seeds, who will fall away early.
US Open – Petra Kvitova: Although having not progressed further than the QF which was last year, Kvitova has been improving on the hard courts. Staying injury free she will make a surprise run to the final and will win it on her first attempt.
In Part Two – we will cast our eyes over the Rio 2016 Olympics contenders as e continue our predictions for 2016.
|FOLLOW BRITWATCH – SPORTS IN GENERAL, BRITS IN PARTICULAR!|