Simon Reed

Federer and Sharapova show true class

Simon Reed

Novak Djokovic started off very nervously against Juan Carlos Ferrero - but once he got into it, he looked good.

Not as good as Roger Federer, though. He was spectacular, albeit against an opponent in Albert Ramos who I don't think has ever won a grass court match!

Regardless of that though I've just got a sneaking feeling that Federer could win the tournament this year. The performance gap between him and Djokovic and Rafa Nadal has widened, it's true, but not on grass where the margins are so much finer.

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Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a return to Albert Ramos of Spain during a first round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Champions
I know he lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last year, but Tsonga played the match of his lifetime to do so and I don't think he'll do that again. The only problem Federer has is that the way the draw pans out he would probably have to beat Nadal in the final - and we all know what tends to happen in that scenario. Maybe someone will pick off Nadal along the way though - if that happens then I can really see Federer winning another title.

Even if he doesn't do it this year, it's not necessarily his last chance - though I fear the same can't be said for Venus Williams. It was incredibly sad seeing her go out today. The Sjögren's syndrome that is sapping her energy is a horrendous thorn in her side, and though she was talking about being back next year I feel just getting to the end of the season will be a long, hard slog for her, let alone anything else.

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Russia's Maria Sharapova celebrates beating Australia's Anastasia Rodionova
Of all the players in action Maria Sharapova was my pick of the day. She hardly put a foot wrong against a good opponent in Anastasia Rodionova. She was the pick of the field, looking truly imposing as she won.

Tuesday sees Andy Murray get into action, and I really don't foresee any problems for him getting through. Nikolai Davydenko's best days are a good two years behind him, and he will come through comfortably.

I don't read anything into his first-round defeat at Queen's; he was playing Nicholas Mahut, who is probably one of the top 10 grass court players in the world, and if he hadn't lost that match I believe Murray would probably have won the tournament.

His back problem seems to be just one of those things that will flare up from time to time, and I don't think it'll come into the equation. It didn't look like it was giving him any trouble at Queen's and I don't see any reason why it would come back this fortnight. Assuming that it doesn't I still believe Murray will go deep into the tournament, certainly as far as the semi-finals.

Serena Williams is also starting her tournament on Tuesday, but the match which really stands out for me is first up on Court 2. Two of the brightest young talents in the game will come up against each other, Australia's Bernard Tomic and Belgium's David Goffin.

Tomic has been heralded as the next big thing for several years and made it to the quarter-finals last year, but Goffin came out of absolutely nowhere to produce a dazzling performance against Roger Federer in the last 16 at Roland Garros.

Goffin was incredible in that match, he pushed Federer unbelievably hard and is a sensational shotmaker. Seeing him up against Tomic will be a real treat.

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