Wimbledon Men's Preview

Wimbledon Men's Preview

Novak Djokovic enters Wimbledon as the two-time defending champion, and he's also coming fresh off his 19th Grand Slam triumph at Roland Garros a few weeks ago. The 34-year-old Serbian has won the first two majors of the season and is a big favorite at this year's edition of Wimbledon to equal Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal's all-time men's slam record of 20 titles apiece.

Djokovic didn't play any singles grass-court tune-up events but did reach the doubles final in Mallorca before withdrawing. The lack of singles grass-court tennis of late would be potentially concerning, but the five-time Wimbledon champion's draw looks quite comfortable in the early rounds, so he should be able to ease into form for the second week.

No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will look to regroup for a grass-court run after he suffered the disappointment of blowing a two-set lead to Djokovic in his first slam final at Roland Garros. The 22-year-old Greek's best Wimbledon effort came in 2018 when he reached the fourth round, and he's a solid favorite in his section of the draw to advance to face Djokovic (2-6 H2H) once again in the semifinals.

Other realistic challengers to Djokovic in the top half of the draw include No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev, No. 8 seed Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 19 seed Jannik Sinner

Bautista Agut made the semifinals in his last appearance at Wimbledon in 2019, which was the best major result of his career. The Spaniard lost to Djokovic in four sets in the semis, but he does hold a respectable 3-9 record in his career against the No. 1-ranked Serbian.

Rublev hasn't advanced past the second round at Wimbledon in his career, but he's a much better player than he was when he last played the tournament in 2019. The 23-year-old Russian had a runner-up showing in his one pre-Wimbledon grass-court tournament in Halle. Rublev has somehow never played Djokovic, but the two could meet in the quarterfinals.

Sinner, 19, will be making his first appearance at Wimbledon this season. The Italian has played very little tennis on grass in the early stages of his career, but his powerful game seems like it could translate decently at the All England Club. He could face No. 9 seed Diego Schwartzman in Round 3 in what could be a potential five-set battle.

In the bottom half of the draw sits the No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev, who earned his first title on grass recently in Mallorca. The 25-year-old Russian didn't have any extremely taxing matches, so he should enter the event at the All England Club with plenty of gas in the tank along with plenty of confidence. Medvedev hasn't advanced past the third round at Wimbledon in his career, but he'll be expected to make a deep run this season.

Federer, the No. 6 seed, also lurks in the bottom half of the men's field. The 39-year-old from Switzerland has won the Wimbledon title a record eight times, with the most recent triumph coming in 2017. While it's entirely plausible that he makes a deep run, Federer has a few tricky players in his section of the draw, and given his lack of recent success, it wouldn't be surprising if he fails to reach the quarterfinals this time around.

No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini and No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev look to be a few other serious challengers in the bottom half.

Berrettini reached the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2019 and is coming off a quarterfinal run at the French Open and a title on grass at Queen's Club. The 25-year-old Italian has a huge game and is comfortable on grass courts, and additionally, he looks to have a relatively comfortable path to the quarterfinals.

Zverev's best previous effort at Wimbledon came in 2017 when he reached the fourth round. In terms of results, it has been the worst major for the 24-year-old German. Zverev will likely have to get past the likes of No. 16 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime (3-0 H2H) or No. 21 seed Ugo Humbert (0-1 H2H) to reach the quarters. 

Round 1 matches to watch

No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev vs. Jan-Lennard Struff

This is about as tough of a first-round matchup as possible for the No. 2 seed. Medvedev recently fell 7-6 (6), 6-3 to Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round of Halle, but he does hold a 3-1 head-to-head edge in the matchup. The German is known for his ability to notch upsets, and to that point, he defeated Andrey Rublev in the first round of the 2021 French Open. Prediction: Medvedev in four sets.

No. 11 seed Pablo Carreno Busta vs. Sam Querrey

Considering his current ranking of No. 12 in the world, Carreno Busta has an astonishing 0-5 record in his career at Wimbledon. On the other side of the net, Querrey reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2017 and also has two other runs to the quarterfinals. Carreno Busta is in good form, but this looks like a possible upset. Prediction: Querrey in four sets.

No. 21 seed Ugo Humbert vs. Nick Kyrgios

Humbert recently won the biggest title of his career in Halle, while Kyrgios hasn't played a match since a third-round exit at the Australian Open. These two actually met in the second round of the aforementioned Australian Open, a match that the 26-year-old Australian managed to snag in five grueling sets. Humbert reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in his lone previous showing in 2019, while Kyrgios hasn't advanced past the third round at the All England Club since 2016. Prediction: Humbert in five sets.

No. 15 seed Alex de Minaur vs. Sebastian Korda

This matchup pits two in-form youngsters against each other for what could be a lengthy encounter. De Minaur recently won a title in Eastbourne, which marked his first-ever title on grass courts. But the 20-year-old American has a powerful game, and could blast past the defensive-minded Australian if he performs up to 2021 standard. Korda has broken through this season to win his first title and holds a strong 18-9 record on the season. Prediction: Korda in four sets.

No. 14 seed Hubert Hurkacz vs. Lorenzo Musetti

This match may not reach the same level of quality as others on this list, but it should be an entertaining watch. Hurkacz hasn't done anything of note since an out-of-nowhere run to the Miami Open title, with just one victory since April. Musetti's last match occurred when he melted down against Djokovic in the fourth round at the French Open after building a two-set lead. It will be the 19-year-old Italian's first Wimbledon appearance, while Hurkacz reached the third round in his last showing in 2019. Prediction: Musetti in five sets.

Predictions

Quarterfinals: Djokovic d. Rublev, Tsitsipas d. Bautista Agut, Berrettini d. Humbert, Medvedev d. Federer

Semifinals: Djokovic d. Tsitsipas, Medvedev d. Berrettini

Final: Djokovic d. Medvedev

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Zak Patterson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: zakpat, DraftKings: zakpat.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zak Patterson
Zak joined RotoWire in 2016 covering NBA games. Now, he focuses on recapping and analyzing daily ATP and WTA tennis matches, and providing perspective on the state of the men's and women's game.
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