Wimbledon predictions: Will Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal dislodge Novak Djokovic?
The third grand slam tournament of the season begins this week at All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club
Graham Caygill, sports editor: Winner – Roger Federer
Federer's record of eight titles at SW19 speaks for itself. Winning at Halle shows he is in good nick and if he plays to his highest level over the next two weeks he has a great chance of winning his 21st major. He may well have to go through both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to do it, but if his serve is on point then he has the game to get past both men.
Jon Turner, assistant sports editor: Winner – Novak Djokovic
Last year, Novak Djokovic opted to play both Queen's and Eastbourne in a bid to discover some form ahead of Wimbledon. It worked - he went on to win the title at the All England Club to spark a remarkable run of form that would lead to a return to world No 1. This year, however, the Serb has decided to skip the warm-up events altogether. It shows a player completely confident in his abilities to make the switch to grass, who will use the early rounds to find his momentum. Once Djokovic reaches the second week, there will be no stopping him and he will end the tournament with his fifth Wimbledon title.
Chitrabhanu Kadalayil, assistant sports editor: Winner – Rafael Nadal
He has not won the Wimbledon singles title since 2010, nor has he had much practice before this year’s tournament. He even lost an exhibition match to Marin Cilic at the Hurlingham Club. But, this is Nadal we are talking about: focused, determined, competitive and maybe even a little chippy. He might be even chippier this time after being given the No 3 seeding despite being ranked No 2. The so-called demotion means he gets a more challenging draw en route to the final. It also means he will find ways to raise his level.
GC: Surprise package – Gael Monfils
The No 16 seed has become a more consistent performer in recent years and he has the potential to surpass last year's fourth round appearance this time around. If he can regain the form that saw him win in Rotterdam and reach the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships earlier in 2019 he can make the quarter-finals or better, which would be his best effort yet at Wimbledon.
JT: Surprise package – Felix Auger-Aliassime
The 18-year-old Canadian has been the breakout star of the ATP Tour. Two weeks ago he had never played a top-level match on grass - he went on to reach the Stuttgart Open final and the Queen's semi-final. Expect Auger-Aliassime continue his rise with a strong showing at Wimbledon.
Cb: Surprise package – Felix Auger-Aliassime
At 18, Felix is already the talk of the tennis circuit having risen to world No 21. He reached the final at Stuttgart and semi-finals at Queen’s, which means his Wimbledon preparation has been solid. He could meet Grigor Dimitorv in the second round and Gael Monfils in the third round, but he has the game to beat them both. If he does so, it will be have been a good showing at All England.
GC: Disappointment – Kevin Anderson
Injury has again disrupted the South African's season and he comes to Wimbledon rather under cooked, with just two matches since March. It was always going to be a tough challenge for him to repeat last year's run to the final and he will do well to make the quarter-finals despite his prowess on grass.
JT: Disappointment – Karen Khachanov
After the highs towards the end of last season, the Paris Masters champion has struggled to kick on this year. Khachanov's powerful game should work well on the Wimbledon grass, but his form is lacking. The world No 9 could face Queen's champion Feliciano Lopez in the second round, which could spell the end of his Wimbledon campaign.
Cb: Disappointment – Marin Cilic
Wimbledon finalist in 2017, Cilic is always dangerous on grass. He is experienced, knows what it takes to win a major title and beat Nadal at the Hurlingham Club recently. But the Croat has achieved little of substance this season and one gets the feeling he is past his prime. It will be interesting to see whether he can beat Dan Evans or Nikoloz Basilashvili if and when he gets to Round 3.
GC: Winner – Serena Williams
Arguably her strongest chance now of winning the elusive 24th grand slam is at Wimbledon, where her power from the back of the court should be at its most effective. Williams is in a tough section of the draw but she still has the game to be a force, and this is the surface most likely to bring out her best. If she can get to the final 12 months ago when she was still finding her feet back on the WTA Tour then she can be a stronger threat this time around.
JT: Winner – Karolina Pliskova
The Czech second seed's record at Wimbledon is ordinary, but she can change that this year by continuing her form from Eastbourne, where she cruised to the title. Pliskova leads the WTA Tour in service games won (81.5 per cent) and if she continues to dominate on serve, then her first grand slam title can be clinched at the All England Club.
Cb: Winner – Ashleigh Barty
The Australian is enjoying a purple patch in her career at the moment. Not long after winning the French Open title, she went on to lift the trophy on the grass courts of Birmingham and replace Naomi Osaka as world No 1. At 23, Barty has an easy confidence about her, which should help her through what could be a tricky draw.
GC: Surprise package – Madison Keys
The 24 year old reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2015 so she has proven she can be competitive on grass. The No 17 seed has the consistency and mental strength to go deep in the women's draw in what is looking like it could be an unpredictable draw, given the lack of past success on the surface from a number of the top seeds.
JT: Surprise package – Petra Martic
After an impressive clay court swing that included her first title of the season at the Istanbul Open, Martic has made a quick transition to grass - reaching the semi-finals in Birmingham. The Croatian 24th seed has a kind draw at Wimbledon and should be targeting a run into the second week.
Cb: Surprise package – Amanda Anisimova
Just 17 years old, Anisimova emerged as one of the players to watch after beating defending champion Simona Halep and reaching the semi-finals of the French Open. The American might even fancy meeting Petra Kvitova, who has seen a slight dip in form in recent times, as early as the third round. If she can reach the second week at All England, it will have been a good trip for her.
GC: Disappointment – Karolina Pliskova
This should be made for Pliskova. She has the tools to dominate on grass but has never been beyond the last 16 at SW19. Her mental strength in big match situations has often been called into question in the past and it will not be a surprise if she again fails to make the quarter-finals.
JT: Disappointment – Naomi Osaka
Perhaps losing the No 1 ranking will help liberate the Japanese 21-year-old, although her form has been average for a few weeks now. To make matters worse, Osaka faces Yulia Putintseva in the first round. The Kazakhstan player has comfortably beaten Osaka on both occasions they have met, including two weeks ago on the grass in Birmingham.
Cb: Disappointment – Angelique Kerber
Even though Kerber reached the final of Eastbourne – where she lost to Karolina Pliskova – she will find it difficult to defend the title. After all, she has endured a rather underwhelming season, and she is the type of player who needs a lot of confidence going into a tournament.
Updated: June 30, 2019 07:25 PM