Wimbledon 2017 Preview – Men’s Singles

It’s a massive tournament on the men’s side of the draw this year. The ‘big 4’ once again make up the top 4 seedings and each one of the big 4 stake a serious claim to this year’s title. The top 4 seeds have an incredible combined total of 14 Wimbledon titles between them.

It’s the hometown favourite and defending champion in Andy Murray who’s the number 1 seed this year. Roger Federer returns to the big stage after skipping the clay court season whilst Rafael Nadal seems to have found his best form again. There are also plenty of big names outside the top 4 who could give this year’s tournament a serious shake. Here are the seeds and my predictions for Wimbledon this year…

The Top Seeds

  1. Andy Murray (GBR) – Murray is gunning for his third Wimbledon title but I believe he faces his toughest task yet. He looked ordinary at the lead-up in Queens but I expect him to bounce back at Wimbledon and be a serious contender.
  2. Novak Djokovic (SRB) – Djokovic had been struggling for form this season but will be encouraged by his win at Eastbourne overnight. He is always a serious contender and can’t be discounted regardless of his form.
  3. Roger Federer (SUI) – Federer skipped the entire clay-court season to ensure he was fresh for the grass-court season. Other than his loss to Tommy Haas at Stuttgart (which was his first competitive match in almost 3 months) he has had a great build-up which included breezing to the title at Halle. It seems like he has found another gear this year and I think he will be very hard to beat.
  4. Rafael Nadal (ESP) – Rafa is back and his domination at the French Open shows that he’s far from finished. He can have a tendency to struggle in the early rounds of Wimbledon when the courts are green and quick but if he can get through the first week I give him a huge chance of going all the way. Not a natural grass-courter but he’s so good that this doesn’t matter.
  5. Stan Wawrinka (SUI) – Will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing end to the French Open. Wimbledon probably his weakest surface but like Rafa, needs to get himself through the first few matches and I expect him to be more dangerous as the courts dry up. Not sure if he can go all the way but can beat anyone on his day.
  6. Milos Raonic (CAN) – Has the game to be a huge threat on the grass at Wimbledon. Had a terrific run to the final last year but fell just short to Murray. Hasn’t had the ideal preparation with a first round lost at Queens but I expect him to perform better in the best-of-5 format.
  7. Marin Čilić (CRO) – Always a danger on the quicker surfaces. Looked very solid here last year until he blew a two sets to love lead against Federer. Can struggle agianst the very top players so will need to be playing at a very high level for a long time to go all the way.
  8. Dominic Thiem (AUT) – Not sure how comfortable Thiem is on grass. Has a disappointing record here at Wimbledon and was poor in the lead-up tournaments. I don’t think his game is particularly suited to the faster surfaces and I can’t see him beating the likes of Federer and Murray on this surface yet.
  9. Kei Nishikori (JPN) – Wimbledon is the weakest of his majors and I think he struggles with his lack of power compared to some of the bigger opponents. Has been a bit hit & miss this season and not sure he’s a contender this year.
  10. Alexander Zverev (GER) – I believe the young German is ready to take the next step and this year’s tournament provides a perfect opportunity for him to go very deep into a major. In good form leading in having reached the final in Halle.

Top Aussies

Nick Kyrgios – Seeded 20th. Suffered a hip injury at Queens. Question marks on his fitness but has the ability to beat anyone on his day.

Bernard Tomic – Unseeded this year but likes playing on the grass. Has drawn the same section of the draw as Roger Federer so a match-up against him would not be the worst result.

My Tips

Winner: Roger Federer

I think Federer has prepared perfectly for Wimbledon this year. Whilst other players may be carrying slight injuries, Federer comes in fresh having skipped the clay court season. Not playing for such time is usually a risk but Federer was so good at Halle that this won’t make any difference. Seems to be playing even more attacking tennis than previously and is hitting his backhand as well as ever. Roger is the one to beat for mine and I think he will go on to take title number 8.

Runner-Up: Andy Murray

Murray generally plays very well at Wimbledon and I expect him to continue this trend this year. Knows how to win at SW19 and has the advantage of the top seeding. Was tough to pick between him and Nadal but I give Murray the edge on this surface.

Dark Horse: Grigor Dimitrov

Dimitrov has taken his game to another level this year and I think he will welcome a return to the quicker grass courts following the clay season. Previously a semi-finalist here at Wimbledon back in 2014 and he looks an even better player in 2017. Has a terrific artillery of shots and if he can serve well he will be extremely hard to beat.

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