No Clear Cut Front-Runner For The Men At Wimbledon

No Clear Cut Front-Runner For The Men At Wimbledon

The men’s preview at Wimbledon is not easy to write or predict. Anyone in the top five could win the tournament, and there are plenty right behind them that could offer an upset or two. Then there is the insane draw that gave #1 Novak Djokovic a free ride to the final and put the others on the same side.  After much thinking and analyzing, I am picking Roger Federer to win Wimbledon.

View the entire Wimbledon seeds and brackets at their website.

These are the top ten in order: Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer (reigning champion), David Ferrer, Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro, Richard Gasquet, and Marin Cilic.

Underrated: Tommy Haas (13), Milos Raonic (17), Benoit Paire (25), Bernard Tomic (not seeded)

No one stands in Djokovic’s way of reaching the semifinals. Haas might give him a run for his money in the fourth round, but Djokovic will advance. The only challenge he could face on the road to the semifinals is either Berdych or Gasquet. More than likely these two will face each other in the fourth round and the winner will advance to the semis against Djokovic. He will beat either one, but it may not be easy. He defeated Berdych last year in three sets, but the last two sets were not easy. But Djokovic will reach the semifinals.

Ferrer also has an easy route to the quarterfinals, but many are overlooking del Potro. He was eliminated early in the Australian Open and missed most of the clay court tournaments, including the French Open, because of a virus. Yet, most people forget his excellent play at Indian Wells in March. He beat Murray and beat Djokovic in the finals. He almost beat Nadal in 2011 and he did beat Federer in a Grand Slam. His wrist has to hold up. The round to watch is the fourth, which could be del Potro against Grigor Dimitrov. Many will pick Dimitrov, but if del Potro wins easily through the first three rounds he will beat Dimitrov. The popular pick is Ferrer in the semi-finals, but del Potro is weighing on my mind.

My prediction? Djokovic vs. Ferrer in the semifinals with Djokovic advancing to the Wimbledon Final.

The other part of the bracket is more complicated. Federer, the King of Grass and reigning champion, will breeze through the first four rounds. Nadal may face Stanlias Wawrinka in the fourth round, and Wawrinka could pose a challenge, but Nadal will win. This means it will be Nadal and Federer in the quarterfinals. I see some picking Nadal over Federer, but I cannot take that pick. This is Federer’s court. Then again. if Nadal beats Federer in a close match I would not be surprised. He has a lot to prove. He was the favorite at the French Open, but they seeded him #3 there–and at Wimbledon he got the #5 seed.

Murray, like Djokovic, received an easy draw and will not face an equal opponent until Tsonga in the quarterfinals. But which Tsonga will show up? Would it be the one that beat Federer in the French Open quarterfinals or the one who lost against Ferrer in the French Open semifinals? Some people predict Cilic will beat Tsonga in the fourth round, but I doubt it. Murray will beat Tsonga in the quarterfinals no matter which Tsonga shows up. But if it is the Tsonga that beat Federer then Murray could be worn out for the semifinal.

My prediction? Federer vs. Murray in the semifinals with Federer advancing to the Wimbledon Final.

I am going to go out on a limb and against the other predictions and pick Federer over Djokovic. Roger Federer will repeat as champion and win his eighth Wimbledon Championship. I also predict the match will be nearly as incredible as Djokovic/Nadal epic in the French Open.

Follow Mary Chastain on Twitter.

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