The #2 seed Roger Federer kicks off his bid to add another Grand Slam title to his rich resume as he opens up with Damir Dzhumhur from Bosnia & Herzegovina. The finalist from 2014 comes here after he won the Gerry Weber Open in Halle for the 8-th time. He has the most finals in Wimbledon history with 9, is currently tied with Pete Sampras with 7 titles and is just 10 Main Draw wins away from catching Jimmy Connors’ 84.
His first test may come with facing Sam Querrey in R2, who despite numerous chances lost in 2 tiebreaks in the final in Nottingham yesterday. Very tricky serve-volley-slice game that Feliciano Lopez has is a potential R4 opponent for the Swiss, but having an 11-0 h2h against him surely will make him confident ahead of this one.
Tomas Berdych is the highest seed Roger could face in the QF and if somehow Tomas can find his form from 5 years ago this could be really interesting encounter. 2010 was the year the tall Czech defeated Federer and Djokovic in consecutive matches before losing to Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon final. Tomas played only 1 Grass tournament before coming here this year, and was ousted in the QF in Halle in 3 sets by Ivo Karlovic who made 45 Aces – a record for a 3 set match. He has only 3rd round points to defend and at least on paper looks safe to do that at least with Guillermo Garcia Lopez the first seed he could face in round 3. Gael Monfils remains doubtful for Wimbledon after a fall in Halle forced him to retire from his match with Andreas Seppi with a strained adductor. He would try to continue on but he decided to quit, just after one game of the second set, trailing 6-1, 1-0. He could face off against fellow countryman Gilles Simon in R3. Simon has already played 2 Grass tournaments this year, he made the SF in Queens and a QF in Nottingham but both times big serving from his opponents proved to be just too much.
The Top Half of the Bottom of the Draw is probably the most packed one. That’s because of Rafael Nadal’s 10-th seed in this Wimbledon edition. Nadal, who won Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010, has slipped to 10th in the rankings after injuries and poor results. The Spaniard lost in the first round of Queen’s Club last week, after winning on grass in Stuttgart the previous one. Nadal’s previous lowest seeding at Wimbledon was No. 5 in 2013. Other than that, he’s always been among the four, except when he was unseeded in his first appearance at Wimbledon in 2003. He starts with Thomaz Belucci and could face Viktor Troicki seeded #22. The Serbian had a surprising showing in Queens SF just a week ago. 8-th seed David Ferrer was an eventual 4-th round opponent for Nadal , but he had to withdrew with elbow injury and Lucky Loser Luca Vanni will take his spot in the Draw.
Questions surround the 13-th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Frenchman hasn’t played since his semifinal loss to Wawrinka in the French Open and had to pull out of all grass court tournaments before London with an abdominal injury. Nottingham Open director Paul Hutchins said, “Tsonga has had to pull out of three tournaments now in the lead-up to Wimbledon and I hope he recovers well so he can take his place at the Championships.” The serve and volley specialist Gilles Muller is his R1 opponent, who on grass is a force to be reckon with. Let’s just hope one of the most anticipated matches from R1 actually happens.
Andy Murray is not far behind and could face Nadal in a QF match and may have to go through him, Federer and Djokovic in consecutive matches to satisfy the British crowd with a title. Scottish Murray, whose first-round match will be on Tuesday, has won his two previous meetings against Kukushkin, both of which were on Australian hard courts in 2012. The world number three looked in impressive form when he beat Kevin Anderson on Sunday to secure a fourth Queen’s Club title. With a surprising loss to Grigor Dimitrov in last year’s quarterfinals he looks to make up for it but his road seems hard.
See our full list of previews for Wimbledon here.
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