The oldest tennis tournament in the world whilst also regarded as the most prestigious. This competition has been dominated by the world’s best over the years with 49 of the 51 Open Era winners having been seeded for the tournament, while 43 of these were in the top four.
Key Stats 1990-2018
- 23/29 Wimbledon winners since 1990 have played a grass-court tournament between the French Open and the start of the Championships with Djokovic (2011, 2014 and 2015), Federer (2007 and 2009) and Agassi (1992) the exceptions.
- 25/29 winners were top-eight seeds with 24 being top-four. Also 22/29 runners-up were top-eight seeds and 17 top-four
- 43/58 finalists (and 23/29 winners) had reached a prior Wimbledon semi
Novak Djokovic has only lost once at a Grand Slam from his 27 matches since the start of Wimbledon last year, with that sole defeat coming against Dominic Thiem at the French Open earlier this month. He’ll face Philipp Kohlschreiber up first who defeated him at Indian Wells back in March, but he’s since turned that form around defeating the German twice on the trot.
He’ll enjoy the rest of his route to the fourth round though, where he’s slated up to face whoever advances from Felix Auger Aliassime (Stuttgart RU & Queens SF), Gregor Dimitrov, Lorenzo Sonego (Currently in theAntalya SF) and Gael Monfils. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev head the bottom-half of this first quarter.
They’re joined by current Eastbourne semi-finalists Kyle Edmund and Thomas Fabbiano as well as quarter-finalist at that tournament Fernando Verdasco. However, the biggest threat looks to be in the shape of David Goffin who finished runner-up in Halle and looks to be finding some confidence at the right time.
Kevin Anderson heads the second quarter although he has a battle on his hands in the first round against Halle semi-finalist Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Whoever wins that though should progress to at least the fourth round, as the other seed to play them in the third round is Guido Pella, who is hardly
a force to be reckoned with off the clay surface.
Contenders for that fourth round fixture look to be between Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka and Reilly Opelka. The latter 6ft 11” big server has been out of form recently though, losing the first round at each of his last three tournaments, while he’ll have to face Wawrinka in the second round
anyway should he buckle that trend.
The Swiss player has struggled at SW19 in the past with his career best showing a quarter-final visit and should he face Raonic, we’d have to fancy the Canadian
to prevail given his exceptional grass record. Moreover, Raonic has already reached a semi-final this grass court swing in Halle. Assuming the draw plays out as it should then the Canadian will face Anderson in the fourth round and with a W2-L0 record against him when excluding clay, he’ll fancy his chances. Not to mention the South African has only played two competitive matches since March and looks well worth taking on.
Alexander Zverev has his work cut out in his opener against the qualifier Jiri Vesely who’s reached the fourth round in two of his last three visits to Wimbledon, while should the German make it to the third round, he’ll then likely face Miomir Kecmanovic who reached the quarters at Indian Wells and is currently in the final at Antalya. To play the winner of that in the fourth round looks to be either Karen Khachanov or Feliciano Lopez. However, the Queens winner has found the speed of the grass surface at SW19 not to his liking, while we don’t feel as though the Russian has the returning ability to get to the business end of this tournament.
The top two seeds in quarter three are also the French Open finalists; Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem. They both look worth taking on, with Nadal losing both his exhibition matches at the Hurlingham recently, while Thiem pulled out of Halle due to exhaustion following Roland Garros.
In fact, the Spaniard could have a very hard time this fortnight with Nick Kyrgios in a potential second round, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga following that, before taking on Marin Cilic just to make the quarters. Meanwhile, Thiem faces Sam Querrey first up, who is currently in the final at Eastbourne and he also
made the semis at SW19 in 2017. Hence, we’d steer clear of both the clay court specialists this time
That certainly leaves some value within this quarter and it looks as if Marin Cilic and Gilles Simon could be the men to capitalise on it. Having backed the Croat last year we were left disappointed following his second round exit off the back of winning at Queens, beating Djokovic in the final.
In fact, he was a finalist here in 2017 and other than his awkward opening round match against Adrian Mannarino, he should cruise through to at least the fourth round. He’s slated to face Nadal at that point, although that’s hardly a daunting prospect seeing as he beat him 2-0 in an exhibition recently
and so he has our backing to be one of the quarter-finalists.
Simon looks the likely candidate to be the other to reach the last eight. The Frenchmen has already finished runner-up at Queens as well as making the quarters at Eastbourne this grass court swing.
He has experience at the All-England club too, having made the quarters in 2015 and last year he made the fourth round. Fabio Fognini is the other seeded player in his path to the last-16, but the Italian has never made it past the third round from his 10 career attempts and that doesn’t look like
changing this year.
Roger Federer has made the semis of Wimbledon in four of his last five attempts and having just won his 10th Halle title, he’s certainly a player to keep onside. That sole exit before the semis at SW19 came following a match point against Kevin Anderson, only to eventually lose 2-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 13-11 in the quarters. We can’t see potential third round opponents Lucas Pouille or Richard Gasquet causing him any problems, though Matteo Berrettini may be his biggest challenge in the fourth round. The Italian has only lost to David Goffin this grass court season, winning in Stuttgart
before reaching the semis at Halle.
To face the winner of that in the quarters looks to be either Kei Nishikori or John Isner. The big serving American hasn’t played since March though and is unlikely to have the match fitness to go deep this fortnight, while the Japanese player has only once from 10 attempts reached the quarters here. A mention must also go to Jan-Lennard Struff who could well cause Isner some problems, but all in all it looks like the Swiss superstar’s for the taking.
It is hard to look past Djokovic this fortnight, with the other top-eight seed in his section Stefanos Tsitsipas not proving anywhere near enough to be a danger on grass. Moreover Anderson, who is the fourth seed, looks to be seriously lacking any match fitness and so his sixth Wimbledon final
looks inbound. For those looking for a touch of value, David Goffin could be worth considering to win this first quarter at a fairly big price, but we’re still sticking with Nole to get the job done.
We’re bullish on Raonic in this quarter seeing that he’s reached at least the quarters here in four of his last five visits, including a semi-final visit in 2014 and a runner-up spot in 2016. The only question mark remains over his fitness, but at the current prices he looks worth getting behind.
Nadal has made only one semi-final here since 2011 and that is enough to be put off him at the prices. Likewise, Thiem has a career best here of the fourth round and has failed at the second and first rounds twice a piece in his other four career visits. That leaves us confident of both Marin Cilic
and Gilles Simon at bigger prices to go well, while given the Frenchmen has a W6-L1 career record against the Croat, he looks the man to be with.
It seems a matter of how easily Federer will make it to the final, not if he will. The Swiss superstar has won 90 of his 98 matches here since 2003 and he looks the only man capable of taking down the top seeded Serbian to win his ninth title.