The third Grand Slam tournament of the season will be played from June 23rd to July 6th. The draws are available, and it seems that Rafael Nadal will have the toughest job among all of the contenders for the title.
Rafael Nadal will start off against the Slovakian Martin Klizan, currently 57th on the ATP list. Klizan is not that dangerous on grass courts, but he is a tough first round opponent, especially if we look back at Rafael Nadal’s grass results in the past few years. He lost to Steve Darcis in last year’s first round, which was a major upset and two years ago he was hammered by Lukas Rosol, who played the best tennis of his life. Additionally, Dustin Brown crushed Nadal two weeks ago at Halle in straight sets, and it is clear that Rafa will have to find his best form just to cruise to the second week here.
After Klizan, he could play his old friend Lukas Rosol, so we could watch a rerun of that 2012 match again in the second round. Rosol must beat Benoit Paire first, which should be an easy task. If he survives him, Nadal could play against the most unwanted man in Wimbledon draws for sure, the Croatian super server Ivo Karlovic. In the fourth round his opponent could be Richard Gasquet, who plays pretty well on the grass, and in the quarters he could face another rocking server, Milos Raonic. Everybody would want to see his semifinal clash with Federer, and looking back at their rivalry, if he survives to that match, it could be his easiest match in the tournament!
Novak Djokovic is 1st seed in this tournament because of Nadal’s bad grass form in the last two years. He should dispatch Andrey Golubev easily in the first round, and he could have a bit more serious match with Radek Stepanek, who is a big favorite against Pablo Cuevas in the second. In the third round he could play 31st seed Vasek Pospisil, or unseeded Gilles Simon, and after that match Djokovic would have more serious opponents. Just like at the tournament in Roland Garros, he could play Tsonga in the 4th round. Djokovic has been really hammering the Frenchman in the past year and a half, but Tsonga is always a very dangerous opponent at Wimbledon. In the quarterfinal he could play Berdych, who beat him in the semifinal on this same tournament in 2010, and in the semifinal Djokovic could play Andy Murray, the man who beat him in the finals last year.
Roger Federer has a moderately difficult draw, he starts off against Paolo Lorenzi, who should be an easy task for the Swiss. In the second round he could play Muller or Benneteau, who forced him to play five sets a few years ago. Granollers is his provisional 3rd round opponent and Jerzy Janowicz or unseeded Lleyton Hewitt could be his 4th round opponents, so he doesn’t have a tough draw in the first week. In the quarterfinals he could face his compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka, before heading to another possible clash with Nadal in the semis.
Andy Murray has the easiest draw among the favorites. He is playing against Goffin in the first round, and against Rola or Andujar in the second, so he has opponents who don’t perform on the grass very often.
In the third round he could play Bautista Agut, who also isn’t a grass courts specialist; Fabio Fognini or Kevin Anderson are his 4th round opponents, and the first possibly more difficult match he could play in the quarterfinal will be against Ferrer or Dimitrov, who could be tough opponents. In the semis he could play Novak Djokovic.
Apart from Murray, Great Britain has five other representatives in men’s single draw. Daniel Smethurst is playing against 9th seed John Isner, Daniel Evans could surpass Andrey Kuznetsov, Daniel Cox also has a tough task against Jeremy Chardy, and Kyle Edmund plays against Andreas Heider Maurer.