With £2.2m and 2000 points up for grabs for the winner (Gentlemen and Ladies categories) the eyes of the tennis world will have its attention at All England Club in London for the next fortnight. Will Roger Federer claim a record-extending ninth title or can defending champion, Djokovic win the tournament for a fifth time? Can Rafael Nadal go all the way at SW 19 for the first time since 2010? For the ladies, what should we expect for top see Ashleigh Barty, defending champion Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka?
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are in the bottom half of the Wimbledon draws, while defending champion, Novak Djokovic is in a top half that also includes, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, and last year’s finalist, Kevin Anderson.
Roger Federer won his 10th Halle title eight days ago. The ATP World Tour 500 series previously served as a solid starting point and a good omen for his performance at the All England Club. Federer arrives in Wimbledon in good moment but the memories of last year’s quarterfinal defeat to Kevin Anderson with sting. He has arguably one of the easiest draw till the last eight where he could face Kei Nishikori. Fed faces South Africa’s Lloyd Harris in Round One in Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic is the man to beat on fresh grass in Wimbledon. The World’s number one and top seed will be aiming to defend his title at the All England Club. He faces a tricky start to his Wimbledon campaign as he takes on German veteran, Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round. Kohlschreiber has already beaten Djokovic this year- at Indian Wells. However, Nole has holds a 10-2 overall record against the German. The top seed has his path to the finals lined up with difficulty and a prospective quarterfinal clash with Greek young gun – Stefanos Tsitsipas is one to look out for if both progress as expected.
Fourth seed Kevin Anderson missed the clay season this year due to an elbow injury and before playing Queen’s Club last week. He has only played two other tournaments this year: Miami Open in March and the Australian Open in January. Despite being ranked eighth in the world, he is the fourth seed in Wimbledon due to his performances on grass and runners up finish last year. The towering South African is expected to progress into the second week in the competition but he starts off against Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round. He could face sixth seed Alexander Zverev in a mouthwatering quarterfinal meeting.
The King of Clay didn’t take kindly to him being seeded as number three in Wimbledon despite being ranked second in the world but his poor run in the last few years at the All England Club means Rafa Nadal needs to improve on his performances at Wimbledon. He has a tough run if he aims to win his third Wimbledon title. The Spaniard has got a tough draw; he may have to beat Nick Kyrgios, Dominic Thiem, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on the way to glory in London. The French Open champion faces Japanese Yuchi Sugita in the Round of 128. We could have a repeat of 2019 French Open final in the quarterfinal if Dominic Thiem and Rafa progress accordingly.
It’s an intriguing set up in the Women’s draw. Top seed Ashleigh Barty, Serena Williams, defending champion Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova are all in the same quarter which is tagged the ‘quarter of death’. Naomi Osaka needs to avoid another French Open early exit and we have a new sensation – Coco Gauff, the 15-year-old became the youngest Wimbledon qualifier in the Open Era.
Ashleigh Barty has never gone beyond the third round before but she is the top seed this time. Her 12-match winning streak is on the line as she begins her campaign against Zheng Saisai. If she can win on clay, she can do same on grass. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Garbine Muguruza are likely to be her next set of opponents if she scales hurdle one. The prospect of a quarterfinal meeting against defending champion Angelique Kerber is on the cards. However, with Serena in their corner of the draw, the seven-time champion has to be considered as well.
Barty comes into Wimbledon on a 12-match winning streak and her withdrawal from Eastbourne due to shoulder pain shouldn’t be too much of a cause for concern, but despite her undoubted prowess on grass – she is 32-9 on the surface since 2016 – she has never been beyond the third round at Wimbledon. If she is to better that result in 2019, she will have to go through either Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who is not great on grass, or Alison van Uytvanck who is and ended Garbine Muguruza’s title defense last year in a stunning performance, and then likely beat Muguruza herself, just to make the last 16.
Dutch star – Kiki Bertens is ranked number four in the world and fourth seed for Wimbledon is the lady to beat in her quarter. Petra Kvitova performance is in doubt due to her an arm injury which also kept her out of the French Open. Both ladies are the favorites in their quarter; Bertens serves off against Mandy Minella while sixth seed Kvitova will face Ons Jabeur in her opening match. Sloane Stephens, Johanna Konta, Eugenie Bouchard are some of the big names on the side of the draw.
Karolina Pliskova needs to be at exceptional level in Wimbledon considering her underwhelming campaigns in the last few years. The third set arrives at the All England Club in sizzling form but she has never gone beyond round four at Wimbledon. Karolina has Zhu Lin as her first opponent and a quarterfinal meeting with Elina Svitolina is on the cards if she does manage to get that far. Jelena Ostapenko, Anastasija Sevastova, Marketa Vondrousova are some of the top ranked players in the third quarter.
Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka are on collision course and will likely meet in the last eight as anticipated. These two wonderful players have tricky opening matches; second seed Osaka is in serious faces Yulia Putintseva, who beat her in straight sets in Birmingham. It would be no surprise at all if Putintseva repeated that victory and ousted Osaka in the opening round. Simona Halep faces a tough test in the first round against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Madison Keys, Victoria Azarenka, Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki are some of the big names in the fourth quarter. Venus is exceptional on grass, she could be a dark horse to emerge from her.
Wimbledon tennis serves us today from the All-England Club till 14 July 2019. Don’t miss our mouthwatering offers for all matches in the third Grand Slam of the year by visiting our Sports shop Babaijebu.ng