Wimbledon men's seed report
Top 16 Seeds
1. Novak Djokovic: If a few bounces (and overheads) go his way, The Australian Open champion and French Open semifinalist could well be going for the third leg of a calendar Grand Slam. He lacks the storylines of the other Big Four -- Native Son, Roger the King, the Comeback Spaniard -- but he's just as well-positioned to win. We'll pick him. He'll get an initial test against hard-serving Florian Mayer. After that, we say smooth sailing.
2. Andy Murray: For the first time, Murray enters The Championships as a Grand Slam champion. With that burden removed, he can swing more freely than ever. He was a Wimbledon finalist and Olympic champion at the All England Club last year.
3. Roger Federer: The heart says the seven-time champion will successfully defend his title. The head says something else.
4. David Ferrer: Last year's quarterfinal run was his best showing in 10 appearances. The French Open finalist is coming off a first-round loss to Xavier Malisse in the Topshelf Open, his only grass-court tune-up.
5. Rafael Nadal: Say this: He'll do better than last year. The two-time champion is, of course, a strong candidate to win. But he'll potentially have to beat Federer, Murray and Djokovic.
6. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: If the Tsonga who cruised through 10 days in Paris -- including a comprehensive win over Federer in the quarterfinals -- shows up, this could be interesting. If the Tsonga who lost to Ferrer in a desultory semifinal shows up, he could be gone by middle Sunday.
7. Tomas Berdych: Our regard for Berdych has gone up since we started following him on Twitter. On the plus side, he's beaten Federer on Centre Court. On the less plus side, he's capable of losing to anyone on any day.
8. Juan Martin del Potro: Haven't heard much from the Argentine lately. (He, of course, missed the French Open.) Is he a Slam contender?
9. Richard Gasquet: A good bet: He'll win three rounds and lose in the fourth. He's done that at eight of the last nine majors.
10. Marin Cilic: Meh.
11. Stanislas Wawrinka: The Swiss No. 2 has lost in the first or second round in each of the last three years. He'll open against Lleyton Hewitt, who beat Grigor Dimitrov, Sam Querrey and Del Potro on grass last week.
12. Kei Nishikori: An off-brand Ferrer. He can grind matches and play admirable movement-based tennis. But he doesn't have enough weapons to hurt the Big Boys.
13. Tommy Haas: A dark pferd. And not simply because he's a sentimental favorite at age 35. The former Wimbledon semifinalist knows how to win matches, especially on grass.
14. Janko Tipsarevic: Seems to have peaked (and piqued) as a player.
15. Nicolas Almagro: Career record at Wimbledon: 7-8.
16. Philipp Kohlschreiber: He's had mixed results here, but the 29-year-old German has big dark horse potential. The 2012 quarterfinalist can play on the green stuff, and he's precisely the kind of streaky player you want to avoid in middle rounds.
17. Milos Raonic: He has -- to put it charitably -- plateaued lately. But if he can snap out of the doldrums, Wimbledon provides an opportunity.
18. John Isner: You have to include him based on the serve alone. (Insert 70-68 joke here.)
24. Jerzy Janowicz: The hard-serving Pole will really be dangerous when he learns how to win tight matches.
27. Kevin Anderson: The ever-improving South African also has the serve to succeed at Wimbledon.
29. Grigor Dimitrov: We still await the breakthrough of Mr. Black Heart.
31. Julien Benneteau: He took Federer to five sets in the third round last year.
32. Tommy Robredo: All seeds over the age of 30 get a shout-out.
Dark Horse Stable
Lukas Rosol: And not just because of last year. He's up to No. 34 in the rankings. He could see Federer in the third round.
Ernests Gulbis: If nothing else, Mr. Personality will be our beacon against boredom.
Daniel Brands: If he can push Nadal on clay, you have to be intrigued about what he can do on grass.
Bernard Tomic: Lots going on here, but he made the quarterfinals in 2011.
Lleyton Hewitt: Nice results in the tune-up.
First-Round Matches To Watch
Bernard Tomic vs. Sam Querrey: Two not dissimilar players.
Kevin Anderson vs. Olivier Rochus: The Height Differential Special.
Marin Cilic vs. Marcos Baghdatis: Two erratic veterans.
Janko Tipsarevic vs. Viktor Troicki: A Serbing contest.
Stanislas Wawrinka vs. Lleyton Hewitt: As noted, Hewitt comes in with some confidence.
Most Likely Brad Gilbert Sports Metaphor
"He's stepping up like Chris Bosh in Game 7."
Bob and Mike Bryan: If the brothers win, they will be reigning champions at all four majors and the Olympics.
Semifinals: Rafael Nadal vs. Andy Murray; Novak Djokovic vs. Grigor Dimitrov (my surprise pick)
Finals: Novak Djokovic vs. Andy Murray
Winner: Novak Djokovic