SI.com's Jon Wertheim breaks down the men's seeds at Wimbledon 2015. Read on for the dark horses, top first-round matchups and predictions, and find the women's seed report here.
1. Novak Djokovic
The defending champ is coming off a stinging loss in Paris. And, despite the additional week of prep time, he did not play an official grass court tune-up. Still, it’s hard to pick against a player who’s been so thoroughly dominant over the last 180 days. Rough draw—starting with the Philipp Always Dangerous Kohlschrieber in round one—but that might work to Djokovic's advantage, demanding sharpness immediately.
2. Roger Federer
The romantics’ choice. If he is going to win another major, it’s most likely to come at Wimbledon. The seven-time winner came within a few shot of winning in 2014.
3. Andy Murray
A resurgent 2015 includes a grass court title at Queens’ Club. And Murray has always done well to use the national attention to his advantage. Still needs to show that he can beat Djokovic, but the valiant five-set loss in Paris suggests progress there, too. Will adding Jonas Bjorkman—a terrifically savvy grass court player—have demonstrable effect?
4. Stan Wawrinka
It will be interesting to see how Wawrinka will acquit himself, coming in as the winner of the most recent major. (Last time that happened—the 2014 French Open—it was an unmitigated disaster.) It will also be interesting to see how his attire will comport with the all-white dress code. You worry that fast courts don’t him time to set up those punishing strokes.
5. Kei Nishikori
If the stock hasn’t declined, it’s gained only modestly in 2015. Coming off a dispiriting defeat at the French Open (to Tsonga), he suffered a calf injury that caused him to withdrawal from Halle, which is inauspicious for a player whose biggest weapon is speed. To add to challenges, he finds himself in Djokovic’s quarter.
6. Tomas Berdych
A former finalist, who can dazzle (and beat the best) on a particular day. But he has yet to show to show that he can win seven straight best-of-five matches. After reaching the Wimbledon final in 2011, his grass play has tailed off.
7. Milos Raonic
A semifinalist in 2014, he has a real shot at a return, especially if recovered from minor foot surgery last month. Unlikely to complain much about his draw.
8. David Ferrer
You admire the persistence both in matches and in terms of his career. But coming off a second round loss in 2014 and has never been to the Wimbledon semis.
9. Marin Cilic
The 2014 U.S. Open winner promptly retreated. The low bounce gives him trouble; but it can be overcome by such big ballstriking and serving.
10. Rafael Nadal
Among other things, Nadal is a considerable wild card. (Here’s a line we never thought we’d utter.) Is he the player in decline who lost his lease at Roland Garros and faltered at Queens? Or the former Wimbledon champion who won a tune-up in Stuttgart? He comes in with that unseemly double-digit seeding, as well as three dismal losses at the event three years running. Still, he is Rafael Nadal.
11. Grigor Dimitrov
A semifinalist in 2014, he has regressed since then, in part due to racket issues. He has a soft draw in softest quarter. A real chance to return to the conversation.
12. Gilles Simon
For someone allegedly playing through his injury, his results haven’t suffered. Never a threat to win; always a player to watch.
13. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Coming off a standout French Open, but a tough first rounder against Gilles Muller.
14. Kevin Anderson
Here’s the oxymoronic blond and fair-skinned dark horse. A huge serve and he’s figured out how to win matches. A shame he is close to Djokovic in the draw. Otherwise, a real shot at a deep run.
15. Feliciano Lopez
The rare (first?) Spaniard who is better on grass than he is on clay. Lopez ought to win a few matches. But then Federer looms.
16. David Goffin
An excellent player who now needs to show it at a major. Bonus points if he keeps the mustache.
Always a threat on grass. But the draw gods did him few favors. A potential third-rounder against Cilic, to face Nishikori, to face Djokovic.
We know the drill by now.
His return to the upper ranks is, quietly, one of the better stories in tennis this year. A real shot at the quarters.
Have serve, will make life difficult for opponents.
The Italian is in his 30s and enjoying best year of his career.
His breakthrough came at Wimbledon in 2014. Though his coaching situation and physical status are both in an iffy state, has a good shot to make another second week run.
Big serve + big forehand + big confidence can overcome grass inexperience.
Still waiting the big breakthrough but lots of steady progress for the 21-year-old.
Dark Horse Stable
Tommy Haas: Closer to 40 than to 30, he’s playing his first major in more than a year.
Borna Coric: The ascent continues for the best teenager in the world.
Alexandr Dolgopolov: Erratic player but he serves big and beat Nadal at Queens.
Marcos Baghdatis: A resurgent grasscourt season for a veteran who’s had success at AELTC.
Thanasi Kokkinakis: The young Aussie’s stock seems to surge with each event.
Hyeon Chung: Lots of curiosity over the Korean teenager.
Nicolas Mahut: Five years after the marathon, the Frenchman took a wild card into Wimbledon 2015 but, ironically, won a tune-up.
First round matches to watch
Djokovic v. Kohlschreiber: Djokovic ought to win but that’s a rough first match.
Ymer v. Karlovic: Ace king starts off against an intriguing Swedish prospect.
Jack Sock v. Sam Groth: Them’s a lot of aces.
Lleyton Hewitt v. Nieminen: Enjoy Hewitt in his final Wimbledon. (Winner gets Djokovic.)
Marcos Baghdatis v. Donald Young
First Round Upset Special
Gilles Muller d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
The Bryans Bros, Bob and Mike. They've only won one of the last six majors they’ve entered. But still have to be considered the favorites. (Keep an eye on Pospisil/Sock, the 2014 champs. If both lose early—and without a physical price—in singles, it may end up helping their doubles prospects.)
Djokovic d. Raonic
Murray d. Federer
Djokovic d. Murray