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Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic continues chase at historic year
1:53 | Tennis
Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic continues chase at historic year
Friday June 24th, 2016

SI.com's Jon Wertheim breaks down the men's seeds at Wimbledon 2016. Read on for the dark horses, top first-round matchups and predictions, and find the women's seed report here. 

1 Novak Djokovic

Right now, he’s Google and everyone else is Bing. If he defends, bring on the Grand Golden Slam hype. Watch out for that Raonic quarterfinal.

2 Andy Murray

Unquestionably, he is the world’s No. 2 player right now. No shame in that. And he has, of course, won Wimbledon before. And he’s the local favorite, a status he’s learned to use to his advantage. And his starring role in the summer sequel “Me and Ivan Part II” ought to fire him with some energy. That said, it’s unclear if all this will matter much when Djokovic is on the opposing side of the net.

3 Roger Federer

The seven-time champ is admirably candid about planning his year so he peaks at Wimbledon. Well, it’s here. Looked a little rusty in the tune-ups, loosing to two Gen Nexters, Thiem and Zverev. But bet against him at your peril. For those with a thing for symbolism, the last time Wimbledon preceded the summer Olympics, Federer won. Then again, he was 30 at the time, not 34. On the plus side, his draw leaves little room for complaint.

4 Stan Wawrinka

Coming off a solid French Open, but it's been an uneven year and he has never been at his best on grass. Could reach his third straight quarterfinal but hard to see much after that.

5 Kei Nishikori

After that blazingly successful 2014 U.S. Open, Nishikori has been awfully quiet in majors. He takes a backseat to no player in the movement department; but his modest pop militates success on grass.

• The casual tennis fan’s guide to Wimbledon 2016

6 Milos Raonic

Realistically, Djokovic is your champion. But I would take Raonic as my next pick. Not because McEnroe is now in the camp. But because of the improved movement, the level-headed disposition and the serve that should require a permit to possess.

7 Richard Gasquet

The close-but-not-quite kid was a semifinalist last year but then barely offered resistance against Djokovic. This will sound too harsh by an order of magnitude but Gasquet is a lovely guy and beautiful player who might simply not have the constitution to win majors.

8 Dominic Thiem

The newest member of the Top 8 is fresh off a semifinal (demifinal) run in Paris. The poor kid has played a lot of tennis in 2016, but he keeps on winning…

9 Marin Cilic

The 2014 U.S. Open fades and fades. Has regressed to what he was before his lone Slam: a hard-hitting 10-15 guy whose game isn't quite at a level where he can beat the top five. Recalling Marat Safin, his lumbering movement tends to inhibit success on grass. Another quarterfinal run would mean a strong tournament.

10 Tomas Berdych

Lot of volatility in this market. A former Wimbledon finalist who can bang with the best of them. But has to prove he can win 21 sets in two weeks.

• How a sportsmanship lesson helped shape Federer's new fashion line

11 David Goffin

On the cusp of the Top 10, Goffin is like an upmarket Gilles Simon who wins with Occam’s Razor tennis. Lacks the power for big Wimbledon success but a player to watch.

12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Even at full health—which is seldom the case—there’s an unmistakable sense that, sadly, he’s deep into the back nine of his career.

13 David Ferrer

Sadly, at 34, he’s slowing down a bit, as evidenced by his expulsion from the Top 10. But we say it again: now’s a good time to credit him for his career. Tennis’ ultimate talent maximizer?

• Mailbag: We haven't seen the last of Maria Sharapova

14 Roberto Bautista Agut

A vexing opponent who’s better on grass than you might expect.

15 Nick Kyrgios

A few lapses notwithstanding, over the last 90 days, his tennis has overshadowed his antics. Game translates well to grass. He likes the big stage. His draw is hardly unreasonable. Week two a definite possibility.

16 Gilles Simon

After taking two sets off Djokovic in Australia, Simon has gone quiet. But he’s coming off a quarterfinal showing in 2015, his best ever.

TOP MOMENTS FROM WIMBLEDON 2015

Seeds 17-32

17 Gael Monfils

We missed him in Paris. Nice to see tennis’ best athlete back with us.

18 John Isner

On the serve alone; though he’s never had his best results at Wimbledon.

19 Bernie Tomic

The piñata of men’s tennis deserves some credit for this extended stay in the top 20.

• Bend, don’t break: Andy Murray finds freedom in flexibility training

20 Kevin Anderson

Can he break a disappointing 2016 with a run on grass?

22 Feliciano Lopez

The rare Spaniard who’s better on grass than on clay.

24 Alexander Zverev

The elevator keeps going up.

27 Jack Sock

Oh, that forehand…

Dark Horse Pasture

Grigor Dimitrov: The falloff has been dramatic. But the former semifinalist is too talented to avoid mention entirely.

James Ward: Including him in the ATP’s Generation Next campaign is a bit of a stretch and, one surmises, wouldn't be happening if he were from a less vital nation. But still, the kid’s got game.

Giles Muller: Grass + lefty serve.

• Worple Road to Church Road: History of the Wimbledon grounds

Marcos Baghdatis: Not much tread left on the mechanic’s tires. But….

Dustin Brown: The Nadal-slayer is at his best on the grass. 

Philipp Kohlschreiber: Again, our German/grass bias shows

Let’s pause here and applaud Wimbledon for dealing some of the wild cards to players who are deserving and not necessarily British.

First round matches to watch

Taylor Fritz vs. Wawrinka: Not much time for the American teen to ease into things.
Kyrgios vs. Radek Stepanek: Someone has a sense of humor.
Ivo Karlovic vs. Borna Coric: Contrasting Croats.
Sam Groth vs. Nishikori: Serve-and-a-prayer vs. everything but a serve.
Thiem vs. Florian Mayer: Tough starter match for Thiem.
Fernando Verdasco vs. Tomic: Lot of talent for a first rounder.
Isner vs. Baghdatis: Rough early encounter for both.

Upset special

Nicolas Mahut d. Ferrer in Round two

Most likely Brad Gilbert Bay Area sports metaphor

“He’s missing makeable shots like Harrison Barnes out there.”

Doubles winner

The Bryans: We still believe.

Semifinals

Raonic d. Federer
Murray d. total surprise (Lucas Pouille?)

Finals

Raonic d. Murray

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