Wimbledon men's seed report

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SI.com's Jon Wertheim breaks down the men's seeds at Wimbledon 2012. Read on for the top first-round matchups, dark horses and winners predictions.

Top 16 Seeds

1. Novak Djokovic: You'd be well within your rights to side with the defending champ. He may have lost to Rafael Nadal on clay (and never summoned his best tennis in Paris) but grass is an entirely different surface. Fun first rounder against Juan Carlos Ferrero.

2. Rafael Nadal: Never mind the fact that he won a major barely a week ago. Never mind that he's now beaten Djokovic three straight times. In the last five Wimbledons, Nadal has gone: F/W/W/F/F, an overall record of 32-3. Could you credibly pick anyone other than the first or second seed?

3. Roger Federer: Our pick. On its face, it makes little sense. Federer has now gone 30 months without a major, lost in the Halle tuneup, hasn't won Wimbledon -- once his personal grass playground -- since 2009 and has fallen behind Djoko-dal on surfaces other than blue dust. But tennis has a way of serving up these surprises.

4. Andy Murray: Obviously not where he wants to be headed into the meaty part of the season. He'll always be a threat, if not a leading contender, and you wonder whether Euro 2012 and the Olympics don't alleviate a bit of the Murray mania as well. Say this: another dismal result and you really wonder how much longer the noble experiment will continue.

5. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: Fresh off that brutal loss in Paris, it will be interesting to see how Jo-Willie (Nameth) Tsonga -- we'll take that one if you won't, Brad Gilbert -- comports himself at Wimbledon. Yes, he beat Federer on grass last year, coming back from 0-2 sets. But he still needs to prove he can sustain himself physically and mentally for seven rounds.

6. Tomas Berdych: The Berd-man beat Federer and reached the final two years ago. But his midmatch migrations prevent him from truly soaring. We'll stop now.

7. David Ferrer: It's not often a player enters a Slam seeded sixth, reaches the semis and goes to the next Slam seeded seventh. But this, of course, is a function of Ferrer's grass court prowess. Or lack thereof.

8. Janko Tipsarevic: The cut-and-paste: fine player. Congrats on reaching the top 10. Not a credible threat to win majors. Starts against David Nalbandian.

9. Juan Martin del Potro: Reached the fourth round in 2011, but his ponderous movement and lasso backswing aren't suited to grass. Plus, it remains to be seen how the knee injury (the one that prevented him from beating Federer in Paris) holds up.

10. Mardy Fish: Welcome back, a few weeks after surgery to address heart palpitations. You wonder about the state of his game -- and, frankly, his psyche -- given recent events. Plus, while Fish reached the fourth round in 2011, his record at majors is still modest.

11. John Isner: Many have starred his name in their program, presumably because of his big serve and deceptive grit. But Isner has cooled off lately. And despite the raw materials, his record on grass is modest. Big beta here. He could lose early or stay late and neither would cause much surprise.

12. Nicolas Almagro: He's not quite Juan Monaco (see below) but it's hard to back a player with a losing record for his career on grass.

13. Gilles Simon: You love the minimalist tennis. But by now we know the dance steps to the Simon Shuffle: win, win, win, out in round four.

14. Feliciano Lopez: The rare Spaniard who's better on grass than on clay. Since it looks like he won't be on the Spanish Olympic team, this is his one chance to make some noise at the All England Club this summer. Retried from his first-round French Open match on account of an oblique injury (the muscle, not the vagueness) so you wonder about his health as well.

15. Juan Monaco: Not so much. Career record at Wimbledon: 0-4. May well lose first rounder to countryman Leonardo Mayer.

16. Marin Cilic: Coming off a "win" at Queens Club. Big game, but the movement is a question mark on grass.

Seeds 17-32

18. Richard Gasquet: Lacks the mettle required for true success but always has the talent to reach Week 2.

20. Bernard Tomic: Played late into the second week in 2011. While his progress has been modest since, there's a lot of game here. Bonus points for potential family drama.

21. Milos Raonic: Big star here. Came a few points from taking down Roger Federer in Halle. And his game would appear well-suited for grass. This we know: it's virtually impossible that he won't improve on last year's Wimbledon.

26. Mikhail Youzhny: When we last saw this guy at a major he was playing so poorly he wrote "Sorri" in the clay of Roland Garros. Since then he reached a grass court semi.

27. Philipp Kohlschreiber: Like most Germans, he plays well on grass. Beating Rafael Nadal in Halle gives him confidence coming in.

28. Radek Stepanek: Veteran knows his way to the net and can beat anyone outside the top three on a given day.

30. Andy Roddick: The good news: he is in the draw, a former finalist, and still able to get a seed. The bad news: since beating Federer in Miami, Roddick's results have been wretched.

32. Kevin Anderson: Big potential here. Think of Kevin Curren, a hard-serving South African who can bring the right kind of game to bear on this surface.

Dark Horse Stable:

Tommy Haas: Former top five player appears to be back in business.

Grigor Dimitrov: You get a feeling the breakthrough is a question of when, not if.

David (Shinguards) Nalbandian: Forgoing the easy jokes (sort of), this is a former finalist who -- let the record reflect -- was a few games from the Queen's Club title before doing his Christiano Ronaldo impersonation on the poor line judge's leg.

Brian Baker: Best story tennis has given us in years. Didn't get a wild card? No problem, he qualified.

Ivo Karlovic: Solely on the basis of that serve.

Nicolas Mahut: Marathon man has been playing awfully well lately.

Blue plate first-round upset:

Nalbandian v. Tipsarevic and/or Rochus def. Almagro.

First-round matches to watch

David Goffin v. Bernard Tomic: Two of the better young players.

Tommy Haas v. Phil Kohlschreiber: A German veteran will prevail.

Kevin Anderson v. Grigor Dimitrov: Rough opener for both.

Doubles winner

Daniel Nestor and Max Mirnyi: They're the top seeds for a reason.

Singles picks

Semis: Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer; Milos Raonic vs. Rafael Nadal.

Final: Federer vs. Nadal

Champion: Federer