Wimbledon 2016 preview roundtable: Predictions, top storylines
As the players gear up for the start of Wimbledon 2016 on Monday, June 27, SI.com tennis experts and writers Jon Wertheim, Richard Deitsch, Elizabeth Newman, Stanley Kay and Jamie Lisanti discuss this year’s top storylines and predict the winners.
What are you most looking forward to in the draw?
Jon Wertheim: Five storylines?
1) Can anyone stop the immovable object/unstoppable force that is Novak Djokovic? If not, he’s a Slam away from the Grand.
2) What’s the state of Roger Federer’s game? Maybe you heard: the seven-time Wimbledon champ is almost 35.
3) Which—if any—members of Gen Next can justify the hype: Zverev, Thiem Kyrgios, even Taylor Fritz. Who will be around in Week Two?
4) Can Serena Williams win her first Slam in a year, reversing what is—by her standards— a troublesome slump?
5) Can Garbine Muguruza back up her first major with a second—or at least come close?
Richard Deitsch: The prospect of Novak Djokovic facing seven-time winner Roger Federer in the semis. There’s always an air of tension when these two meet—their styles make great fights—and it’s a historically closer rivalry than you might think: Novak leads, 23-22 lifetime. As you know, they played a fascinating first two sets in last year’s final including a 12-10 tiebreak in the second before Novak found his footing and won the final two sets. Given Wimbledon remains the best option for Federer to have one last major breakthrough—especially if he serves as he did last year—I give him a puncher’s chance to knock off Djokovic, who is obviously the favorite to win his fifth consecutive major title. A potential fourth round meeting between Andy Murray and Nick Kyrgios on Centre Court could be delicious. I’m also hoping for a quarterfinal between Garbine Muguruza and Venus Williams. Muguruza has not beaten Venus in three tries but the two have yet to play in 2016.
Lisanti: I’d really like to keep the calendar Grand Slam and Golden Slam talks alive. Novak Djokovic, for the tic-tac-toe three-in-a-row.