The favourites

Another Wimbledon Championships comes around, and the list of favourites on the men’s side of the draw remains remarkably familiar.

Roger Federer , who has won this title more often than anybody else, is in the mix once again.

The Swiss has just won at Halle for the fifth time in seven attempts, suggesting that his form is good enough to go deep here.

But having featured in the clay-court season for the first time in four years, there are legitimate questions about whether he can last the distance.

Two-time champion Rafael Nadal was dominant at the French Open in June, claiming the title for a staggering 12th time.

Though nobody has done the Roland-Garros/Wimbledon double since the Spaniard in 2010, he can at least build on last season’s semi-final appearance, when he lost the fifth set 10-8 to Novak Djokovic.

But Djokovic himself is the clear favourite.

The Serb is remarkably consistent at SW19, reaching the last four in seven of the last nine years, and is tuning up nicely again.

He reached the semi-finals or better in his last three events of the clay-court season, and has the edge on grass over the players who beat him in those events, Nadal and Dominic Thiem.

Expect the defending champion to win the title in consecutive years for the second time in his career.


Best of the rest

Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and Andy Murray account for the last 16 men’s champions, but only eight of those finals have featured two of them, so you can’t discount some longer-priced players as each-way bets.

Kevin Anderson , last year’s losing finalist, is among the contenders as the fourth seed.

The South African has had his season disrupted by injury, but made his comeback at Queen’s last week. His big-serving game suits this tournament, as he proved when he knocked out Federer in 2018.

It is a matter of time before Stefanos Tsitsipas goes deep in another slam.

The Greek reached the semi-final of the Australian Open earlier this year, his best performance at a slam by some distance, and was only knocked out via a series of tiebreaks against John Isner when seeded 31 last year.

Now No. 7, he has every chance of a good run, and will prove a difficult opponent for Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

There is plenty of hype about Canadian 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime , who has reached three finals and two semi-finals this season.

But his price seems short, considering that this is his SW19 debut and that he is due to meet Djokovic in the fourth round.


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