Men’s Wimbledon preview: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are the top seed, but will we see the dark horse title run by a younger competitor?

First Quarter

In 2021, Djokovic came to London on a tidal wave of momentum, riding his third consecutive Grand Slam title and 20th overall. But this is where the wave peaked; 12 months later, after losing four sets to Nadal at Roland Garros, he will have to generate his momentum from scratch. Not that a six-time champion can’t do that. In relative terms, it is in the easier half of the lottery. Nadal, Berrettini, and Kyrgios are at the bottom, while the top seeders in Djokovic’s half are Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz, and Carlos Alcaraz.

But not everything seems like smooth sailing. There are two American Service Force towers, Riley Opelka and John Isner, in Djokovic’s neighborhood, as well as Yannick Sener and the recent revelations of Tim van Reethoven. Alkaraz is something of a question mark on the lawn. His overall talent is obviously very high, but last year at Wimbledon, Medvedev knocked him out in three quick sets in the first round. This year, an elbow injury kept him out of all modifications to turf. He will also start with a very strong contender at Jan-Lennard Struff.

And what about Murray? The two-time Wimbledon champion reached the final in Stuttgart two weeks ago, a result that appears to give him a fighting chance in two weeks. But he could quickly find himself in choppy waters: his second-round opponent might be Isner, and his third-round opponent could be Sinner.

Key player: Oscar Otti. The 32nd seed is out in two semi-finals in Stuttgart and Halle.

First round matches to watch:

  • Alcaraz vs. Struve
  • Sinner vs. Stan Wawrinka
  • Murray vs. James Duckworth

Semi-finals: Djokovic

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