ED MCGROGAN, SENIOR EDITOR: Marin Cilic
Even though he’s won a Slam, no one will be talking about Cilic once Wimbledon begins. He’s not in landmine-filled bottom half of the draw, and his half includes Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal—but not much else. Cilic has reached a semifinal and final on grass this year, losing only in third-set tiebreakers. By the time Wimbledon nears its conclusion, Cilic may be one of the few players left to talk about.
NINA PANTIC, ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Stan Wawrinka
He made the French Open final, which included a win over Murray—his confidence should be high. Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam he’s missing from his collection—his motivation couldn’t be higher. Sure, the Swiss has never done better than the quarterfinals at the All England Club, but an in-form, on-fire Wawrinka is close to unbeatable.
BRAD KALLET, ONLINE EDITOR: Roger Federer
The long break and the loss to Tommy Haas in Stuttgart had me a bit hesitant, but Federer’s showing in Halle made it clear: the Swiss is healthy, strong, fit and in form. He’s well-rested and, with his rivals not at their best, expect Federer to take home Slam No. 19.
STEVE TIGNOR, SENIOR WRITER: Roger Federer
He’s one of the best-ever on grass, he’s won four titles this year and the only two players seeded above him, Murray and Novak Djokovic, have been shadows of their usual selves of late. Even at 35, Federer is the man to beat.
Dark Horse (No. 20 or lower)
MCGROGAN: Karen Khachanov
It’s not hard to picture this tournament as Khachanov’s coming-out party. The 21-year-old Russian has a giant serve, reached the semifinals in Halle and beat Berdych and John Isner at Roland Garros. The No. 30 seed should cruise into the third round—where he could meet Nadal. That would certainly qualify as a (potential) breakthrough moment.
PANTIC: Feliciano Lopez
After the best run of his career at Queen’s Club to win the title, the 35-year-old has to be asking himself, if not now, when? Ranked 25th but in a tough section, Lopez has more momentum than anyone in his quarter, including Djokovic.
KALLET: Nick Kyrgios
It’s amazing that, for how talented he is, Kyrgios is seeded just 20th. Kyrgios has had a rough go of it since May, losing four of five matches, but it’s just a matter of time before he gets back in a groove—and a matter of time before he wins a Slam. “I can win it,” the 22-year-old said. He’s right.
TIGNOR: Karen Khachanov
Khachanov appeared to be heading for a sophomore slump at the start of 2017, but he has found his rhythm on grass. At 6’6”, with power strokes from both sides, he could pose a threat to Nadal; they’re scheduled to play in the third round.
Bust (No. 8 or higher)
MCGROGAN: Dominic Thiem
The Austrian’s fast groundstrokes will move through the turf with ease, but he needs time—something grass doesn’t afford—to set those massive shots up. Furthermore, he has a difficult first-rounder against former quarterfinalist Vasek Pospisil. And if Thiem reaches the fourth round, Tomas Berdych could prove problematic.
PANTIC: Dominic Thiem
His loss to world No. 222 Ramkumar Ramanathan in Antalya must have shaken Thiem up a bit. The 23-year-old piles on too much onto his plate, and it’s only a matter of time before he needs an extended break. It doesn’t help that in three appearances at the All England Club, Thiem has gone 2-3.
KALLET: Milos Raonic
In his last match, the Canadian lost in straight sets to then-No. 698 Thanasi Kokkinakis on grass. He made the final last year, but has been far too inconsistent in 2017. He could have an extremely difficult test against Nicolas Mahut, a grass-court wizard, in the second round.
TIGNOR: Dominic Thiem
Who knows how much effort Thiem put into his last match, a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Ramanathan in Turkey? But the signs aren’t great. Either is the fact that his long swings have never taken him past the second round at Wimbledon.
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