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Expert Picks: Predictions of Wimbledon's champions, sleepers and disappointments
We like two unseeded players on the women's side in particular, and some of our experts think we'll see a first-time winner.
Published Jun 24, 2022
Men's Unseeded Sleeper
Joel Drucker—Nick Kyrgios: Tiresome as his antics can be, Kyrgios’ racquet can speak brilliantly. Whip, flip, snap, crackle, pop. Here’s hoping he’s fit enough to stay healthy the entire fortnight.
Matt Fitzgerald—Tim van Rijthoven: Has a winnable opener for his Grand Slam main-draw debut and a date with Djokovic in the round of 16 feels like a solid possibility for the memorable Den Bosch champ.
David Kane—Jan-Lennard Struff: The German has made the third round in his last two Wimbledons, and first opponent Alcaraz has been seen sporting tape on his right arm.
Stephanie Livaudais—Andy Murray: This may be a case of picking with the heart instead of the head, but Murray looked great on his way to the final in Stuttgart, with wins over Kyrgios and Tsitsipas before suffering an ab strain.
Ed McGrogan—Alexander Bublik: You could go with Kyrgios, of course, but the 39th-ranked Kazakh is in a soft quarter of the draw, has ample practice on the surface and—most importantly—has a unique, disrupting game.
Steve Tignor—Tim van Rijthoven: A former top junior, the 25-year-old Dutchman came from nowhere to beat Medvedev, Fritz and Auger-Aliassime and win a grass title two weeks ago.
Women's Unseeded Sleeper
Joel Drucker—Bianca Andreescu: Has regained health and of late been showing plenty of the skills that took her to the 2019 US Open title. Tons of power and tactical versatility.
Matt Fitzgerald—Alison Van Uytvanck: With tons of grass-court form to lean on and a past signature win at SW19, she has a real chance to break open her section of the draw in round one.
David Kane—Alison Van Uytvanck. The big-serving Belgian has won two small titles on grass, and could give home favorite Raducanu fits in her first match.
Stephanie Livaudais—Beatriz Haddad Maia: She’s no longer unseeded, thanks to a new career-high No. 29 ranking, and after a 13-match streak and wins in Nottingham and Birmingham, Haddad Maia probably can’t be considered a sleeper, either. But still, keep an eye on the Brazilia, as she can still surprise the draw.
Ed McGrogan—Bianca Andreescu: There are no shortage of options in the top half: Serena, Sloane, maybe even Yastremska. But I'll go with Bibi, who is quickly rediscovering her vaunted form.
Steve Tignor—Bianca Andreescu: Andreescu has never won a match at Wimbledon, but she seemed to have her grass game going this past week in Bad Homburg, where she's into the final.
National Bank Open
It's all happening up north
Keep up with all the action across Canada:
Joel Drucker—Stefanos Tsitsipas: He's in an awkward phase: no longer the wunderkind, but certainly far from over-experienced. Lack of a first-rate slice backhand can be a handicap on the grass, too.
Matt Fitzgerald—Felix Auger-Aliassime: His first-round opponent, Cressy, may be heating up at just the right time. Evans also looms as a potential third-round foe.
David Kane—Casper Ruud. Can an inevitability be disappointing? Mr. “grass is for golfers” made a mess of his lone pre-Wimbledon prep, but gets a section of slow-courters that would make disappointing quite an achievement.
Stephanie Livaudais—Nick Kyrgios: Stop me if you’ve heard this one: mercurial Aussie comes back after a long layoff, plays great tennis and scores a few signature victories… could this be the year? Probably not. Kyrgios seems to already be tapped out after withdrawing from Mallorca with injury.
Ed McGrogan—Felix Auger-Aliassime: The Newport entrant (love to see it, but is that a bad omen?) gets serve-and-volleyer Cressy to start, and could face another dangerous American, qualifier Sock, in round two.
Steve Tignor—Stefanos Tsitsipas: He’s the fourth seed, but his last win at Wimbledon came in 2018, and he could play Kyrgios in the third round this time.
Joel Drucker—Anett Kontaveit: Sidelined with COVID and unable to play a grass event before SW19. Only once reached a Slam quarter. Draw is tough too. Tough to imagine this No. 2 seed reaching the finals.
Matt Fitzgerald—Karolina Pliskova: It’s been a tough 2022 for the former world No. 1. A return to the final a year later seems out of reach right now.
David Kane—Karolina Pliskova: While Anett Kontaveit is an obvious choice, last year’s finalist gets a tough draw at a tournament she only recently learned to love.
Stephanie Livaudais—Serena Williams: While it’s surreal to see her on a draw sheet, Serena’s performance in Eastbourne doubles still left plenty of doubts about her singles form and match fitness. The seven-time (unseeded) champion dodged a seeded opponent, but she’ll have to hit the ground running from the start.
Ed McGrogan—Jessica Pegula: The No. 8 seed has a tough opener against Vekic, enters The Championships without playing a grass-court tune-up, and has been dealing with family health concerns back home.
Steve Tignor—Anett Kontaveit: Hopefully she’ll surprise us, but the No. 2 seed hasn’t won a match since Stuttgart in April, and she lost in the first round at Wimbledon in 2021.
The Ardent and The Elegant
What Serena Williams and Roger Federer have meant to tennis.
Joel Drucker—Novak Djokovic: Six-time champion hasn’t lost at Wimbledon in five years. Unsurpassed balance, exquisite footwork and longstanding poise under pressure make Djokovic supremely airtight.
Matt Fitzgerald—Novak Djokovic: As tempting as it is to tip Berrettini or Hurkacz to break though, this is still Novak’s tournament to lose. The draw looks pretty good for the Serbian to build up his level.
David Kane—Novak Djokovic: The world No. 1 draws an untested Alcaraz and an uninspiring Ruud as his high seeds, making an already big chance of winning a long-awaited 21st Grand Slam title all but guaranteed.
Stephanie Livaudais—Novak Djokovic: He may be arriving in SW19 without grass-court matches and without his unbeatable aura, but it’s still Djokovic’s tournament to lose. It doesn’t take much for the six-time champion and former world No. 1 to get hot, especially when he has something to prove.
Ed McGrogan—Novak Djokovic: Really want to pick Berrettini, winner of two straight tournaments on grass, but Djokovic has won the last three Wimbledons, and five of the last seven. More to the point: if not now in 2022, when?
Steve Tignor—Matteo Berrettini: He’s won his last two tournaments on grass. He made the final here last year. Two top players, Medvedev and Zverev, are absent. Has a new Wimbledon champion finally arrived?
Joel Drucker—Iga Swiatek: Attitude and approach are Swiatek’s superpowers: positive, thoughtful, persistently on an eclectic quest for improvement. These attributes fuel her wide range of weapons.
Matt Fitzgerald—Ons Jabeur: Jumping Ons the train for this Tunisian talent to take her trailblazing to a whole new level.
David Kane—Iga Swiatek: A year ago, the question was “Barty or the field?” Swiatek has assumed the Aussie’s role with aplomb, and the field, bless its heart, only looks more out of sorts with every win the Pole adds.
Stephanie Livaudais—Ons Jabeur: She bounced back from her French Open disappointment like a champ, lifting a trophy in Berlin and completing a memorable doubles stint with Serena in Eastbourne. She looks poised to keep the momentum going—and her slice can do damage on grass.
Ed McGrogan—Maria Sakkari: I'll play the odds, stay away from the loaded top half of the draw, and go with a supremely fit player who has done all but break through at a Grand Slam tournament.
Steve Tignor—Angelique Kerber: She’s 34 and just 2-2 at the majors this year, but she raises her game for Wimbledon. She won the title in 2018 and made the semis last year.
The Ardent and The Elegant
What Serena Williams and Roger Federer have meant to tennis.