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One of many yr’s most prestigious sporting occasions is simply across the nook, and if the type of a number of of the world’s greatest gamers are something to go by, it could possibly be the largest Wimbledon but.

Within the males’s draw Roger Federer might be aiming to create extra historical past on the All England Garden Tennis and Croquet Membership with an unprecedented ninth title. He’ll head into his 21st consecutive Wimbledon off the again of profitable a record-breaking tenth title in Halle.

Being promoted to second seed on the expense of Rafael Nadal additionally means he’ll keep away from high seed Novak Djokovic till the ultimate, the Djoker after all being the defending champion who might be aiming for a fifth Wimbledon title.

Nadal, alternatively, might be eager to finish the Channel Slam for the third time, having carried out so in 2008 and 2010.

Within the ladies’s division all eyes might be on new world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty to see whether or not she will be able to emulate Serena Williams in finishing the Channel Slam, the Australian having stunned many by profitable her first main title at Roland Garros earlier this month.

It’s the first time since 1973 that an Australian would be the high seed within the ladies’s draw on the All England Garden Tennis and Croquet Membership, and the primary time since Lleyton Hewitt spectacularly crashed out within the first spherical right here in 2003 that any Australian has been the highest seed at any main.

A number of the different names to be careful for embody second and third seeds Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova and defending champion Angelique Kerber, whose kind has been effectively down on earlier seasons.

Right here is your full information to a number of the contenders for the boys’s and ladies’s titles at Wimbledon. As at all times, we begin with the boys, headed by defending champion Novak Djokovic.

1. Novak Djokovic (Serbia)

Wimbledon historical past
Finest end result: Gained 4 occasions (2011, 2014, 2015, 2018)
Final yr’s end result: Gained (defeated Kevin Anderson within the remaining)

Australian Open end result: Champion (defeated Rafael Nadal within the remaining)
French Open end result: Semi-final (misplaced to Dominic Thiem)

Titles to date this yr: Australian Open, Madrid

Because the defending champion, all eyes might be on high seed Novak Djokovic to see whether or not he can efficiently defend the title he received final yr by defeating Kevin Anderson within the remaining.

On the time of his victory final yr the Serb was ranked exterior the highest 20 and his greatest tennis was seemingly behind him, however the now 32-year-old would use it as a springboard to complete 2018 strongly and reclaim his place on the high of the tennis throne.

As impressively as he completed final yr, he began this yr in the identical vogue, profitable a file seventh Australian Open title by dealing Rafael Nadal his first straight-sets loss in a serious remaining.

His most up-to-date outing noticed him attain the semi-final at Roland Garros solely to be overwhelmed in 5 units by Dominic Thiem in a stop-start semi-final that lasted two days on account of persistent rain.

That defeat ended his probabilities of finishing a double profession grand slam, although he can put that ache behind him by performing effectively on the All England Garden Tennis and Croquet Membership, the place he has saluted 4 occasions.

Prediction: finalist

Novak Djokovic

(Scott Barbour/Getty Pictures)

Roger Federer (Switzerland)

Wimbledon historical past
Finest end result: Gained eight occasions (2003-07, 2009, 2012, 2017)
Final yr’s end result: Quarter-final (misplaced to Kevin Anderson)

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Australian Open end result: Fourth spherical (misplaced to Stefanos Tsitsipas)
French Open end result: Semi-final (misplaced to Rafael Nadal)

Titles to date this yr: Dubai, Miami, Halle.

As at all times, eight-time champion Roger Federer is the one to look at on the All England Garden Tennis and Croquet Membership as he chases extra historical past at what has statistically and traditionally been his greatest grand slam match.

It’s 20 years because the Swiss maestro made his debut at SW19 and 16 years since he received his first main title on the world’s most well-known postcode by defeating Mark Philippoussis within the remaining.

Regardless of being ranked third on this planet behind Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal and faring the worst of the trio at Wimbledon final yr, the 37-year-old has been promoted to second seed on the Spaniard’s expense, this coming about after he received a tenth title in Halle final week.

Which means that, whereas he’ll keep away from Djokovic till the ultimate, Federer may nonetheless face his profession nemesis Nadal within the semi-finals, whereas he may additionally face a possible quarter-final showdown towards Stefanos Tsitsipas, who knocked him out of the Australian Open in January.

The Swiss maestro did effectively to advance to the semi-finals of the French Open, the place he once more discovered the Spaniard a step too far. Nonetheless, it proved that he nonetheless has what it takes to tackle the perfect on his least most well-liked floor of clay.

On the grass courts, the place he’s most comfy, I’ve him going all the best way and profitable a 21st main title.

Prediction: Champion

Roger Federer prepares to serve

(Clive Mason/Getty Pictures)

three. Rafael Nadal (Spain)

Wimbledon historical past
Finest end result: Gained twice (2008, 2010)
Final yr’s end result: Semi-final (misplaced to Novak Djokovic)

Australian Open end result: Runner-up (misplaced to Novak Djokovic)
French Open end result: Gained (defeated Dominic Thiem within the remaining)

Titles to date this yr: Rome, French Open.

Having claimed a record-breaking 12th title at Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal has each purpose to consider that he could make one other profitable transition to the grass courts.

The Spaniard endured a blended begin to the season, ending runner-up on the Australian Open after which being compelled to withdraw from Miami on account of an ankle harm sustained at Indian Wells, the place he would’ve confronted Roger Federer within the semi-final.

He was additionally sluggish to get occurring the clay courts, dropping to eventual champions Fabio Fognini and Dominic Thiem at Monte Carlo and Barcelona respectively earlier than falling to Stefanos Tsitsipas in his hometown match, Madrid.

Nevertheless, he then bounced again with a vengeance to triumph in Rome, defeating Novak Djokovic within the remaining, earlier than once more getting the higher of Thiem within the French Open remaining, profitable in 4 units.

Now the 33-year-old heads to SW19 trying to enhance on his current file whereby he reached the semi-final final yr solely to lose to Djokovic in a heart-stopping five-set semi-final wherein the ultimate set lasted 18 video games.

Regardless of final yr’s end result, the Spaniard has been demoted to 3rd seed behind Djokovic and Federer, that means he’ll face one in all them within the semi-final and the opposite within the remaining ought to he get that far for the primary time since 2011.

Once more, I’ve him doing effectively, reaching the latter phases of the match.

Prediction: Semi-finals

Rafael Nadal

(Fred Lee/Getty Pictures)

Additionally be careful for Dominic Thiem, Kevin Anderson, Stefanos Tsitsipa and Alexander Zverev. Notable absences embody Juan Martin del Potro (knee harm).

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We now swing over to the ladies’s aspect of issues, the place newly minted world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty will begin because the favorite to land her second grand slam singles title on the All England Garden Tennis and Croquet Membership, having beforehand triumphed as a junior in 2011.

The 23-year-old Queenslander has been the shape participant of the season, racking up 36 wins, the final 12 of them consecutively, towards simply 5 defeats, the perfect file of any participant on the WTA Tour in 2019.

By profitable in Birmingham final week Barty ascended to the highest of the rankings, and she’s going to herself each probability of doing all she will be able to to stay there in the long run.

She is predicted to be confronted with stern opposition within the type of reigning Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, whose kind has taken a downturn for the more severe in current months, third seed Karolina Pliskova and reigning champion Angelique Kerber.

We now check out the contenders for the Venus Rosewater Dish, beginning with Barty.

1. Ashleigh Barty (Australia)

Wimbledon historical past
Finest end result: Third spherical (2018)
Final yr’s end result: Third spherical (misplaced to Daria Kasatkina)

Australian Open end result: Quarter-finals (misplaced to Petra Kvitova)
French Open end result: Gained (defeated Marketa Vondrousova within the remaining)

Titles to date this yr: Miami, French Open, Birmingham.

When Ashleigh Barty determined to take a break from the tennis circuit aged simply 18 in direction of the tip of 2014 few many believed she would later attain the higher echelon of the game, not to mention make a comeback to the game she’d dominated as a junior earlier this decade.

The Ipswich native cited the pressures of the tour in addition to homesickness, amongst different issues, as being behind her determination to take a break from the game, throughout which she tried her hand taking part in cricket for the Brisbane Warmth within the Girls’s Massive Bash League.

However since returning to tennis in mid-2016 the 23-year-old has gone from power to power, cracking the world’s high 20 in 2017, reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open earlier this yr earlier than prevailing at Roland Garros earlier this month.

Then there was the title win in Birmingham, the place she defeated Julia Goerges within the remaining to overhaul Naomi Osaka on the high of the rankings and develop into the primary feminine participant since Evonne Goolagong Cawley to carry the highest spot and the primary of any gender since Lleyton Hewitt in 2003.

She was on account of play in Eastbourne this week however withdrew on account of an arm harm that additionally compelled her out of a small clay court docket match in Strasbourg the week previous to her French Open success.

Regardless of this setback, I believe Barty can go all the best way in what might be her first main as world No. 1.

Prediction: Champion

Ash Barty

(Cameron Spencer/Getty Pictures)

2. Naomi Osaka (Japan)

Wimbledon historical past
Finest end result: Third spherical (2018)
Final yr’s end result: Third spherical (misplaced to Angelique Kerber)

Australian Open end result: Gained (defeated Petra Kvitova within the remaining)
French Open end result: Third spherical (misplaced to Katerina Siniakova)

Titles to date this yr: Australian Open

Reaching the highest of the rankings was alleged to be a milestone within the fledgling profession of Naomi Osaka, but when her previous 4 months is something to go by, it could have confirmed to be a millstone as a substitute.

The Japanese star has largely struggled since profitable the Australian Open in January, which may be attributed to 2 issues: splitting from her coach, Sascha Bajin, in February, after which struggling an stomach harm throughout the clay court docket swing.

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Nonetheless, she managed some respectable outcomes on the clay courts, however then she crashed out of the French Open by dropping to Katerina Siniakova in straight units. This was adopted by one other straight units loss to Yulia Putintseva in Birmingham final week, which noticed her give up high spot to Ashleigh Barty within the rankings.

Had Barty misplaced to Julia Goerges within the remaining, Osaka would have been locked in as high seed on the All England Garden Tennis and Croquet Membership, however she will be able to nonetheless regain the place relying on how she fares over the fortnight.

As a result of each Barty and Osaka are the highest two seeds, they can’t meet till the championship match, and in the event that they do, the world No. 1 rating will nearly definitely be determined there.

The Japanese star’s greatest efficiency at SW19 is reaching the third spherical final yr, the place she misplaced to the eventual champion Angelique Kerber, who she’d overwhelmed on the US Open the earlier yr.

Regardless of her current woes, I can nonetheless see her making an impression, simply not an enormous one.

Prediction: Fourth spherical

Naomi Osaka

(Chris Trotman/Getty Pictures for USTA)

three. Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic)

Wimbledon historical past
Finest end result: Fourth spherical (2018)
Final yr’s end result: Fourth spherical (misplaced to Kiki Bertens)

Australian Open end result: Semi-finals (misplaced to Naomi Osaka)
French Open end result: Third spherical (misplaced to Petra Martic)

For Karolina Pliskova, it’s now or by no means.

Since bursting onto the tennis scene by upsetting Serena Williams on the 2016 US Open, reaching her first grand slam remaining within the course of, it’s truthful to say the 27-year-old has not lived as much as expectations on the subsequent majors since.

Nonetheless, she managed to succeed in world No. 1 one in mid-2017 and has achieved different notable outcomes, together with reaching the semi-finals of the French Open in addition to reaching the ultimate 4 stage on the Australian Open earlier this yr, the place she misplaced to Naomi Osaka.

She additionally managed to succeed in her first Premier Necessary remaining at Miami in March, however she could be overwhelmed by Ashleigh Barty after defeating fellow former world No. 1 Simona Halep within the semi-final.

Her most up-to-date outing noticed her face (and be defeated by) her similar twin sister Kristyna within the second spherical of Birmingham in what was the primary ever match to function similar twin sisters dealing with one another on the WTA Tour.

The Czech is taking part in in Eastbourne this week and has reached the third spherical after defeating Margarita Gasparyan in straight units. end result there could be a superb enhance for her as she finalises her preparations for the third main match of the yr.

Wimbledon is the one main the place she has not reached the quarter-finals, however I can see that altering; in reality I believe she will be able to attain the ultimate, the place Barty is prone to await her.

Prediction: Closing

Additionally be careful for Kiki Bertens, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep, Serena Williams, Johanna Konta and Garbine Muguruza.

Notable absences embody Bianca Andreescu and Ekaterina Makarova.

Wimbledon will get underway on Monday, with Novak Djokovic to open his title defence on Centre Courtroom, whereas Angelique Kerber will begin her bid for a second consecutive title on Tuesday, as is custom.


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