June 25, 2011
The round of 16 is set at Wimbledon. Busted Racquet ranks the remaining players from 1-16 based on who's most likely to hoist the cup next Sunday afternoon on Centre Court. Read the women's rankings here.
1. Roger Federer -- Why is Roger Federer our favorite ahead of the defending champion and a guy who's 44-1 on the year? Because the Federer who played against Djokovic and Nadal in the French Open isn't losing on Centre Court to anybody in the field. His serve is dialed in and his play looks as effortless as it did during his run to five straight titles last decade.
2. Novak Djokovic -- Truth: Grass isn't his best surface. Other truths: Beating Federer when he has three match points at the U.S. Open is nearly impossible. Defeating Nadal on clay was mostly impossible. Starting the year with 41 straight wins was impossible.
3. Rafael Nadal -- Call it a hunch or a gut feeling or a gross underestimation of the defending champion and 10-time Slam winner; I don't have a good vibe about Nadal this Wimbledon and believe it's not inconceivable that he goes out to either Del Potro or Fish/Berdych in the next two rounds.
4. Andy Murray -- Big four? As Chris Fowler said during Murray's match on Friday, if this is a big four then Murray is Ringo. (That's actually an insult to Ringo. Case in point: "Rain.") I don't think anyone actually believes Murray can win Wimbledon. This wouldn't be a problem if Murray didn't believe the same thing.
5. Juan Martin Del Potro -- The Argentine is probably a year and a good hard court season away from being a true contender at Wimbledon. If he gets past Nadal, though, who knows?
8. David Ferrer
The women's side had a category in between contenders and long shots we labeled as dark horses. The men's side isn't nearly as wide open, thus relegating former Grand Slam finalists like Tsonga and Berdych to also-ran status. (Consider: The man with the fifth-best odds to win Wimbledon is getting 50/1 to win the title. The woman with the eighth-best odds goes at 38/1.) Still, this doesn't mean a Federer-Tsonga quarterfinal wouldn't be fantastic. Keep your fingers crossed for that one.
Really, really long shots
9. Mardy Fish
10. Mikhail Youzhny
11. Richard Gasquet
12. Feliciano Lopez
13. Bernard Tomic
14. Xavier Malisse
15. Michael Llodra
16. Lukasz Kubot