Previewing and predicting the men’s field at Wimbledon

Chris Chase
Busted Racquet

Busted Racquet analyzes the men's draw at the upcoming Grand Slam at Wimbledon.

First quarter

In the third round of his title defense at Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal could face big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic. In the fourth round, he might see Juan Martin del Potro. In the quarterfinal, a rematch of last year's final against Tomas Berdych. Considering Rafa hasn't lost before the finals at Wimbledon since 2005, don't expect that formidable lineup to pose a problem for the 10-time Grand Slam champion. Semifinalist: Nadal

Second quarter

Nothing -- nothing -- suggests Andy Roddick is on the brink of making a run at the Wimbledon title that's eluded him throughout his career. He got worked by Andy Murray in the quarterfinals of Queen's Club and his play leading up to this summer was equally lackluster. He's the No. 10 seed at Wimbledon and was points away from the title in 2009. But the year before and the year after, he failed to make the quarterfinals at the All England Club. The other Andy in this quarter, the aforementioned Mr. Murray, played the best clay court tennis of his life this spring and has the easiest path to the semifinals of any of the top four seeds. Logic says Andy will be playing two Fridays from now on Centre Court. I have a feeling it'll be the one nobody expects. Semifinalist: Roddick

Third quarter

Who's the best shot to take out Federer before the semifinals, like Tomas Berdych did last year. The candidates: David Ferrer (never a quarterfinal), Mikhail Youzhny (same), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (one quarterfinal), Alexandr Dolgopolov (second appearance ever) and David Nalbandian (hasn't advanced past third round since 2006). A Federer upset before the semis of a Slam is inherently unpredictable; still, I feel comfortable breaking out the permanent marker on this one. (Oh, this is the quarter of the draw that also features a first-round match you may have heard something about.) Semifinalist: Federer

Fourth quarter

Novak Djokovic is getting as much buzz as "The Green Lantern," which is to say, not very much. One month ago he was the hottest athlete in the world. Now he's playing the role he relegated Federer to at the French Open: the outsider trying to get back into the conversation. It's a strange situation to be in for a man who's sitting on the doorstep of the No. 1 ranking. Djokovic is still 41-1 on the year with a 9-1 record against the other two best players in the world. He's never advanced to the Wimbledon final, something that should change this year, provided he can get by the hard-serving Kevin Anderson in the second round and, possibly, Robin Soderling in the quarters. Semifinalist: Djokovic

Best first-round match

John Isner vs. Nicolas Mahut

Best first-round upset possibility

Philipp Petzschner d. Robin Soderling (5)

Best possible second-round match

Novak Djokovic (2) vs. Kevin Anderson

Best possible third-round match

Rafael Nadal (1) vs. Milos Raonic (31)

Best possible quarterfinal

Andy Murray (4) vs. Andy Roddick (8)

Semifinal predictions

Roddick d. Nadal

Federer d. Djokovic

Federer does it again to Djokovic, denying him his first Wimbledon. The consolation prize will be Djokovic ascending to No. 1, which will happen if he makes the semis and Nadal fails to win the title.

Finals prediction

Federer d. Roddick

The rematch of the 2009 final is considerably less climactic, as Federer rolls over Roddick and ties Sampras with seven Wimbledon titles.

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