The Championships begin tomorrow, and the biggest questions regarding the tournament remains the same. Will anyone other than the Big 3 win the tournament? Of the Big 3, does Federer have a realistic chance? And can Djokovic shrug off his French Open defeat to Nadal and defend his title? We'll break down the draw, quarter by quarter.
2012 Championships- Gentlemen's Singles
Top Seeds: Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych
Dark Horses: Phillip Petzschner, Richard Gasquet, Nicolas Almagro
This quarter of the draw is filled with some very intriguing but ultimately second tier players. Richard Gasquet has the ability to amaze but always seems to fall short in the majors, Nicolas Almagro has a killer backhand but an inability to finish matches and is also one of the few remaining clay court specialists. Juan Monaco is also a tough player but unproven on grass. Besides Djokovic, the only other player in this quarter who has a good grass court pedigree is the next highest seed, Tomas Berdych, who reached the final of the 2010 Championships, beating Federer and Djokovic in the process. Djokovic has a relatively tricky draw in the first two rounds, against former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero and then former quarterfinalist Yen-Hsun Lu or Ryan Harrison. After that it gets easier before his potential quarterfinal match-up against Tomas Berdych, which has the potential to be a huge upset. Still, I don't see anyone besides Berdych preventing Djokovic from reaching the semifinal.
Quarterfinalists: Djokovic, Berdych
Top Seeds: Roger Federer, Janko Tipsarevic
Dark Horses: John Isner, Gilles Simon
This quarter is all about Roger Federer, who has failed to make it out of the quarterfinals the past two years here at Wimbledon. He lost to Tomas Berdych in 2010 and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2011, and neither of those players are in his quarter here. Instead, the next highest seed is Janko Tipsarevic, a considerably easier opponent. The next highest seed is John Isner, who has been struggling mightily as of late, and has never looked really comfortable on grass. Andreas Seppi is also in the quarter, and he has a good early round draw to make a mini run. He's been on fire of late. This is the ideal quarter for Federer, and barring a huge upset, he should be able to make it out of the quarter.
Quarterfinalists: Federer, Seppi
Top Seeds: Andy Murray, David Ferrer
Dark Horses: Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Roddick, Milos Raonic
Partly due to Andy Murray's slump, this is the most wide open quarter. Murray and Ferrer are the top seeds, and with Murray's shaky play and Ferrer's lack of history on the surface, the lower ranked players have a great opportunity to make runs. Ferrer in his own right won the tournament in the Netherlands right before the tournament, Andy Roddick defeated Andreas Seppi to win Eastbourne, and Juan Martin del Potro is continuing his upward swing. Throw in the young gun Milos Raonic and you have a wide open section. Murray still has to be the prohibitive favorite due to his pedigree here at Wimbledon, but del Potro, Ferrer, and Roddick all seem to have legitimate chances to advance. Kei Nishikori is another player who might be able to make a deep run. Overall, this is a very tough quarter to predict the winners. This is the quarter to watch if you want unpredictability.
Quarterfinalists: Del Potro, Murray
Top Seeds: Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Dark Horses: Mardy Fish, Feliciano Lopez, Philip Kohlschreiber, Tommy Haas
This is Nadal's quarter, and compared to the cakewalk he had at Roland Garros, he has a much tougher draw here. Early round match-ups include Ivan Dodig and then either Philip Kohlschreiber or Tommy Haas, followed by the grass court specialist (?!) Feliciano Lopez or Alexandr Dolgopolov. The quarterfinal would then be probably Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is a touch match-up for him. This shouldn't be as easy as a few weeks ago, and while I don't think anyone will be able to beat him, it should provide for some very interesting matches. Mardy Fish, on the other side of the quarter, has a relatively easy draw but the biggest question revolves around his health. If he's healthy, he can make a run, if not though, it could be a very short tournament for him. That's the biggest question about his draw, as Tsonga should be able to work his way through the draw. A potential match against Stan Wawrinka, a rematch of their epic French Open encounter, looms for him, but grass is much better suited for his game.
Quarterfinalists: Tsonga, Nadal
Final Rounds- Predictions
Semifinalists: Djokovic, Federer, del Potro, Nadal
Finalists: Djokovic, Nadal