Wimbledon 2017 men’s draw preview and tips: Favourite Roger Federer set for Wimbledon rematches with Milos Raonic, Novak Djokovic

Hannah Wilks in Wimbledon 30 Jun 2017
  • Wimbledon 2017 men's draw preview analysis and predictions
  • Roger Federer could face rematches with Milos Raonic, Novak Djokovic on his way to an eighth Wimbledon title
  • Beleaguered defending champion Andy Murray drawn in same half as Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Wimbledon at bet365 > live streaming > tennis
Who can stop Roger Federer from winning an eighth Wimbledon title in 2017? (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

The Wimbledon 2017 draw is out – could we see another final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal? 

The Championships 2017 tennis is live from Wimbledon from 3-16 July 2017. Watch and bet on tennis live from Wimbledon at bet365 > live streaming > tennis



Wimbledon 2017 is the first Grand Slam for three years to feature the ‘Big Four’ of men’s tennis as the top four seeds and the draw has placed defending champion Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal in the same half, while Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic – who have clashed twice in the Wimbledon final – are on a collision course in the semifinals.

Squeezed out of the top four by the formula used to determine Wimbledon seedings, world no. 3 Stan Wawrinka – who only needs a Wimbledon title to attain the career Grand Slam – finds himself in the same quarter with Murray, Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while Federer could have to contend with Milos Raonic, who defeated him in last year’s semifinals, Alexander Zverev or Grigor Dimitrov.
Will tournament favourite Federer rise above his draw? Can Nadal take advantage of his to record his deepest run at Wimbledon for some time? We break down the men’s draw for Wimbledon 2017.  

Top quarter

Projected quarterfinal: Andy Murray (1) vs Stan Wawrinka (5) (10-8)

Other dangerous players: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (12), Nick Kyrgios (20), Fernando Verdasco (31)
The last time Andy Murray failed to make it past the quarterfinals at Wimbledon was the last time he appeared as defending champion – in 2014, when he lost to Grigor Dimitrov. And while Murray appeared to be turning around a poor season so far when he reached the French Open semifinals, he suffered an early defeat at Queen’s Club and has struggled with a hip injury in the run-up to Wimbledon – ominous signs for the world no. 1. 

Andy Murray  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Murray will have to play himself into form and he has little time to do it in this draw. Lucky loser Sascha Bublik shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but either Joao Sousa or, more likely, Dustin Brown – the charismatic dreadlocked Jamaican whose audacious serve-and-volley game has ousted Nadal from Wimbledon before – await in the second round, and Mischa Zverev at the Australian Open showed how effective that brand of play can be against Murray. In the round of 16, Murray will face whoever comes out of a section bristling with dangerous Frenchmen – led by Lucas Pouille, a quarterfinalist last year, and featuring the grass-averse Benoit Paire and Pierre-Hugues Herbert – which also includes former quarterfinalist Nick Kyrgios. Injured in the run-up to Wimbledon, Kyrgios has never beaten Murray but his weapons will always make him dangerous (while his brain and body always make him susceptible to an early exit).

Follow Andy Murray's Wimbledon campaign in detail and find the latest Murray news here

If Kyrgios looks like an unlikely threat, the same can’t be said for Stan Wawrinka. The French Open runner-up has never been past the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, and can be flaky in early rounds: He also has some potentially tough early opponents, beginning against Eastbourne semifinalist Daniil Medvedev, possibly facing Tommy Haas (who beat Federer on grass in Stuttgart a few weeks ago) and either former Wimbledon quarterfinalist Fernando Verdasco or the big-serving Kevin Anderson in the third round. 

If Wawrinka weathers early challenges, however, I like his chances. Projected fourth-round opponent Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, twice a semifinalist at Wimbledon, appears too distracted by new fatherhood to be too dangerous at the moment, and Sam Querrey is desperately erratic. The Swiss would be favourite against any quarterfinalist other than Murray, and although he has lost both previous encounters with Murray on grass, their only Wimbledon match was a five-set thriller back in 2009 and with Murray’s recent form and fitness, Wawrinka would be likely to make a first Wimbledon semifinal. 

Semifinalist: Wawrinka

Second quarter

Projected quarterfinal: Rafael Nadal (4) vs Marin Cilic (7) (4-1)

Other dangerous players: Kei Nishikori (9), Gilles Muller (16), Ivo Karlovic (21)
Rafael Nadal (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Early exits at Wimbledon have become de rigeur for Rafael Nadal in recent years – the two-time champion last made the final in 2011 and hasn’t been as far as the quarterfinals since, only making the second week once and missing last year’s event altogether. 

Nadal’s withdrawal from scheduled warm-up events following his awesome tenth title at the French Open doesn’t bode well for a serious challenge, but if the man from Manacor’s body is up to it, he has the draw he needs to have his best Wimbledon for some years. Early rounds have been a minefield for Nadal at recent Wimbledons but there are few potential challenges: He opens against John Millman, and could face Denis Istomin – the very talented but erratic Uzbek who defeated Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open – in the second round, with the promising rising Russian Karen Khachanov, whose grass-court credentials are still very much unknown, in the third round.

Get the latest news, results, scores and schedules for Rafael Nadal's Wimbledon 2017 campaign

With either Ivo Karlovic or Gilles Muller – two giant servers with little else in their games – in the round of 16, Nadal is going to have to work hard (pace a brilliant performance from Istomin) not to make the quarterfinals. That’s where this section gets interesting, because on paper seventh seed Marin Cilic is a fantastic pick to make not just the semifinals, but perhaps even the final. The 2014 US Open champion has been a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon for the past three years; his game is tailor-made for modern grass; he won Queen’s Club in 2012 and has been a runner-up twice, including just last week when he lost to Feliciano Lopez in an extremely tough match; he’s superbly fit at the moment and playing some gorgeous tennis. The less-than-fit and never-at-his-best-on-grass Kei Nishikori is the only real threat in his section and although he’s only beaten Nadal once, he should definitely be able to do so again on grass. The question is whether Cilic, not always notable for rising to the occasion, can handle the undoubted sense of opportunity and avoid an early pitfall. If he can get on the kind of roll he did in New York three years ago, he’ll be in the semifinals. But you’d have to be brave to bet on that happening.

Semifinalist: Nadal


Third quarter

Projected quarterfinal: Milos Raonic (6) vs Roger Federer (3) (3-9)

Other dangerous players: Alexander Zverev (10), Grigor Dimitrov (13)
It’s very difficult to look at this draw and not think that the stars are aligning for Wimbledon’s beloved Roger Federer to capture his first title at the All-England Club since 2012. 

Milos Raonic (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Federer effortlessly dominated the first quarter of the season and his decision to skip the entire clay-court swing, including Roland Garros, proclaimed loudly that he had his eyes on an eighth Wimbledon title – and from where I’m sitting, he’s going to get it, not least because none of his main rivals (apart from Nadal, who Federer has beaten three times already in 2017) are playing very well while Federer warmed up nicely with the Halle title. 

Will Federer win an eighth Wimbledon title in 2017? Follow his campaign here!

Federer’s most interesting match on the way to the semifinals might almost be his first round against the mercurial, superbly talented but hopelessly erratic Alexandr Dolgopolov. He’s likely to face Mischa Zverev, whose serve-and-volley game bamboozled Murray in Melbourne but won’t have the same effect on Federer, in the third round and former semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov is a likely fourth-round opponent. Dimitrov plays well on grass, was a semifinalist at Queen’s and has sporadically produced some great tennis this year, but Federer has never experienced the slightest difficulty in beating the Bulgarian and won’t now. 
In the top half of this section, last year’s runner-up Milos Raonic faces an uphill struggle just to make the quarterfinals. The Canadian has been hopelessly bedeviled by injuries so far in 2017 and lost his only grass-court match this season to world no. 698 Thanasi Kokkinakis at Queen’s Club. First-round opponent Jan-Lennard Struff and potential second-round opponent Nicolas Mahut could both be tricky, as could Rome Masters champion and Halle runner-up Alexander Zverev in the fourth round. Indeed, tenth-seeded Zverev is a great pick to make the quarterfinals, but Federer trounced the young German in Halle and he’ll do so again at the All-England Club. 

Semifinalist: Federer

Fourth quarter

Projected quarterfinal: Dominic Thiem (8) vs Novak Djokovic (2) (1-5)

Other dangerous players: Tomas Berdych (11), Feliciano Lopez (19), Richard Gasquet (22)
Novak Djokovic (GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
It was at Wimbledon last year where it all started to go slightly wrong for Novak Djokovic with a shock third-round defeat to Sam Querrey ending his amazing streak of four consecutive Grand Slams – is this where the Serb begins to put things right in 2017?

Three-time Wimbledon champion Djokovic has opted to play a grass-court warm-up for the first time in some years, and at the time of writing has made the Aegon International semifinals in Eastbourne where he seems to be thriving in the relaxed atmosphere. He’ll also have Andre Agassi with him for the duration and despite what may seem on the surface like a tricky draw, I think Djokovic will be making a long stay in SW19. Powerful left-hander Martin Klizan is a tough opener on clay or even hard courts, but the Slovak is only 4-14 on grass for his career. Equally, Juan Martin del Potro seems like a tough projected third-round opponent, but the Argentine has never really got going in 2017 for various reasons, hasn’t played a single match on grass in the warm-up and is unlikely to be either fit or sharp. Gael Monfils is a possible fourth-round opponent but he doesn’t at all flourish on grass, and he barely makes a dent on Djokovic on his best surfaces; Queen’s Club champion Feliciano Lopez does flourish on grass, and could be an interesting work-out for Djokovic, but the Spaniard’s only win over the Serb in ten attempts came via retirement and I don’t see Lopez’s attacking game prevailing over Djokovic’s superb defense over the best of five sets.

Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon: Get the latest news, scores and schedules

So, Djokovic into the quarterfinals but who will he face? French Open semifinalist Dominic Thiem continues to impress on clay and even hard courts, but he is 10-10 overall and just 1-2 in 2017 on grass and has never been past the second round of Wimbledon. If he can get past Vasek Pospisil in the first round, Thiem is lucky to have drawn Paolo Lorenzi – a clay-court specialist – as his projected third-round opponent, but his run will end in the fourth round at the hands of either Tomas Berdych, still a formidable opponent on grass, or two-time Wimbledon semifinalist Richard Gasquet, neither of whom are about to beat Djokovic in the quarterfinals.

Semifinalist: Djokovic

Semifinals: Nadal d. Wawrinka
Federer d. Djokovic

Final: Federer d. Nadal

*

The Championships tennis is live from Wimbledon from 3-16 July 2017 


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Wimbledon 2017 men’s draw preview and tips: Favourite Roger Federer set for Wimbledon rematches with Milos Raonic, Novak Djokovic

Will Roger Federer cruise to an eighth Wimbledon title while defending champion Andy Murray has to battle Stan Wawrinka, Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal in the top half of the draw? Wimbledon 2017 draw analysis and tips

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