Scouting Report: 10 Things To Watch At Wimbledon
An executive summary of what every fan should know about the coming week on the ATP World Tour
The ATP World Tour's best are descending on the All England Club for the third Grand Slam of the season. Roger Federer, the top seed and defending champion, seeks a ninth title at The Championships, while World No. 1 Rafael Nadal pursues a third trophy at Wimbledon.
But there are plenty of dangerous players throughout the draw looking to earn a title on the grass. Marin Cilic, last year's runner-up, carries the momentum of a victory at the Fever-Tree Championships, while German Alexander Zverev, former World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and others have their sights set on deep runs. Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is competing in his first major since undergoing hip surgery in January.
10 THINGS TO WATCH AT WIMBLEDON
1) Reunited: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray have combined to win the past 15 Wimbledon titles. They return this fortnight for the 150th anniversary of the All England Club, marking the first tournament of the season to feature the complete ‘Big Four’.
2) Nine to 99: Federer seeks his 99th title and a record-extending ninth Wimbledon championship. He begins his 20th consecutive campaign at Wimbledon just 99 wins shy of Jimmy Connors’ record 1,256 match victories. Connors is also the only man in the Open Era with more titles than Federer (109) and more Wimbledon appearances (21), though the Swiss owns the most wins at Wimbledon (91).
3) Nadal Nostalgia: Ten years ago, Nadal survived a furious Federer comeback to win his first of two Wimbledon titles. Nadal reached five finals in as many appearances at Wimbledon from 2006-11. Nadal is one of 12 players in the Open Era to lift the trophy multiple times, capturing glory in 2008 and 2010.
4) Two For One: After swapping the No. 1 ATP Ranking six times this season, Nadal and Federer can both claim to be No. 1. Nadal is atop the ATP Rankings and Federer is the No. 1 seed. Federer will return to World No. 1 on 16 July if he retains the Wimbledon title and Nadal fails to reach the fourth round.
5) One of a Kind: Djokovic is the only player to beat both Nadal and Federer in a Grand Slam final, defeating the Spaniard in 2011 and the Swiss in 2014 and 2015 for his three Wimbledon titles. After ending his 2017 season in the Wimbledon quarter-finals due to a right elbow injury, Djokovic is rounding into form. The Serbian reached the semi-finals in Rome, the quarter-finals at Roland Garros and last week advanced to The Queen’s Club final for the second time (l. to Cilic).
6) Welcome Home: Like Djokovic, Murray did not play again in 2017 after Wimbledon. Unlike Djokovic, he missed the first 24 weeks of 2018 as well. Following right hip surgery on 8 January, Murray will make his Grand Slam return against Benoit Paire, whom he beat at 2017 Wimbledon. The Scot pushed Nick Kyrgios to a third-set tie-break at The Queen’s Club and beat Wawrinka in Eastbourne.
7) Croats on Grass: Marin Cilic and Borna Coric of Croatia arrive at the All England Club after sweeping ATP World Tour 500-level grass-court titles on 24 June. Cilic saved a championship point to defeat Djokovic at the Fever-Tree Championships shortly after Coric denied Federer his 10th title at Halle in the Gerry Weber Open final.
8) Sascha Striving: Alexander Zverev reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros in his 12th major appearance. The three-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion mounted comebacks from two-sets-to-one down in the second, third and fourth rounds.
9) Lopez Beats Federer: Feliciano Lopez owns an 0-13 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against fellow 36-year-old Federer, but he is ensured a moral victory over the living legend at Wimbledon. When he faces Federico Delbonis, Lopez will break Federer’s all-time record by playing in his 66th straight Grand Slam main draw.
10) Doubles Encore: The Top 2 seeds in doubles are Oliver Marach/Mate Pavic and Lukasz Kubot/Marcelo Melo, who could meet in the Wimbledon final for the second straight year. In 2017, Kubot and Melo defeated Marach and Pavic 13-11 in the fifth set after four hours and 39 minutes.