Scouting Report: 12 Things To Watch At Wimbledon
An executive summary of what every fan should know ahead of The Championships
After three weeks of grass-court events on the ATP Tour, the top players in the ATP Rankings head to Wimbledon for the third Grand Slam event of the season. Top three seeds Novak Djokovic (4), Roger Federer (8) and Rafael Nadal (2) will all be aiming to add to their Wimbledon trophy collections at The All England Club. Here are 12 things to watch at the grass-court Grand Slam championship:
1) Big Three Lead the Way: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal occupy the top three seeding positions at Wimbledon. This is the first time since 2012 at Wimbledon that the Big Three are the top three seeds and the fifth time (2008, '10-'12, '19) overall. Since Federer won his first of a record eight titles here in 2003, the Big Three have combined to capture 14 of the past 16 championships. Andy Murray won the remaining titles in 2013 and 2016.
2) Big Three Domination: The Big Three have won 10 straight Grand Slam titles going back to the 2017 Australian Open. It is the third-longest streak of Grand Slam titles won by the trio. The last player outside the Big Three to win a Grand Slam singles title was Stan Wawrinka, who defeated Djokovic to win the 2016 US Open. The Big Three collected 18 consecutive Grand Slam trophies between 2005 Roland Garros and 2009 Wimbledon and 11 from 2010 Australian Open to 2012 Wimbledon.
3) Reigning Champion: Last year, Djokovic came into Wimbledon as the No. 12 seed at No. 21 in the ATP Rankings. The Serbian defeated Nadal 10-8 in the fifth set in the semi-finals, before earning his fourth Wimbledon crown with a straight-sets win against Kevin Anderson. He was the lowest seed to win Wimbledon since No. 12 Andre Agassi in 1992. This is the sixth time (2012-16) Djokovic is the No. 1 seed at Wimbledon.
The 32-year-old Serb has a 65-10 record at The All England Club. Last year, Djokovic entered Wimbledon with an 18-9 record (0-1 in finals). This year, he comes in with a 28-6 mark with titles at the Australian Open and the Mutua Madrid Open. Dominic Thiem ended his 26-match Grand Slam winning streak with a five-set victory in the Roland Garros semi-finals.
4) Roger Aims for Ninth Title: In 2017, Federer became the greatest champion in Wimbledon history by capturing his eighth trophy, breaking a tie with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw for the most titles at The All England Club. Federer is the first man in Wimbledon history to compete in the singles draw for 21 consecutive years. He also collected junior singles and doubles crowns in 1998. Federer has a 95-12 Wimbledon record and he owns the record for most match wins.
5) Federer Grass/2019 Update: Federer has the best record on grass (179-26, .873) in the Open Era and a record 19 titles. Federer comes into Wimbledon after capturing his 10th Halle crown (d. Goffin) and 102nd tour-level title. The 37-year-old Swiss superstar has a 32-4 record on the season and he leads the ATP Tour with three titles (Dubai, Miami, Halle).
6) Rafa At SW19: From 2006 through 2011, Nadal reached the Wimbledon final in five consecutive appearances (did not play in 2009), winning the title in 2008 and 2010. He compiled a 35-5 record in his first seven appearances. After struggling to reach the latter stages of the tournament between 2012 and 2017 (withdrew in 2016 due to a left wrist injury), Nadal went on an impressive run to the semi-finals last year, where he fell to eventual champion Novak Djokovic 10-8 in a deciding fifth set. Nadal, who owns a 48-11 record at SW19, can capture his 50th Wimbledon victory this year by reaching the third round.
7) Nadal Eyes Sweep: Nadal is trying to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles in the same year for the third time. He captured his 12th Roland Garros crown last month (d. Thiem). He swept Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles in 2008 and 2010. Bjorn Borg accomplished the feat from 1978-80.
8) No. 1 Ranking Update: The No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings can’t change hands after Wimbledon. Djokovic has 12,415 points and Nadal 7,945 coming into the tournament. With Djokovic defending 2,000 points and Nadal 720, the Spaniard can’t overtake the Serb. Last year, Nadal came into Wimbledon with a 50-point lead over Federer in the No. 1 battle in the ATP Rankings. Nadal held the No. 1 position until Djokovic regained the top spot last November. The start of Wimbledon will be Djokovic's 258th week holding the No. 1 ATP Ranking. He is closing in on Jimmy Connors, who held the top spot for 268 weeks, which is fourth-most in ATP Rankings history (since 1973).
9) #NextGenATP Stars to Watch: The top six players in the ATP Race to Milan standings are in the main draw, led by World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas, who has the most wins on the ATP Tour with a 34-14 record.
|1||Stefanos Tsitsipas||20||3-2 (R4 in 2018)|
|2||Felix Auger-Aliassime||18||Main Draw Debut|
|3||Denis Shapovalov||20||1-2 (R2 in 2018)|
|4||Frances Tiafoe||21||3-2 (R3 in 2018|
|5||Casper Ruud||20||Main Draw Debut|
|6||Alex de Minaur||20||2-1 (R3 in 2018)|
10) Lopez Extends Record: Wild card and Fever-Tree Championships winner Feliciano Lopez will be playing in his 70th consecutive Grand Slam singles tournament, which is an all-time record in men’s tennis. The 37-year-old Spaniard is making his 18th straight appearance and will be aiming to improve on his 33-17 record at Wimbledon. Lopez has reached the quarter-finals on three occasions at SW19 (2005, '08, '11).
11) Singles Champions in Doubles Draw: Lleyton Hewitt, who won the 2002 Wimbledon singles title, and two-time winner Andy Murray (2013, '16) are in the doubles draw. This is the first time since 1992 that two former Wimbledon singles champions are in the doubles draw. John McEnroe, a three-time singles winner (1981, ‘83-84), teamed with 1991 champion Michael Stich to capture the doubles crown that year. Hewitt is partnering countryman Jordan Thompson and Murray will compete alongside Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert for the first time. Herbert won the doubles title in 2016 (w/Mahut). Hewitt is 9-8 in doubles at Wimbledon and made his debut (w/Federer) in 1999, reaching the third round. Murray’s only previous doubles result at Wimbledon came in 2005, losing in the first round with partner David Sherwood.
12) Bryans Make 20th Appearance: Three-time Wimbledon champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan are making their 20th appearance together at The All England Club. The Bryans are 3-4 in finals, winning titles in 2006, 2011 and 2013. They have a 70-16 career record together at Wimbledon. Due to Bob’s hip injury last year, Mike partnered countryman Jack Sock. The Americans defeated Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in five sets to lift the trophy.