Scouting Report: Djokovic, Nadal, Berrettini Chase Wimbledon Glory
The 2022 grass-court season reaches its climax at the third Grand Slam of the year in London, where the top talent on the ATP Tour has assembled at Wimbledon. Six-time champion Novak Djokovic leads the field at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, where the Serbian is chasing his fourth consecutive crown.
Two-time champion Rafael Nadal seeks his third major title of the season, while 2021 finalist Matteo Berrettini arrives in London in red-hot form, having picked up back-to-back titles on the grass in Stuttgart and at The Queen’s Club.
ATPTour.com looks ahead at 10 things to watch at Wimbledon.
1) Four In A Row For Djokovic?: The World No. 3 Djokovic chases his seventh crown at the grass-court Grand Slam, and his fourth in a row. The Serbian proved too good for Berrettini in last year’s championship match, and he has not lost at SW19 since facing Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals in 2017.
Djokovic is yet to play on grass in 2022, but the 35-year-old has looked back to his best in recent months after a slow start to the year. He stormed to his 38th ATP Masters 1000 title in Rome in early May without dropping a set, before a strong run at Roland Garros that was only ended by an inspired Nadal in a quarter-final classic. He will open against Soonwoo Kwon in London, where he holds a 79-10 match record.
The 36-year-old is 30-3 for the season and has been a consistent performer at Wimbledon throughout his career. He holds a 53-12 tournament record and has lifted the trophy there twice, in 2008 and 2010, and Nadal will seek to settle in quickly on the grass in his first-round clash with Francisco Cerundolo.
3) Berrettini & Hurkacz In Form: Eighth seed Berrettini has made returning from injury look easy in the past few weeks. The Italian did not play between March and June after hand surgery but has come back in style on the grass with back-to-back titles in Stuttgart and at The Queen’s Club. The 2021 finalist takes on Cristian Garin first as he seeks another deep run at SW19.
Another big server who has found form on the grass is Hubert Hurkacz. The seventh seed raced past World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev to a maiden title on the surface in Halle a week ago, He also performed well last year, falling to Berrettini in the semi-finals.
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4) Tsitsipas, Alcaraz & Ruud To Come Good On Grass?: Stefanos Tsitsipas has not been past the fourth round in four appearances at Wimbledon but the Greek’s maiden grass-court title, clinched with victory against Roberto Bautista Agut in Mallorca on Saturday, suggests the fourth seed is starting to find his feet on the surface.
Third seed Casper Ruud and fifth seed Carlos Alcaraz are both relatively inexperienced at Wimbledon, but a stellar first half of 2022 for both men suggests neither should be discounted for a deep run in London. Roland Garros finalist Ruud chases his maiden Wimbledon win in his first-round clash against Albert Ramos-Vinolas, while Miami and Madrid champion Alcaraz takes to grass for the first time on Tour this year against the dangerous Jan-Lennard Struff.
5) Felix & Shapovalov To Back Up 2021 Exploits?: Wimbledon 2021 was a breakthrough event for both Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov. Auger-Aliassime reached his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final before falling to Berrettini, while Shapovalov went one better, losing out to eventual champion Djokovic in his first major semi-final.
The Canadian duo will hope to create more positive memories this year on the London grass, but both face big-serving opponents first up. Sixth seed Auger-Aliassime opens against Eastbourne finalist Maxime Cressy, while 13th seed Shapovalov looks to snap a disappointing recent run of form against Arthur Rinderknech.
6) Two-Time Champion Murray: With two Wimbledon titles, a 59-11 tournament record and raucous home support guaranteed, Andy Murray will enter his first-round clash with Australian James Duckworth full of confidence. Reaching his first tour-level final on grass in Stuttgart two weeks ago suggests the Briton has the form to go far, although his preparations have been hampered by an abdominal injury picked up in his championship match defeat to Berrettini in Germany.
7) Norrie Leads Home Hopes: Murray is one of nine British hopefuls in the draw this year, a group headed by ninth seed Cameron Norrie. #NextGenATP contender Jack Draper will hope to back up his semi-final run in Eastbourne this week with a strong showing against Belgian wild card Zizou Bergs, while wild card Ryan Peniston faces Henri Laaksonen. The 26-year-old took out Ruud for his maiden tour-level win at The Queen’s Club two weeks ago.
8) Kyrgios Unseeded Threat: Nick Kyrgios wasted no time reiterating his grass-court prowess in June by reaching semi-finals in Stuttgart and Halle. Huge serving combined with unique shot-making ability make the Australian a genuine threat to anyone in the draw. Kyrgios opens against home wild card Paul Jubb as he seeks an improvement on his quarter-final appearance on tournament debut in 2014.
9) First-Round Blockbuster: Jannik Sinner and Stan Wawrinka face off on Monday in a blockbuster first-round matchup between two of the cleanest hitters on Tour. Former World No. 3 Wawrinka is a two-time quarter-finalist at Wimbledon, while 10th seed Sinner is chasing his maiden tour-level victory on the surface.
10) Defending Champs Mektic/Pavic Arrive In Form: Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic had to wait until Rome in early May to open their trophy account for 2022, but they have barely stopped winning since. Back-to-back triumphs on the grass at The Queen’s Club and then at Eastbourne this week made it four titles in the space of two months for the Croatian duo.
Mektic and Pavic are seeded third as they defend their 2021 crown at Wimbledon, where their rivals include top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, Halle champions Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, leaders of the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Team Rankings Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, and Roland Garros champions Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer.