Wimbledon 2018 tennis Draw Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Roger Federer in favourable top half while major champions, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro headline a packed bottom half

Leye Aduloju in Wimbledon 29 Jun 2018
  • Wimbledon 2018 is live from the All England Club from 2-15 July
  • Roger Federer, Marin Cilic and Kevin Anderson in top half
  • Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro and Andy Murray in packed bottom half
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Wimbledon at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

Roger Federer headlines the Wimbledon men’s field, while Rafael Nadal leads a loaded bottom half that includes Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Juan Martin del Potro, Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray.

Wimbledon 2018 is live from the All England Club from 2-15 July
Watch and bet on tennis live from Eastbourne at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

Federer is once again the firm favourite for the title, and his status has been bolstered by a favourable draw, with the highest ranked player in his quarter being Kevin Anderson. Federer’s great rival, Nadal could play Juan Martin del Potro or the returning Andy Murray in the quarter finals, while three-time winner, Novak Djokovic is projected to meet either Alexander Zverev or Nick Kyrgios in the last eight.

There are some intriguing opening round matches- not least three-time Grand Slam champion, Stan Wawrinka against former semi-finalist, Grigor Dimitrov, while the all French first-round battle between Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils also catches the eye.

We preview the Wimbledon men’s singles’ draw; and predict the players likely to feature at the deep end of the tournament.

Projected Quarter Final: Roger Federer (1) vs Kevin Anderson (8) [Head-to-Head: Federer leads 4-0]

After skipping the clay court season for the second year in a row, Roger Federer has not wasted any time in asserting himself on grass, winning the Stuttgart title and finishing runner-up in Halle. The defending Wimbledon champion has a very gentle beginning at SW19, where he opens against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic. 

Lajovic had a decent run on clay, reaching the Madrid quarter-finals and the Lyon semis, and taking Alexander Zverev to five sets at Roland Garros, but he doesn’t play as well on grass, and shouldn’t pose too much problems for Federer in the opening round. It’s a repeat of last year’s second-round meeting, which Federer won in straight sets. This year should be no different. The Swiss should ease into the second round, where he will likely take on Lukas Lacko- a semi-finalist in Eastbourne as at the time of writing- provided the Slovak gets past French qualifier, Benjamin Bonzi in the first round. Federer is obviously a massive step up from whatever Lacko faced in Eastbourne; and the champion shouldn’t be unduly stressed in the opening couple of rounds.

Federer is projected to meet Argentinean 32nd seed, Leonardo Mayer in the third round, but giant Croatian, Ivo Karlovic, could have other ideas, and could serve his way into that third-round meeting. Should Federer expectedly ease into the fourth round, he could set up a rematch with Halle conqueror, Borna Coric. Coric has had a fine year, highlighted by his superb title-winning run in Halle, but the jury is still out on the Croatian at the Slams, as he is yet to go beyond the third round in any of the four majors. Coric has a tricky opener against the flat-hitting Russian, Daniil Medvedev, while Adrian Mannarino is a possible third-round opponent if he gets that far.

Headlining the other side of this quarter is last year’s US Open finalist, Kevin Anderson. The South African has never gone beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon, and he faces a difficult challenge if he is to cross that barrier. The first major roadblock is a third-round meeting with big-serving leftie, Gilles Muller, who defeated Nadal on his way to the quarter finals last year, while s-Hertogenbosch champion, Richard Gasquet or last year’s semi-finalist, Sam Querrey potentially awaits in the Round of 16. Two-time semi-finalist, Gasquet has an eye-catching opening match against Gael Monfils.
Anyone of Muller, Anderson, Querrey or Gasquet presents a compelling case for the quarter finals from this intriguing section of the draw. 

Quarter Final: Roger Federer vs Richard Gasquet
Semi-Finalist: Roger Federer

Projected Quarter Final: Marin Cilic (3) vs Grigor Dimitrov (6) [Head-to-Head: Cilic leads 3-1]

Jumping right out from the bottom of the second quarter is that opening match between Grigor Dimitrov and Stan Wawrinka. Neither man is playing his best tennis at the moment, with Wawrinka still looking to find his feet on the tour after missing the second half of last season following multiple knee surgeries. 

2014 semi-finalist, Dimitrov has not quite reached the heights he got to in spells last season, but he should still have too much dynamism for Wawrinka in this first-round meeting. The Bulgarian could face rising Greek, Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round, while big John Isner is a potential fourth round opponent. It’s quite amazing that for all of Isner’s big-serving prowess, he is yet to go beyond the third round at Wimbledon! It’s really anybody’s guess in this part of the draw- if Dimitrov finds some form, he’ll be the best bet, but with the way his year has gone, he could crumble to a third-round loss to Jared Donaldson or Stefanos Tsitsipas. It could well be Isner’s year then!

On the other side is last year’s finalist, Marin Cilic, who cemented his status as the main challenger to Federer, arguably, with his title winning run at Queen’s. Cilic is in an unremarkable section of the draw, which has him opening against the talented Japanese, Yoshihito Nishioka. He could play Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic in the third round, while Lucas Pouille or former finalist, Milos Raonic are possible fourth-round opponents. If the injury-prone Raonic can find some fitness, he can make a really decent run at Wimbledon, but his tournament will likely be terminated by Cilic in the fourth round.

Predicted Quarter Final: Marin Cilic vs John Isner
Semi-Finalist: Marin Cilic

Projected Quarter Final: Alexander Zverev (4) vs Dominic Thiem (7) [Head-to-Head: Thiem leads 4-2]

Definitely the most stacked quarter of the draw, where Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem are joined by three-time champion, Novak Djokovic and the controversial Australian, Nick Kyrgios. Djokovic showed steady improvements at the final phase of the European clay season; and looked really good in a runner-up finish at Queen’s; his form will again come under intense scrutiny over the next fortnight as he attempts to find a route through a tricky draw. 

He starts against Tennys Sandgren- Australian Open quarter finalist but not renowned for his work on grass. If he passes that, he could face Horacio Zeballos in the second round, while British No. 1, Kyle Edmund is a possible third opponent. Should Djokovic make the fourth round, he is projected to meet Dominic Thiem, but Thiem hasn’t done anything in grass in the last couple of seasons; and could struggle against Marcos Baghdatis in the opening round. If he survives, Karen Khachanov (who should be too good for David Ferrer in the first round), will like is chances against the Austrian in the second round. It gets even tougher as Thiem, if he makes it that far, could play the ever-dangerous Fernando Verdasco in the third round. The smart money would still be on Djokovic to make the fourth round, setting up a projected meeting with Alexander Zverev.

Zverev, who lost to Borna Coric in the opening round in Halle in his only pre-Wimbledon grass-court match, will naturally be heavily under the spotlight, as he continues his quest to make his first real impact at a major. Only once has he been to the last eight of a Slam, and that was at Roland Garros, but he did make the fourth-round at Wimbledon last season, where he lost to Milos Raonic in five sets. Zverev’s early draw looks ordinary on paper, but there are a couple of players in there who can cause him plenty of bother. James Duckworth in the first round will not be easy; Taylor Fritz can bomb down those serves, if he makes it past Lorenzo Sonego, while Maximilian Marterer, Ernests Gulbis or even Damir Dzumhur are potential banana skins in the third round. If the German escapes all of that, a fourth-round meeting with Nick Kyrgios looms. Kyrgios is not the most dependable player around, but he is a former quarter finalist at Wimbledon, and showed some good form in reaching semi-finals in Stuttgart and Queen’s. He has a slippery opener against Denis Istomin, while a possible second-round meeting with Robin Haase isn’t the most straight-forward affair for the maverick Australian. Kei Nishikori could await in the third round, although an all-Australian third-round clash with lucky loser, Bernard Tomic is a possibility, if both Aussies play well. Current form leans towards Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic to make the quarter finals in a stacked section of the draw.

Predicted Quarter Final: Novak Djokovic vs Nick Kyrgios
Semi-Finalist: Nick Kyrgios

Projected Quarter Final: Rafael Nadal (2) vs Juan Martin del Potro (5) [Head-to-Head: Nadal leads 9-5]

It’s another Wimbledon, and another chance to see whether Rafael Nadal can snap out of his current lean spell at the All England Club. The two-time champion has been all over the place at SW19 in the last six years, failing to get beyond the fourth round, and losing to the likes of Dustin Brown, Steve Darcis and Lukas Rosol in the process. The Spaniard arrives Wimbledon as French Open champion, but he didn’t play any warm-up tournaments after pulling out of Queen’s to get some rest following his clay-court exertions. 

Nadal should be too good for Dudi Sela in his opening match, but a potential second-round meeting with former quarter-finalist, Vasek Pospisil represents serious danger, given Nadal’s recent record at the All England Club. Pospisil must first get past Mikhail Kukushkin, a semi-finalist in Eastbourne as at the time of writing.

Nadal is seeded to meet Roland Garros semi-finalist, Marco Cecchinato in the third round, but serving-and-volleying German, Mischa Zverev could usurp the Italian as Nadal’s third-round opponent. The great Spaniard is projected to meet Fabio Fognini or Diego Schwartzman in the fourth round. It’s a deceptively dangerous draw for the Spaniard, considering his struggles at the tournament over the last half a decade. Pospisil, Zverev, and even Fognini will look at that record and think they’ve got a shot at the upset if they play to their abilities.

There is certainly nothing deceptive about the dangers in a possible quarter final meeting with Juan Martin del Potro. Del Potro does not have the best of record at Wimbledon, but he once pushed Novak Djokovic to five sets in a semi-final. He is the man no one wants anywhere around his draw. The Argentine, like Nadal, pulled out of Queen’s and can be caught cold early on. He opens against the very capable Peter Gojowczyk; and could be taken down by Feliciano Lopez in the second round, while Andy Murray is a possible third round opponent for the Tower of Tandil. The unseeded Murray, who spent almost a year away from the sport due to a hip injury, made the late decision to play after encouraging signs in his comeback tournaments at Queen’s and Eastbourne. The two-time champion is still a long way off his best form; and could depart early in what’s a tough re-introduction to Grand Slam tennis. 

The home favourite starts against the mercurial Benoit Paire, before a second-round date with either Jeremy Chardy or Denis Shapovalov. If he survives, he will likely play del Potro or Lopez in the third round. Whoever comes through that tough bracket of the draw is projected to take on David Goffin in the Round of 16. Goffin is not really noted for his work on grass; and could be ambushed by an in-form Matthew Ebden in the opening round. Ebden reached the semi-finals in s-Hertogenbosch, and the quarter’s in Halle, where he lost to Federer in two tight sets. If Goffin gets through Ebden, the biggest obstruction in his path to the fourth round is an out-of-sorts Jack Sock.

Predicted Quarter Final: Rafael Nadal vs Feliciano Lopez
Semi-Finalist: Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer vs Marin Cilic
Nick Kyrgios vs Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer vs Nick Kyrgios

Roger Federer

Wimbledon 2018 is live from The All England Club from 2-15 July.

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Wimbledon 2018 tennis Draw Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Roger Federer in favourable top half while major champions, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro headline a packed bottom half

Roger Federer has been drawn in a favourable top half at Wimbledon, while Rafael Nadal leads a stacked bottom half comprising Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Murray, Nick Kyrgios, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev

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