For the past 14 years, no other men have won the Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy except for Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. The Big 4 of tennis are still the top four seeds, and while the draw in this year’s edition of Wimbledon is relatively tougher, the odds are high that one of the four would add another Grand Slam title to his name.
Andy Murray: Top-Seed, Defending Champion, Homecourt Advantage
Current world No. 1 and Wimbledon tournament top seed Andy Murray became the first Englishman to win Wimbledon in 2013. Last year, he defeated Milos Raonic to win claim his second Wimbledon championship. Murray now has three Grand Slam titles and two Olympic gold medals under his belt.
According to the Telegraph, Andy Murray will face 20-year-old Russian Sasha Bublik, ranked No. 134 in the world, in the first round. There is no reason for Murray to not get past the first three rounds unless his recent fitness issues continue to bug him. The fourth round would see Murray going up against inconsistent but dangerous Nick Kyrgios. Barring upsets, the Scot will face a tougher time in the next rounds, as he is lined up against tournament No. 5 seed Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals, Rafael Nadal in the semifinals, and Djokovic in the finals.
Murray has a 10-8 career record against the current world No. 3, Stan Wawrinka. Wawrinka eliminated Murray in the semifinals of the 2017 French Open in their last meeting. Murray has not fared well against his potential semifinals opponent, Spanish dynamo Rafael Nadal. Nadal currently has a 17-7 head-to-head edge against the Wimbledon defending champion. However, Murray and Nadal split their last two meetings in 2016. Murray has a terrible head-to-head record against Djokovic, having lost 25 matches against the Serb while winning 11 times.
That being said, Andy Murray will play with the crowd behind him, and if his health holds up until the Wimbledon Finals, chances are Murray will be taking home his third Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy. Andy Murray has 2.75-1 odds to win Wimbledon 2017, according to the Score.
Noval Djokovic: Second Seed. Can Andre Agassi Help the Serb Get Out of His Funk?
For all his recent struggles, current world No. 4 Novak Djokovic has been seeded number in this year’s edition of Wimbledon. Having lifted the Gentlemen’s Single Trophy three times, the Serb still has what it takes to win it all again. However, after losing to world No. 117 Denis Istomin in the second round of the 2017 Australian Open and then crashing out in the quarterfinals of the 2017 French Open against Aussie Dominic Thiem, Djokovic is looking to recapture his form that made him one of the most feared tennis players in the world.
To make matters worse, the luck of the draw didn’t favor Djokovic, as he will face dangerous opponents one after the other. However, according to the Express, Djokovic’s superstar coach, Andre Agassi, is reportedly flying to London to lend a much-needed boost.
Djokovic opens his bid for a fourth Wimbledon championship trophy by going up against Martin Klizan in the first round. Again, barring any upsets, and if the seedings remain true, Djokovic will face rising star Ernesto Escobedo in the second round. The third round and fourth round present a bigger problem, as potential match-ups against Juan Martin del Potro and Feliciano Lopez, respectively, await the Serb.
Provided he gets through the first four rounds, Djokovic’s next opponents will only become tougher; Richard Gasquet will be his potential quarterfinals date and the Swiss Maestro Roger Federer will be waiting for Djokovic in the semifinals. And if Djokovic gets past Federer, he will face hometown favorite, tournament top seed, and defending champion Andy Murray in the finals.
It looks like Novak Djokovic got the wrong end of the stick in this year’s Wimbledon draw. Couple it with his relatively weak 2017 performance, the oddsmakers put Djokovic’s chances of winning Wimbledon 2017 at 4.5-1.
Roger Federer: Third Seed. The Ageless Wonder Looking to Add More Hardware
Fresh from his 18th career Grand Slam win, Roger Federer looks to add another Wimbledon to the list of his major titles. However, this time, the third-seeded Swiss Maestro is facing a stiff challenge if Federer is to win his eighth Wimbledon trophy. Federer will play world number 84 Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round before a potential second round meeting with Dusan Lajovic.
With the way Federer is playing as of late, he should breeze past the first two rounds and will set up a third round match against the dangerous Mischa Zverev. Assuming Federer defeats Zverev, who ousted Murray in the round-of-16 at the 2017 Australian Open, Grigor Dimitrov should be waiting in the fourth round. From here on out, Federer has to be at his best, as a potential quarterfinal clash against Wimbledon 2016 runner-up Milos Raonic is on the horizon. Again, assuming that the seeding stays true, fans will be salivating for a massive semifinal date with Novak Djokovic. A Roger Federer-Andy Murray championship match promises to be an even more interesting battle, with Federer still enjoying a 14-11 career head-to-head edge against Murray.
While Federer has played superbly in 2017, the same cannot be said about Djokovic and Murray, potential semifinal and final opponents, respectively. According to Sporting News, Federer is listed as a 2-1 favorite to win Wimbledon 2017.
Rafael Nadal: Fourth Seed. Rafa’s Time Again?
Fourth seed Rafael Nadal is looking to win a third Wimbledon title. It is safe to say that the current world No. 2 has resurrected his career after battling various injuries over the last couple of years. Now that Nadal is back in form, he is considered as one of the favorites to win Wimbledon 2017.
Rafa is scheduled to face John Millman of Australia in the first round. Donald Young of the U.S. is the odds-on favorite to advance to the second round to face the Spaniard. Big-serving Russian Karen Khachanov is Nadal’s likely third round opponent. Grass-court specialist Gilles Muller awaits Nadal in the fourth round provided both Nadal and Muller hurdle their assignments. If Nadal overcomes Muller, 2017 French Open quarterfinalist Marin Cilic should be waiting in the quarterfinal round. Defending champion Andy Murray is slated to be Nadal’s semifinal opponent and should Nadal defeat Murray, a rematch of the Australian Open final against Federer will be his last, and possibly toughest, assignment.
As evidenced by Nadal’s consecutive finals appearances in this year’s major competitions, Rafa is a strong contender to win Wimbledon 2017. Oddsmakers put Nadal as a 6-1 favorite to win it all at the All England Club.
Tournament Dark Horse
While Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal may have the best chance of winning Wimbledon 2017, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the rest of the field should just follow this script. Given the level of tennis some guys in the tour are currently playing, upsets can not be ruled out. According to Sports Illustrated, among those who have a chance to make some noise in Wimbledon are Gilles Muller, Marcus Willis, Grigor Dimitrov, Karen Khachanov, and Milos Raonic.
With the tennis Big 4 having potentially dangerous opponents from the fourth round onwards, and with all these up-and-coming players and old-reliables being thrown into the mix, Wimbledon 2017 promises to be an exciting and entertaining tournament to watch.
[Featured Image by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images]