4 min read
The Wimbledon draws were revealed on Friday and coverage of the grass-court Grand Slam begins with the men's preview. A member of the Big 4 (Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic) has won Wimbledon every single year since 2002 — will this year be any different?
Federer isn't playing this time around, and Murray needed a wild card to enter (he's also dealing with an abdominal injury), but Djokovic and Nadal are the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds and the Universal Tennis INSIGHTS favorites.
Let's take a look at the men’s favorites and dark horses, with the help of INSIGHTS, an algorithm-based prediction tool offering unique analysis and stats.
THE MEN'S FAVORITES ACCORDING TO INSIGHTS
(2) Rafael Nadal — 26%
(1) Novak Djokovic — 17%
(5) Carlos Alcaraz — 17%
(4) Stefanos Tsitsipas — 6%
(3) Casper Ruud — 4%
(10) Jannik Sinner — 3%
(8) Matteo Berrettini — 3%
Nick Kyrgios — 3%
(9) Cameron Norrie — 2%
(7) Hubert Hurkacz — 2%
Most Likely to Win the Title
(2) Rafael Nadal (UTR Rating 16.19)
Rafael Nadal is entering Wimbledon on the heels of his 14th Roland Garros title and 22nd Grand Slam overall. While he has been dealing with a foot injury, he has been in good enough shape to play a warm-up event at the Hurlingham Club in London.
Next week, Nadal will open against Francisco Cerundolo (15.33) and the first seed he could face is No. 27 Lorenzo Sonego (15.42). The 36-year-old Spaniard could have his hands full with Roland Garros semifinalist Marin Cilic (15.63) in the third round followed by Felix Auger-Aliassime (15.54) in the round of 16. Nadal needed five sets to get past the Canadian in the same round in Paris.
Though he's the INSIGHTS' favorite, plenty of factors will make Nadal's bid more complicated including the fact that he hasn't played at the All-England Club since 2019.
Most Likely to Go Deep
(1) Novak Djokovic (UTR Rating 16.10)
Novak Djokovic is the top seed and the defending champion, and yet INSIGHTS has his odds of winning below Nadal at 17%, tied with Alcaraz. The Serbian opens against Soonwoo Kwon (15.12) and the first seed he could face is compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic (15.62). Big-serving Americans Reilly Opelka (14.75) and John Isner (15.26) are in Djokovic’s quarter, along with two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray (15.41), No. 10 seed Jannik Sinner (15.77) and Tim van Rijthoven (14.75), a 25-year-old who won the S'hertogenbosch title by beating world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev (15.94).
Most challenging of all for Djokovic is that he's in the same quarter as Carlos Alcaraz (16.11). The 19-year-old Spaniard beat Djokovic on clay in Madrid in their only career meeting.
(5) Carlos Alcaraz (UTR Rating 16.11)
Though Carlos Alcaraz was heavily-touted as the favorite at Roland Garros, he hasn't got a lot of Grand Slam experience under his belt yet and should have a lot less pressure on his shoulders this fortnight. After all, the teen has only played Wimbledon once, losing in the second round last year to Medvedev. Still, his INSIGHTS odds of winning Wimbledon are identical to Djokovic's, who happens to be a six-time champion in London.
Alcaraz will start his campaign against Jan-Lennard Struff (14.93) and could face the always-challenging Fabio Fognini (15.30) in the second round.
Nick Kyrgios (UTR Rating 15.73)
Nick Kyrgios is the only unseeded player to have more than a 1% chance of winning the title, per INSIGHTS. The 27-year-old Australian has reached the semifinals of his last three events, two of which have been on grass. He withdrew from his second match in Mallorca this week with abdominal pain, likely as a precaution for Wimbledon.
Kyrgios will start off against wild card Paul Jubb (14.90) and will likely face No. 26 seed Filip Krajinovic (15.16) in Round 2. If he makes it to the third round, Krygios will likely need to get past No. 4 seed Stefanos Tstisipas (15.89). Kyrgios has a 3-1 overall record against the Greek and just beat him in the Halle round of 16. He has reached the fourth round at Wimbledon twice and the quarterfinals once.
Jack Draper (UTR Rating 15.30)
Jack Draper, a 20-year-old Brit, is entering Wimbledon after a huge semifinal run in Eastbourne complete with wins over Jenson Brooksby (15.45) and Diego Schwartzman (15.61). Draper also scored a win over Taylor Fritz (15.55) the week prior in Queen's Club. The lefty made his Wimbledon debut last year, taking a set off Djokovic in the first round.
Draper is favored at 77% against wild card Zizou Bergs (14.79), and, if he wins his first-ever Wimbledon match, he could be rewarded with a showdown against No. 19 seed Alex de Minaur (15.54). No. 12-seeded Schwartzman would likely be waiting in Round 3.
(23) Frances Tiafoe (UTR Rating 15.30)
After reaching the final in Estoril on clay, Frances Tiafoe has gone 1-4 on the ATP Tour. But his loss in Queen's Club was a third-set tiebreak to three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka (15.12). Although the match didn't go his way, some confidence and momentum could take Tiafoe far at the All England Club. The American will start off against qualifier Andrea Vavassori (14.70) and the first seed he could potentially meet is No. 16 Pablo Carreno Busta (15.54). Tiafoe is in the same section as No. 3 seed Casper Ruud (15.75), but Ruud is more comfortable on clay, having yet to win his first match at Wimbledon.
UTR Pro Tennis Tour Players to Watch
After four UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT) players appeared in the men's qualifying event, Brooksby is the sole PTT male in the main draw. The 21-year-old won a PTT event in Newport Beach at the start of 2021 before his summer ATP breakthrough. He's seeded No. 29 in his Wimbledon debut and will take on Mikhail Kukushkin (14.94).
•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 9 a.m. EST, June 24, 2022.