Wimbledon 2019: Top 5 Men’s Contenders

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Wimbledon is the most hallowed tournament in tennis. Despite being ranked equally, in terms of points, to the other Grand Slams, Wimbledon is the true heart of tennis. In the past 16 years, many fantastic players have come and gone without winning the coveted golden trophy. This is due to the unprecedented dominance of the Big Three (and Andy Murray) at Wimbledon, who have won all of the titles since 2003.

Nevertheless, the stranglehold can be broken this year. Although the NextGen stars are still yet to brush off the Old Guard, it seems that they are getting closer. In light of that, this could be a very interesting tournament with many twists and turns. Or not. The Big Three are not done yet, and still hold the top three rankings. However, anything can happen, and anyone has a chance of winning.

Here is a list of arguably the Top 5 contenders at this year’s Wimbledon:

5. Alexander Zverev

This spot was the hardest to fill. It is a no-brainer that the Big Three are the favorites to win Wimbledon. After that it gets increasingly more difficult to pinpoint favorites. Grass is one of the most competitive surfaces, second only to hard courts, which means there is a larger pool of real contenders.

From big servers and hard hitters, to old school serve and volleyers, many have a chance to upset the Big Three. However, going on a bit of a whim, Zverev is my choice for fifth place. Given his terrible start to 2019, it seems silly to place him this highly. However, this poor form hasn’t been due to talent, but more of a mental thing.

When Zverev burst onto the scene, a huge amount of pressure was placed on him. Whereas Nick Kyrgios has responded to his own pressure with consistent outbursts, Zverev has done so with cagey losses to weaker opponents.

His defeat in Halle is another example of this. Whilst David Goffin is no slouch, Zverev should be able to beat him given his raw talent. Wimbledon could prove to be his turning point; he may not win, but a deep run will surely aid the youngster in his quest for future domination.

4. Stefanos Tsitsipas

At number four is the new de facto leader of the NextGen. Recently Tsitsipas claimed that he wants to defeat the Big Three and not just wait for their retirement. This attitude needs to be put into practice, and the tennis world is waiting for this to happen at Grand Slam level.

We have seen Tsitsipas defeat Federer at the Australian Open. And Thiem defeat Djokovic at the French. None of these victories amounted to lifting the title, though. Although it will be a sad day when the Big Three no longer dominate, it is perhaps the necessary cycle that tennis needs to continue.

This doesn’t just happen automatically, however, as Grigor Dimitrov’s generation painfully learned, and it requires the younger generation to step up. Formerly, Zverev was seen as the immediate successor, but his strange collapse in form has seen Tsitsipas take that mantle.

Tsitsipas could very well be the one to do this, and whilst it seems unlikely to occur at this year’s Wimbledon, he is still arguably one of the favourites to win the tournament.

3. Rafael Nadal

In at number three is French Open champion Rafael Nadal. Coming off the back of the French, it may seem odd that Nadal isn’t the favourite to win. However, as history tells us, Nadal on clay is a lot different than Nadal on grass.

Whilst the Spaniard is virtually faultless on the Red Clay of Paris, he is often prone to upset when it comes to Wimbledon. This is evident with his form since 2012, which has seen him advance past the 4th round just once. This was incidentally last year however, where he narrowly lost to Djokovic in the semifinal.

With all of this considered then, it seems fair to place him at third. Any of the Big Three can win this year’s Wimbledon, but on powers of probability Nadal is perhaps the third likeliest to win. That statement is made with a huge pinch of salt, however, as in many ways the Big Three are equal favourites.

2. Roger Federer

Roger Federer is arguably the second favourite to win here at Wimbledon. Coming off the back of his 10th Halle victory, Federer is gearing up for a deep run at the All-England Club. However, those who watched the Swiss in Halle will know that he struggled at times. Although he ultimately won the tournament, the caliber of players will be higher at Wimbledon. Especially in the latter stages where he will likely face Nadal or Djokovic, should he (and they) make it that far.

Whilst Federer is the most successful Male player in Wimbledon’s history, it remains to be seen whether he can maintain this form in 2019. Being Roger Federer, he has a strong chance to win any tournament, and this year’s Wimbledon is no different.

1. Novak Djokovic

In at number one is Novak Djokovic. Still the great enigma in tennis. After winning three Majors in a row it seemed that Djokovic would continue his former dominance over the tour. However, he was unable to completed the Grand Slam, losing to Thiem at the French.

Whilst it seems unlikely that he’ll have another fall from grace like he did between 2016-mid-2018, it is still interesting to see whether his dominance will continue as he edges closer to Nadal and Federer’s Grand Slam hauls.

Given his form over the last year, and being the reigning Wimbledon champion, it seems fair to place the Serb as the favourite to win the title. However, as aforementioned, it really is a toss up between the Big Three, and the draw will unquestionably play a big role this year.

Main Photo from Getty