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Andy Schooler looks ahead to the Wimbledon men‘s tournament 2022, which gets underway on Monday. Will we see a new name on the famous trophy?

Novak Djokovic

World Number 3


Tournament history (most recent 1st): W-W-W-QF-3R-W-W-RU-SF-W-SF-QF-2R-SF-4R-3R

Best Grand Slam performance: Winner, 20 titles (6 at Wimbledon)

2022 record: 16-5 (1 title – Rome)

Grasscourt form: None (plays Hurlingham exhibition event this week)

Following his wild start to the year which involved a week in immigration detention in Melbourne, Djokovic finally managed to string a run of tournaments together during the claycourt season and, unsurprisingly, his form improved week by week.

The remarkable Rafael Nadal halted his title bid at the French Open but at least the Serb proved his fitness – fatigue didn’t seem to be a major factor in his loss in a match which lasted more than four hours.

He’s won this tournament the last three times it’s been staged and looks a worthy favourite, especially with Nadal’s participation in doubt and Roger Federer still injured.

Yet 5/6 looks a short price for a player who has played nowhere near as much as he’d liked this season.

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Matteo Berrettini

World Number 11


Tournament history: RU-4R-2R

Best Grand Slam performance: Runner-up, 2021 Wimbledon

2022 record: 18-6 (2 titles – Queen’s Club, Stuttgart)

Grasscourt form: W Queen’s Club, W Stuttgart

Last year’s runner-up has proved his form in remarkable fashion.

Having not played in almost three months following surgery on his racquet hand, Berrettini returned to action on the grass of Stuttgart and duly won the title. He backed that up by successfully defending his title at Queen’s Club.

His serving wasn’t as impressive as it was 12 months ago but he’ll still be hard to break on the lawns of SW19.

A question mark still remains about how he’ll fare if dragged into a long contest – he’s not played best-of-five sets since January – while the other issue which may get into punters’ heads is the fact that he was a considerably bigger price than this just a fortnight ago.

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Rafael Nadal

World Number 4


Tournament history: DNP-SF-SF-4R-DNP-2R-4R-1R-2R-RU-W-DNP-W-RU-RU-2R-DNP-3R

Best Grand Slam performance: Winner, 22 titles (2 at Wimbledon)

2022 record: 30-3 (4 titles – French Open, Australian Open, Acapulco, Melbourne)

Grasscourt form: None (plays Hurlingham exhibition event this week)

Following victory at the French Open, for the first time in his remarkable career Nadal finds himself halfway to the calendar-year Grand Slam.

So why is a man who has already won two Major titles this season up at 7/1 to win here?

Two reasons. First, this is Nadal’s least-favourite surface – he last won in SW19 in 2010, although he has made the semis on his last two visits.

Secondly, and most importantly, is the long-term foot injury he’s suffering from.

Nadal needed injections to numb his foot during his title run in Roland Garros but concerns over his long-term health mean he’s said he won’t continue to have such treatment.

That calls into question whether he’ll even make the start line, yet alone finish the tournament.

Yes, Nadal drifted out to a similar price before Roland Garros and duly won but a repeat seems much less likely in these circumstances.

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Carlos Alcaraz

World Number 7


Tournament history: 2R

Best Grand Slam performance: Quarter-final, 2022 French Open & 2021 US Open

2022 record: 32-4 (4 titles – Madrid, Miami, Barcelona, Rio)

Grasscourt form: None (plays Hurlingham exhibition event this week)

The Spanish teenager has enjoyed a remarkable season so far, as his win-loss record shows.

But 8/1 to win Wimbledon looks very short.

This is a player who has played only two grasscourt matches in his entire professional career, both at Wimbledon last season when he won just seven games in defeat to Daniil Medvedev.

For all the talk about Wimbledon’s courts being slower than they were, they still offer a unique challenge – they are not hardcourts 2.0.

It’s also worth remembering that Alcaraz disappointed at Roland Garros recently, suffering a surprise loss to Alex Zverev. Did the pressure get to him?

Maybe Alcaraz can emulate his compatriot Nadal by winning here one day but one suspects he’ll need more matches on this surface before he comes close to doing that.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime

World Number 9

Tournament history: QF-3R

Best Grand Slam performance: Semi-finals, 2021 US Open

2022 record: 30-15 (1 title – Rotterdam)

Grasscourt form: SF Den Bosch, QF Halle

The young Canadian is one of the top players who has been very active on the grass during the warm-up events.

He made the last four in Den Bosch and that the quarter-finals in Halle, losing tight matches to the eventual champion at both events.

Capable of cranking his serve up to around 140mph, he has weapons which suit this surface.

However, his title record isn’t very encouraging for his potential backers.

Despite contesting 10 ATP finals, he’s only ever won the one title and 12/1 about a second coming at this level looks skinny.

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Best of the Rest

With plenty of doubts surrounding players at the top end of the market, it may pay to look for value further down.

Three names stand out – and crucially they are all players who are happy to have the grass under their feet.

First up is Hubert Hurkacz, who served beautifully en route to the title in Halle last week.

The Pole made a run to the semi-finals at the All England Club 12 months ago (losing to Berrettini) so he’s also proven he can play on these courts.

He made the semis in Miami earlier this season and enjoyed a decent claycourt season so form looks pretty solid.

Admittedly the return side of his game isn’t at the highest level but holding serve is absolutely key on this surface and Hurkacz faced just two break points in the final three rounds in Halle – against Auger-Aliassime, Nick Kyrgios and world number one Daniil Medvedev.

A repeat should take him far in SW19.

Kyrgios is also a threat – although backing the maverick Australian always come with risk.

Having opted out of the claycourt season, he’s looked fully motivated on the grass, reaching back-to-back semi-finals. His defeats came against Andy Murray and Hurkacz – and he didn’t lose serve in the latter contest.

That huge first delivery should again be a big factor at Wimbledon and if he can keep his head straight then Kyrgios could finally contend at a Slam, something he was touted to do from a young age.

Finally, Marin Cilic has been in good form of late and certainly knows how to play on grass.

He has the serve, a big forehand and volleys well and having reached the semi-finals of the French Open, his game is clearly in decent shape.

A surprise loss in the semi-finals at Queen’s Club (where he’s a former champion) is a slight concern but anyone can have a bad day at the office and the Croatian will still fancy his chances of a return to the final he played in back in 2017.

These three will all be eyeing a decent draw when it is made on Friday morning; landing in the opposite half to Djokovic would be a boon.

Hurkacz at least makes the top eight seeds with Cilic in the top 16 but Kyrgios will be unseeded so could draw any of the big guns in round one.

Best Bets

Leading contender: Matteo Berrettini – 6/1

Outside chance: Hubert Hurkacz – 14/1

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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