With Wimbledon starting next week, it’s time to look at the contenders for the Men’s Singles title at SW19. Dan Weston gives his advanced rundown on the players who could prove to be ones to watch.
We go into Wimbledon with Novak Djokovic looking to win his fifth consecutive Grand Slam on grass. This would also be his eighth Wimbledon title as well, as he continues to be in the running for the greatest player of all time.
The Serbian has chosen not to play any main tour warm-up events in advance, and instead will take part in the Hurlingham exhibition tournament later this week. However, this was the same level of preparation as last season, where he once again emerged victorious at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon 2023 predictions: The favourites to win
Statistically, Djokovic (115% combined service/return points won on grass in the last two years) is far ahead of the field, with the injury-hit Matteo Berrettini (108%) the next best. This should adequately illustrate just how dominant Djokovic is expected to be here, and the *1.699 current market price shows that a Djokovic title is more likely than not.
Djokovic to win the next two Grand Slams and complete the Calendar Slam currently stands at *4.040. But if you believe he will slip up here at Wimbledon and on the US Open hard courts, the other side of line is *1.250.
Alcaraz didn't face a top 15 player at Queen's Club.
Next in the Outright Winner market is Carlos Alcaraz *4.820, who despite his title win at Queen’s Club last week has still got plenty to prove on grass. He has rarely played on the surface, and even that Queen’s victory came with a caveat - he didn’t face a top 15 opponent, and was close to the exit door against Arthur Rinderknech in round one. There’s little doubt that Alcaraz is a precocious talent, but getting past Djokovic seems like a tall order.
Wimbledon 2023 predictions: Who could the contenders be?
Unfortunately, for those hoping for a competitive event, breaching Djokovic’s defence looks to be the only option for all players. Some will fancy their chances of a latter-stage finish, and perhaps a final if the draw opens up for them, and these players include Daniil Medvedev *8.020, Alexander Zverev *18.040, and Taylor Fritz *21.550.
Medvedev should enjoy the quick conditions at Wimbledon, but has lost three of his last five, including shock losses at grass court warm-up events. After Zverev lost to Alexander Bublik in Halle last week in the semi-finals, doubts still exist as to whether he is back to his best. As for Fritz, he has long-term grass pedigree in the warm-up events, but has underwhelmed in these thus far this season. He looks better than some big names on the surface, but it’s hard to see him getting the better of the likes of Djokovic and Medvedev.
Wimbledon 2023 predictions: Where can the value be found?
There are doubts surrounding some of the other bigger names as well, such as Jannik Sinner, Nick Kyrgios, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Holger Rune. 2022 runner-up Kyrgios has fitness issues, and has played just one match since October last year, while Sinner retired last week in Halle. Tsitsipas is 1-2 in grass warm-up events, and has never got past round four here, while Rune has never shown a great deal of aptitude on grass.
So, who could provide some value at bigger prices to at least reach the latter stages? Players with the potential to do well include Sebastian Korda *34.950, who picked up some good wins last week to reach the semi-final at Queen’s, while Frances Tiafoe *45.740 won the warm-up event in Stuttgart. Andrey Rublev *50.190 has decent long-term grass numbers and reached the final in Halle, while Alex De Minaur *62.100 has proven surface pedigree, and only narrowly lost to Alcaraz at Queen’s last week.
In summary, the tournament looks like Djokovic’s to lose, but there are plenty of options for long shots who could well have value in some side markets, such as winners in their quarter of the draw, or a player to reach the final.
Don't forget to also check out Dan’s preview of the Women's Singles tournament at the 2023 Wimbledon Championships.