The British challenge in the main draws at Wimbledon this year come from Andy Murray, James Ward, Kyle Edmund, Brydan Klein, Liam Broady, Aljaz Bedene, Heather Watson, Laura Robson, Johanna Konta and Naomi Broady. The good news is most of these players have been in very good form on the grass these few weeks and here’s hoping they could all pick up a win or two at Wimbledon.
Before I get into looking at all the players chances receiving a wildcard for this event is massive for all of the players especially those playing on the ITF/Challenger tours. Naomi Broady, Johanna Konta, Liam Broady, Brydan Klein, Kyle Edmund and James Ward do play a lot of tennis on these tours and they don’t pay well however even losing in the first round of Wimbledon will net you £28,000 which will set these players up for about a year on the tour and if they can get a couple of wins under their belt they could net about £70,000!
Andy is one of the favourites for the tournament. His tennis on the grass is always exceptional but his tennis throughout the year has been marvellous and his tennis on the clay in Munich, Madrid and Paris was a joy to watch. Murray’s win/loss record is 41-6 this year with three titles to his name. The only player Murray has lost to since the end of February is Novak Djokovic who is the best in the world right now. I think on grass Murray has a better chance of beating him but it’s always tough.
In round one Andy will be up against Mikhail Kukushkin in round one which is a winnable match. Round two will be either Falla or Haase and I expect it to be Robin Haase Murray plays. Unless Brydan Klein can beat Andreas Seppi in round one than Murray could be up against him or maybe even Stakhovsky or Coric in round three however Seppi has had a good run on the grass in Halle.
Tsonga is the projected round four opponent for Murray but may not be at 100% as he was due to play in Nottingham but pulled out. Tsonga faces a tough match v Gilles Muller in the first round which will be interesting. On paper Murray will play either Ferrer or Nadal however I wouldn’t be surprised if both lost early. Nadal has been out of form and right now on grass I’d fancy Murray to beat him same with Ferrer who isn’t the best on grass and maybe Ward could cause him some problems.
Going to the semi-finals Berdych or Federer stand a good chance both are very good grass court players and will be tough for Murray and the final most likely against Wawrinka or Djokovic who could meet in the semi-final. I do think Murray stands a good chance of winning the tournament but as ever at a major it won’t be easy!
Heather has had a good few weeks on the tour. Her win against Elina Svitolina was very good and we saw her get quite emotional in her interview. Heather has dropped a bit in the rankings recently but in my opinion is a 40-50 player what let’s her down at times is consistency. I’d love to see Heather do well, reaching the second week of a Slam would be incredible but very tough to achieve.
Heather will open her tournament against Caroline Garcia. I believe the French woman could be a very good player on the tour but like Watson consistency is a big problem for her. Caroline can beat the top players as she has shown with three wins against Ana Ivanovic this year so could be one to watch if she beats Watson.
I hope to see a better showing from James at Wimbledon. I’ve said a number of times his form since Davis Cup v USA hasn’t been that good. Kyle Edmund has now overtaken him on the rankings and has gone from British number two to British number four. James did play a tremendous opening set against Milos Raonic at Queens taking it 7-5 but then it fell apart. James has only ever won one match at Wimbledon in 2012, I do hope he can go on a good run and maybe get 2 wins but a first round exit and if for example Edmund won a couple of matches would race questions over the Davis Cup selection.
Annoyingly as I was about to upload this James’ opponent David Ferrer withdrew so I thought I’d edit it. James will be now play world ranked 113 Luca Vanni in the first round. Ferrer was expected to win the match but now the pressure is even more on James Ward to win a match at Wimbledon. I don’t think Luca is an accomplished grass court player so hopefully James can do the job. The two players have met before in the past at a future event in 2008 in Italy which Ward won 6-4 6-2.
Apart from Andy Murray, Johanna Konta is the form player on the tour right now. Johanna had a good run in Nottingham and Birmingham and then played exceptionally well in Eastbourne beating Diyas, Makarova and Muguruza before losing to Belinda Bencic in the quarter finals. Jo is definitely one to watch after her efforts on the grass so far.
Sadly the tennis gods have been tough on Konta as she will begin her Wimbledon against Maria Sharapova. Konta plays a bit like Sharapova, likes to dictate from the baseline and will move forward and producing some exceptional winners. Sharapova hasn’t played on grass yet so could be a bit rusty with her last match being her loss to Safarova at Roland Garros. Konta can cause problems and I really hope she can keep her good form going at Wimbledon next week.
Kyle is improving on the tour. Qualifying for Roland Garros and winning his first Grand Slam match against Stephane Robert in five sets was a great achievement. Kyle was unlucky to lose in Nottingham in the first round but can take positives from his recent tennis. Kyle is at 101 in the world right now and on the verge of breaking into the top 100 on the tour.
Kyle will open up his tournament against a very predictable opponent in Alexandr Dolgopolov. Dolgopolov is a very talented player and can produce some exceptional points with the power and low depth he can get on the ball. It will be a very tricky match for Kyle. Dolgopolov recently put in a very good performance to beat Nadal at Queens. His unpredictability is a massive weapon as he will produce some of the weirdest yet brilliant shots.
Naomi has had a good couple of weeks on the grass and will hoping that does continue at Wimbledon. Naomi made the second round last year and was then beaten by Maria Sharapova. Another win at Wimbledon would be good for Naomi to push up the rankings.
Naomi will be playing Mariana Duque-Marino in the first round who beat Heather Watson not too long ago. I think Naomi stands a good chance of winning the match, if she does she will most likely be up against Andrea Petkovic in round two.
Liam is just inside the top 200 on the tour at 181. He has improved a lot over the last 8 months and like I said even losing in R1 of Wimbledon will be great financially as the money can set these players up for a year. I think it will be tough for Liam to get a win but I hope he can!
Liam will play Marinko Matosevic in the first round. Marinko is a good player, I wouldn’t say he is a threat on grass though. Marinko has never really impressed at a major tournament. Marinko is down at 138 in the world with 3 wins and 14 losses to his name so it could be a good chance for Liam to win a match at Wimbledon.
Laura made her return to Tennis in Eastbourne in qualifying last weekend. I don’t think it matters she lost the match 6-0 6-1, no one was expecting her to go on a 5 match winning streak. I thought some of the match reports were a little harsh after 17 months out injured. The good news is she didn’t feel any pain in wrist and hasn’t for a while and is back on the court!
Laura plays Evgeniya Rodina in round one. Rodina is ranked at 101 in the world right now and has climbed the rankings this year with a win loss of 20/17. I do think Laura does stand a chance, it is tough to predict what will happen as it is Laura’s second match in about 18 months.
Klein will be playing against Andreas Seppi in the first round in what will be a tough match for the Brit. Seppi has had a good few weeks on grass getting to the final of Halle before being beaten by Roger Federer in the final. A win will be tough but a set or two off the Italian would be fantastic!
Bedene currently ranked in the top 100 on the tour has a tough opening round one match against Radek Stepanek. Radek is a very good player as we know and likes to go to the net so is something Bedene is going to have to watch out for. If Bedene is going to beat Stepanek he will have to produce some of his best tennis at Wimbledon.