Propelled to number one and two seeds due to the combined absences of Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal find themselves at both ends of the table at Wimbledon. The hypothesis of an early blockbuster like at Roland-Garros was therefore not in order. For the two sacred monsters, the issue of this Friday’s draw lay elsewhere: who, the Serb or the Spaniard, would inherit the most mined ground. On paper, it looks like Nadal is by far the worse off of the two…
Serena is fixed: she will start against the French Harmony Tan
AN HOUR AGO
In search of a possible calendar Grand Slam after winning the Australian Open and Roland-Garros, Rafael Nadal could face a succession of obstacles on the road to the final, which would be his first since … eleven years in London. If his first week does not seem insurmountable, with an opening against the Argentinian Cerundolo then, potentially, Querrey in the second round and Sonego, Kudla, Popyrin or Gaston in the round of 16, everything could get complicated from the eighth, where a a certain Marin Cilic might be waiting for him.
Behind, if the logic is respected, it would be a quarter-final against Félix Auger-Aliassime and a possible half against Stefanos Tsitsipas or Matteo Berrettini, the real scarecrow in the form of a third man on the starting line alongside Djokovic and Nadal . But all of this is of course theoretical. Nadal will first have to advance in his table. His opponents too. But for some, everything could quickly get complicated, like Auger-Aliassime, who pulled a poisoned gift in the 1st round with the American server-volleyball player Maxime Cressy. Tsitsipas, he could have an appointment in the third round with a certain Nick Kyrgios.
Djokovic can wear a small smile
If the two halves of the table seem less unbalanced than during the last Roland-Garros, Novak Djokovic therefore appears better off than his great rival. Triple title holder at Wimbledon, the Serb will still be the big favorite and this draw has rather reinforced this feeling. From Monday, the Djoker will inaugurate the fortnight on the Center Court against the South Korean Kwon. Next ? Potentially, Thanasi Kokkinakis as a second opponent, his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the round of 16, Reilly Opelka in the round of 16 (unless the Dutch revelation Tim Van Rijthoven finds his way), a very theoretical quarter against Carlos Alcaraz and, why not? , Hubert Hurkacz in half. But Djokovic can wear a small smile.
“Djokovic will be under enormous pressure in London, but he remains the best on grass”
The British people were waiting to know the fate of Andy Murray. Not seeded, the Scotsman, double winner of the tournament, will face the Australian James Duckworth. If he passes, the American gunner John Isner could wait for him. The dream, for the public of the All England Club, would undoubtedly be to see him slip into the quarter-finals against a certain Novak Djokovic…
Finally, a word on the weak French colony, still deprived of its leader Gaël Monfils who, in any case, would not have harbored high ambitions here. No Habs were seeded, but there will be at least one in the second round since Benoît Paire and Quentin Halys will fight it out straight away. For the rest, their horizon seems blocked in the short or even very short term. Arthur Rinderknech will have to contend with 2021 semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov. Benjamin Bonzi can already see Jenson Brooksby in the second round and, worse, Berrettini in the third.
Adrian Mannarino has a green thumb, but he is in Hubert Hurkacz’s sector. In theory, this draw should have been a good deal for Ugo Humbert, who is in a portion of the table richly stocked with grass allergies, starting with Casper Ruud. But today, Humbert seems allergic to tennis. It is therefore difficult to be optimistic about the chances of seeing blue in the second week, or even a little before…
The theoretical eighths (table order)
1. Novak Djokovic (SRB) – 15. Reily Opelka (EU)
10. Jannik Sinner (ITA) – 5. Carlos Alcaraz (ESP)
3. Casper Ruud (NOR) – 16. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)
9. Cameron Norrie (GB) – 7. Hubert Hurkacz (POL)
8. Matteo Berrettini (ITA) – 12. Diego Schwartzman (ARG)
13. Denis Shapovalov (CAN) – 4. Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)
6. Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) – 11. Taylor Fritz (USA)
14. Marin Cilic (CRO) – 2. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Kyrgios, Murray, Van Rijthoven… They can shake the seeds
13 HOURS AGO
Gauff and the pressure: I felt like people would only like me if I won”
13 HOURS AGO