WIMBLEDON 2021: Djokovic has eyes on major mark, Golden Slam

FILE - Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a backhand return to Russia's Daniil Medvedev during the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, in this Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, file photo. Djokovic is expected to compete in the Wimbledon tennis tournament that begins on Monday, June 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill, File)


Men to watch at Wimbledon, which starts Monday at the All England Club:



Seeded: 1

Country: Serbia

Age: 34

2021 Match Record: 27-3

2021 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 84

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 19 — Wimbledon (5: 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019), Australian Open (9: 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021), French Open (2: 2016, 2021), U.S. Open (3: 2011, 2015, 2018)

Last 5 Wimbledons: 2019-Won Championship, 2018-W, 2017-Lost in Quarterfinals, 2016-3rd, 2015-W

Aces: Can equal Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (who withdrew from Wimbledon) for most Grand Slam titles in men’s tennis by getting 20th with a third consecutive trophy at the All England Club. … With Australian Open and French Open championships in 2021, eyeing a calendar-year Grand Slam, something last accomplished by a man in 1969. A Golden Slam, including the Tokyo Olympics, is a possibility.

Matchup to Watch For: Could face the man he beat in the 2018 final, Kevin Anderson, in the second round.

Words: “This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals (in Paris), which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.” — Djokovic, looking ahead to the grass on the day he won the French Open on clay.

FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: 4-5



Seeded: 2

Country: Russia

Age: 25

2021 Match Record: 25-7 (Playing in Mallorca Open in Spain)

2021 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 10

Grand Slam Singles Titles: Zero — Best: Runner-Up (2019 U.S. Open, 2021 Australian Open)

Last 5 Wimbledons: 2019-3rd, 2018-3rd, 2017-2nd, 2016-Did Not Play, 2015-DNP

Aces: First man other than Djokovic, Nadal, Federer or Andy Murray to be ranked No. 1 or No. 2 since July 2005. … Ability to make in-match adjustments is as strong as anyone’s in men’s tennis. … Now that he’s shown he can win on clay — reaching the quarterfinals at the French Open after starting his career 0-4 there — will try to get to Week 2 at Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam tournament where he’s never been that far.

Matchup to Watch For: Could face 18-year-old wild-card entry Carlos Alcaraz in second round and 2014 U.S. Open champion and 2017 Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic in third.

Words: “I don’t think anybody practiced on grass last two years because, well, there was no reason to do it. Tournaments are on hard and clay courts. … It’s not going to be easy this year.” — Medvedev, on the lack of matches on grass since 2019.

FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: 15-2



Seeded: 3

Country: Greece

Age: 22

2021 Match Record: 39-9

2021 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 7

Grand Slam Singles Titles: Zero — Best: Runner-Up (2021 French Open)

Last 5 Wimbledons: 2019-1st, 2018-4th, 2017-1st, 2016-DNP, 2015-DNP

Aces: Leads ATP in match wins this season. … Coming off breakthrough run to first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros, where he took the first two sets against Djokovic before losing in five. … Has net skills that should translate better to grass than his pair of first-round losses in three appearances at the All England Club.

Matchup to Watch For: Faces Frances Tiafoe in the first round; could meet No. 10 Denis Shapovalov or No. 27 Reilly Opelka in the quarterfinals.

Words: “Despite my loss today, I have faith in my game. … I see no reason for me not to be holding that trophy one day.” — Tsitsipas, after his loss in the French Open final.

FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: 15-2



Seeded: 6

Country: Switzerland

Age: 39

2021 Match Record: 5-3

2021 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 103

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 20 — Wimbledon (8: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017), Australian Open (6: 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018), French Open (1: 2009), U.S. Open (5: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

Last 5 Wimbledons: 2019-Runner-Up, 2018-QF, 2017-W, 2016-SF, 2015-RU

Aces: Still working his way back into match shape after having two operations on his right knee in 2020. … Still holds record for most Grand Slam men’s final appearances with 31. … Only Jimmy Connors (with 109) has won more men’s titles in the Open era.

Matchup to Watch For: Faces Adrian Mannarino (Federer leads 6-0 head-to-head) in the first round and could face Richard Gasquet (Federer leads 18-2) in the second.

Words: “What are my Wimbledon goals? They’re always high. They have to be high. Otherwise I wouldn’t be playing.” — Federer.

FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: 14-1



Seeded: 7

Country: Italy

Age: 25

2021 Match Record: 26-6

2021 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 5

Grand Slam Singles Titles: Zero — Best: Semifinals (2019 U.S. Open)

Last 5 Wimbledons: 2019-4th, 2018-2nd, 2017-DNP, 2016-DNP, 2015-DNP

Aces: Became first man to win grass-court Queen’s Club title in tournament debut since Boris Becker in 1985. … Has a classic big-hitting game built on booming serves and forehands that make him a danger on faster surfaces.

Matchup to Watch For: Could face No. 28 John Isner, a 2018 Wimbledon semifinalist, in the third round.

Words: “I want to do a great tournament in Wimbledon. I know it’s not going to be easy, but that’s my mentality right now.” — Berrettini, after losing to Djokovic in the French Open quarterfinals.

FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: 14-1



Seeded: N/A (Ranked No. 119)

Country: Britain

Age: 34

2021 Match Record: 2-3

2021 Singles Titles: Zero

Career Singles Titles: 46

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 3 — Wimbledon (2: 2013, 2016), U.S. Open (1: 2012)

Last 5 Wimbledons: 2019-DNP, 2018-DNP, 2017-QF, 2016-W, 2015-SF

Aces: Plays at the site of his most meaningful triumphs for the first time in four years after having two hip operations. … Granted a wild-card entry. … His singles championship in 2013 was the first at Wimbledon for a British man since Fred Perry in 1936. … Reached at least the quarterfinals in each of his past 10 appearances at the All England Club.

Matchup to Watch For: Faces No. 24 Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round.


FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: 85-1


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