Wimbledon predictions

Men:

On the face of it, this year should be a two-horse race between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, but it's rarely that straightforward.

Rafael Nadal is all but a spent force and will do well to navigate his way to the quarter-finals, so that's one quarter of the 'Big Four' out of the equation.

Roger Federer can certainly come close, but question marks remain over his ability to beat Djokovic, even on his beloved grass courts, while Murray too could have too much firepower for the Swiss. However, if there are some big-name casualties, expect Federer to be on hand to capitalise.

Stan Wawrinka hasn't enjoyed too much success on grass, with his quarter-final appearance last year his best showing at Wimbledon to date. But, as the man himself has pointed out, he hadn't reached the semi-finals of the French Open either prior to his victory in Paris last month.

Potential dark horses include the big-hitting trio of Milos Raonic, Kevin Anderson and John Isner. They're unlikely to go all the way, but they might leave some damage behind them on the way to the business end of proceedings.

Back to Murray and Federer then. The world number one has had little grass-court preparation and he last hit a ball in anger at the French Open. Just how much that final defeat to Wawrinka has taken out of Djokovic will be key to the Serb's chances. Djokovic had invested so much into winning his first French Open title that his failure to claim the title will have knocked him heavily. This could see an angry Djokovic primed for 'revenge' destroy all before him, but it could also see a player struggling to recover from a major setback suffer another blow.

If Murray is to win, he's going to have to do it the hard way. The Scot may have to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Nadal and Federer just for the chance to have a shot of the title against Djokovic (or any other challenger). Like Federer and Nadal, Murray won a grass-court title in the build-up, and while pre-slam form is proving not to be too much of a predictor in men's tennis, Murray is looking primed for a strong bit at the title.

Prediction: A Djokovic-Murray final would certainly be a tight content, but as was the case in 2013, we think Murray will edge it.

Women

We could try and talk about some contenders, maybe throw in a few dark horses (and we will get to both), but it would be foolish to think that the women's draw is anything more than a case of Serena Williams versus the rest.

The world number one is so thoroughly dominant when she gets in the mood that it's hard to see her being challenged. With Williams it's not a case of whether she's healthy – she proved that by winning in Australia and at the French while unwell – but more a case of whether she is in the mood. If she is, well, it could be carnage. As one pundit put it: "If she can walk, she can win."

Looking at the remainder of the field, second seed Petra Kvitova has a favourable draw, but the problem with the Czech is that she's just as likely to reach the final as she is to lose in the opening rounds – you never quite know what you're going to get.

But while the 25-year-old's form is erratic as a whole, she has been consistent at Wimbledon, making it to at least the quarter-finals in the last five years and winning the title twice in that time. 

The list of dark horses is long. Belinda Bencic won her first WTA title at Eastbourne over the weekend and certainly has promise. Karolina Pliskova and Ekaterina Makarova are dangerous, while the American duo of Maddison Keys and Sloane Stephens can also cause upsets. Germany's Sabine Lisicki and Angelique Kerber are two that can also be considered in with a shot… of making it to the final.

Prediction: Williams, no doubt about it.

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