The very best players in professional tennis– names like Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek– will be looking to capitalize on an improved but circumstantially weakened Wimbledon draw.

The Russians have been allowed back into the Wimbledon draw in 2023, but other factors are dragging several contenders down. Grass court stars like Nick Kyrgios, Matteo Berrettini and women’s defending champ Elena Rybakina are all battling injuries and/or illness. In addition, let’s be real: The number 4 seed is a fantastic pole position to have at Wimbledon, but Casper Ruud has done little preparation on grass to take advantage of it.

All of this portends well for 23-time Grand Slam Champion Novak Djokovic, who has blistered the field at the All England Club 4 years running. He’s crushing the GOAT debate as well. Who can stop him? Alcaraz? A 2023 Wimbledon draw preview and analysis unfolds below.

Wimbledon 2023: Alcaraz Quarter

What has Alcaraz received for thieving away with the world number one ranking after winning Queens last week? Not an easy draw. Considering gifted servers, who generally do well at Wimbledon, and players who are trending up on grass, Alcaraz got a bit unlucky.

He should be ok for a round or two. Then it gets tricky. Standouts in this quarter include: Arthur Rinderknech (a talented server), Nicolas Jarry (currently ranked as the 4th best server in men’s tennis), a resurgent Alexander Zverev, grass court mover-and-shaker Alex De Minaur and quality players Francis Tiafoe and Grigor Dimitrov. Oh, and Holger Rune sits at the bottom of this quarter. I’m sure the Alcaraz team would rather have drawn Stefanos Tsitsipas in that spot. More on Stef below.

The truth is, despite an impressive run at Queen’s Club, Alcaraz is still unproven on grass. He’s in the process of figuring it out. Almost half of his entire tour-level grass court body of work was at Queen’s last week. Rinderknech almost picked him off in the first round there. It was an incredibly tight 3-set match– a contest which Alcaraz risked by showing unbelievably good sportsmanship at a pivotal point in the match. It’s likely sets will be dropped on this Carlitos Wimbledon journey. Still, the 20-year-old is a phenom, and he has shown a mental edge that Grand Slams demand.

Wimbledon 2023: Medvedev Quarter

This is the second-easiest quarter in the 2023 Wimbledon draw. Someone needs to pounce. Daniil Medvedev, as the number 3 seed, should be in prime position. He’s an elite server. At his 6’6” height, if he’d ever venture into the net, his wingspan would be intimidating. He hits a flat ball. He moves well for his height. He just doesn’t have the command of his volleys yet. It’s frustrating.

We’ll see what he’s got on grass this year after missing 2022 in the Russian ban. After crashing out of the French Open in the first round, one might have thought he’d get a jump on grass, but his results in the warmups have been uneven. He lost first round in Hertogenbosch and in the quarters of Halle to Roberto Bautista Agut.

If you examine Medvedev’s last few losses, they have been very close. His ace totals are sky high, as usual. What he lacks, perhaps, is confidence. Or motivation. Or a combination of the two. This weaker quarter could give him that. Francisco Cerundolo is a fabulous up-and-coming star, but his best surface is clay. Tommy Paul doesn’t have the serve to win Wimbledon. It doesn’t get sticky for Meddy until lefty Brit Cameron Norrie.

Andy Murray and Tsitsipas float at the bottom of this quarter. They would face each other in the second round, which will be a fun match if it happens. However, Murray hasn’t had an ideal grass season, losing first round at Queen’s. Tsitsipas is in love, and he’s not a stellar grass court player anyway due to lack of a sound slice. If one of them gets through, they might have to face last year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Norrie.

Medvedev has crushed Norrie in their two meetings, both on hard court. If I were Meddy, I’d be putting in a little practice on returning lefty grass court serves right now. Because this is an opportunity. In a potential Medvedev vs. Norrie, the Brit would have the advantage in fan support, grass experience, and leftiness. Meddy owns the head-to-head and relishes a crowd against him. Could be good, right?

My dark horse in this section is Chris Eubanks, who Norrie might have to get through in Round 2. That’s an unlucky draw for Norrie.

Wimbledon 2023: Ruud Quarter

The real question mark in the Casper Ruud section of the Wimbledon draw is Jannik Sinner. He has a beautiful stat sheet filled with a quartet of quarterfinal appearances in all the Slams. There’s no shame in losing to Djokovic last year. Sinner’s the real favorite in this part of the Wimbledon draw.

The Italian is a cool cat. He’s doing fashion campaigns. He skis. He recently remarked on an admiration for Roger Federer’s life balance– an attitude which seems to have missed the mark to some. He’s got the talent. He’s got the serve. Does he have the drive?

Taylor Fritz and Bautista Agut could bother Sinner in the middle rounds, but if he’s healthy and committed, he’s got a shot to come through this easier section. As a dark horse, watch out for a healthy Lloyd Harris.

Wimbledon 2023: Djokovic Quarter

Like Alcaraz, Djokovic did not receive a cake-and-Pimms draw. He shouldn’t drop a set for a few rounds, but Hubert Hurkacz awaits in the section above. The Polish fireballer has a nice 17-11 record on grass at the tour level.

Beyond that, respectable names in Novak’s quarter include Alexander Bublik, who just won a grass tournament, his friend Nick Kyrgios– which, who knows, right?– and Andrey Rublev, who has beaten Novak before.

All that said, Djokovic is fit. He rarely lacks for motivation. There’s a second crack at the calendar Slam on the line. You go with Novak until proven otherwise.

Players to watch:
QF: Alcaraz, Medvedev, Sinner, Djokovic
SF: Alcaraz, Djokovic
F: Djokovic

Women’s Wimbledon Draw Analysis

Some fans think Iga Swiatek is “not good” on grass. Define not good. It’s all relative for the world number one. Her best result at Wimbledon is round 4 in 2021, which is nothing to sneeze at for a young player.

Consider that perhaps she’s evolving. As of this writing, she’s in the final of a grass tournament. She’s one of the best movers on tour, which helps on grass. She’s also mentally fit. It’s possible she can figure this out. The next-highest seed in her quarter is Coco Gauff, who Iga owns a 7-0 record against. While grass might be Gauff’s best shot to catch Swiatek, I think the mental hurdle is too high right now. Could be a better match, though.

The 2023 Women’s Wimbledon draw is a tale of two halves. Swiatek sits atop the easier half. On the other side, defending champion Elena Rybakina and world number 2 Aryna Sabalenka find a mess of trouble. Players who loom include: two-time champion Petra Kvitova, Karolina Muchova, Maria Sakkari, Beatrice Hadaad Maia, and Jelena Ostapenko, who just won on grass. Oh yeah– and last year’s Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur. This is heavily weighted, unfortunately.

Watch out for Kvitova. The 33-year-old just won a grass court tournament. She took the trophy in Miami this year, showing she’s enjoying her tennis. She’ll get oodles of fan support as a nostalgic favorite. Plus the lefty slice serve. It’s a nightmare on this surface.

Rybakina has a doable draw for her, but questions about her health remain. Sabalenka will have to deal with questions about Ukraine from the British press on the mics. Whether you think it’s fair or not, it will be a distraction. Sabalenka’s serve will need to carry her.

On the other hand, French Open semifinalist Muchova would seem to have a game tailor-made for grass. Finally healthy, she can employ her big serve as well as her volley skills to navigate this tough half of the Wimbledon draw.

Players to watch:
QF: Swiatek, Vekic, Kvitova, Muchova
SF: Swiatek, Kvitova
F: Kvitova


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