After his loss to Rafael Nadal in the final at the French Open, it's easy to forget just how well Novak Djokovic has been playing lately. Prior to the loss, Djokovic had won 27 consecutive matches in Grand Slam tournaments, including the U.S. Open and the Australian Open. He's also the defending Wimbledon champion and the number one ranked tennis player in the world.
But Djokovic will have no easy run at Wimbledon. Aside from the obvious threats of Nadal and Roger Federer, the other two stars who along with Djokovic have dominated grand slam tournaments almost exclusively since 2005, a number of potential spoilers hope to steal Djokovic's title, including Andy Murray, John Isner, and Milos Raonic.
In the run-up to Wimbledon, tennis experts across the globe have offered predictions. Here we look at what several of these experts have to say about Djokovic's chances of winning a second Wimbledon trophy and his sixth grand slam title.
Former pro and current Tennis Channel analyst Justin Gimelstob believes that we will once again see Rafael Nadal and Djokovic in the finals, where he gives Djokovic the slight edge to win. Via Greg Garber of ESPN.com:
Djokovic deserves to be the favorite on the grass. The patterns dictate that. Rafa's ball doesn't get up on him as high. The serve is more effective. Djokovic takes the ball early and grass keeps it low. I think the margins swing to Djokovic.
Brad Gilbert is picking Rafael Nadal to win at Wimbledon, but to do so, he expects that Nadal will have to once again defeat Djokovic in the finals. Also via ESPN.com:
Here's the amazing thing, close your eyes, and fourteen days later they'll be there. They're always there at the end—just like Steffi [Graf] and Monica [Seles], Martina [Navratilova] and Chris [Evert]. It's unparalleled.
They're going from clay to grass, but it doesn't matter. They are just freakin' great tennis players on any court. They can beat anybody, even the specialists on that surface. Whoever is going to win a major from them has to get himself six sets. At the moment, those are the toughest six outs in the history of tennis.
SI.com's Bryan Armen Graham believes we will once again see a Nadal-Djokovic final, and gives his pick to win it to Djokovic. He said:
"Well, with all due respect to Federer, it's either Nadal or Djokovic here. The last time Nadal played Wimbledon and failed to reach the final was back in 2005. He enters with momentum, having rolled to yet another French Open title, with three straight wins over Djokovic after a dispiriting run of seven straight losses to the Serb.
Yet each of those three reversals came on Nadal's preferred surface, and Nole's charitable draw will leave him fresher at the business end of the tournament. Look for Djokovic to edge Rafa in a five-set final for the ages."
Sports Illustrated's S.L. Price believes that despite losing to Nadal at the French Open, he is playing well enough to win at Wimbledon. When asked to offer his prediction as to who would win at Wimbledon, he said:
Djokovic, because double-fault on match point aside—yes, even with that—I think he'll feel good about Paris.
John Lloyd will be rooting for his countryman Andy Murray at Wimbledon, writing: "In the summer of the Jubilee and the London Olympics, wouldn’t it be apt for Murray to be crowned champion?"
Yet he believes that Djokovic will be the likely winner.
Lloyd contributed an article to the Daily Mail titled "Djokovic Will Gatecrash Britain's Summer Party by Winning Wimbledon." In the article he writes:
Djokovic’s dream of holding all four major titles at the same time, a feat last achieved by Rod Laver 43 years ago, failed only because Nadal produced another masterclass of claycourt tennis at Roland Garros...
Unfortunately for British fans, I think that honour will go to Djokovic.
As a result of winning last year's Wimbledon title, as well as four other major tournaments since 2010, gamblers at British-based Ladbrokes are flocking to bet on Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic currently offers a payout of only 7/4, making him the favorite of Ladbrokes customers to win the tournament. Only half a point behind is Rafael Nadal at 2/1, who is coming off a victory at the French Open.
The only other competitors gamblers have much faith in at Wimbledon are Roger Federer (9/2) and Andy Murray (8/1), before the odds drop down to 25/1 or worse for the rest of the field. These odds reflect the popular sentiment that the Men's tournament is a three man race, with Murray as the likeliest spoiler.