Wimbledon 2013: Long-Shot Candidates Ready To Shock Field

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Wimbledon 2013: Long-Shot Candidates Ready To Shock Field
Julian Finney/Getty Images

From the red clay of Roland Garros to the green grass at Wimbledon, the world's best tennis players are preparing for the third Grand Slam event on the calendar in 2013. Play begins on Monday, June 24 and ends on Sunday, July 7 at the All England Club in London.

While the clay in France favored players like David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal, the hard surface at Wimbledon favors players who have huge serves and play with power. Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer excel on grass, as do Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.

There are some long-shot candidates who are capable of winning at Wimbledon, too. Though not as highly touted as the favorites, these players will give the field a run for its money.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Tsonga appears ready to finally take the next step and win a Grand Slam.

He reached the semifinals at Wimbledon the past two years, and he recently defeated Roger Federer in straight sets at Roland Garros in the quarterfinals.

A big, strong player (6'2" and 200 pounds) with a huge serve and a strong net game to boot, Tsonga has the necessary skills to succeed on the grass surface at Wimbledon. 

In a tuneup for the upcoming Grand Slam event, Tsonga made it to the semifinals in London at the Aegon Championships only to lose in three sets to eventual champion Murray. 

Still, Tsonga been playing well of late, and if he gets hot at the right time, he's as capable of winning the tournament as any player in the men's draw.

Tomas Berdych

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Though Berdych hasn't been playing as well as Tsonga of late, he's no less a threat to shock the field at Wimbledon this year.

Wildly inconsistent and impossible to predict, Berdych can go from brilliant to average in the blink of an eye. He recently lost to Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals of the Aegon Championships while getting ready for Wimbledon.

That said, Berdych is the only man outside the "Big Four" of Nadal, Federer, Murray and Djokovic to reach the men's final at Wimbledon in the last 10 years, as noted by Chris Skelton:

Blessed with a huge frame (6'5" and 200 pounds) that is a detriment to him on clay, Berdych's powerful serves and crushing forehand are perfectly suited to dominating on grass surfaces. 

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