Wimbledon 2013 Draw: Toughest Tests for Top Men's Seeds Before Quarterfinals
With the draw now set in place, Wimbledon 2013 is primed to be an interesting tournament.
All of tennis's biggest stars will be gunning for the grass-court Slam. Andy Murray rejoins the trio of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in their quest to add another Slam title to their respective mantles.
But are one of the big four set up to be upset on the big stage?
Considering the career success these four have had, anything less than an appearance in the tournament's quarterfinals would be a bitter disappointment. While all four should be favored to make it that far, they'll each have to overcome some quality tests to get there.
Here's a look at who could give each star the best run for their money before the quarterfinals. The entire men's draw is available at Wimbledon.com.
No. 1 Novak Djokovic
Toughest Test: Tommy Haas
Coming off of a semifinal appearance in Roland Garros, Djokovic enters Wimbledon as the No. 1 seed in the draw.
As tennis analyst Greg Rusedski points out, Djokovic should be happy about his draw. He'll completely avoid the Big Three of Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal until the finals.
Nadal v Federer in quarters. Nadal to win and face Murray in semi. Djokovic happiest person in the draw.— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) June 21, 2013
That doesn't mean that Djoker gets a free pass to those finals, though; he'll have to overcome one of the few defeats he's been handed this year to get there. He could potentially meet Tommy Haas in the fourth round.
Djokovic will be a heavy favorite, but the Haas is a respectable 3-5 against the Serbian and already owns a Wimbledon victory over him from the 2009 quarterfinal.
No. 2 Andy Murray
Toughest Test: Tommy Robredo
Making Murray the No. 2 seed in the whole tournament may be a questionable decision. He skipped the French Open entirely. But he has since won the Queen's Club Championship and made it to the Wimbledon finals last year.
Who is most likely to be upset before the quarterfinals?
Looking at his draw, Murray should have no problems living up to his No. 2 billing. He doesn't have many ranked players standing in the way, but if anyone is going to upset him, it may be Tommy Robredo.
Robredo is one of just 12 players in the world that can say they've defeated Murray multiple times in their career. Although the two haven't played each other since 2009, Robredo's career record against Murray is 2-2.
Throw in the fact that Robredo is coming off of a quarterfinals appearance at Roland Garros, and he might have what it takes to at least challenge Murray.
No. 3 Roger Federer
Toughest Test: Jerzy Janowicz
Roger Federer comes to the All England Club as the reigning Wimbledon champion after a disappointing showing in the French Open.
The good news for the legend is that Wimbledon has always been his best slam and the draw is extremely favorable for him until he potentially meets Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals.
His toughest test before that showdown is a potential meeting with Jerzy Janowicz. The 22-year-old rising star has made it to the third round in three of his last four slam starts. He also met Federer earlier this year when the two met at the Rome Masters.
Federer came out on top but acknowledged that the youngster is a dangerous opponent, telling the ATP's official website:
He obviously has a big game, unconventional shot selection at times, but really fun to watch... Difficult match-up. He’s got some say clearly, some say, for the outcome of the match because he’s got that big of a game and I’ve got to be careful. I hope I can make it tough for him to beat me. Myself, I’m going to focus on my own game. Make sure I get through my service games and then hope I can create some opportunities on return.
It's probably not Janowicz's time yet, but he still poses the greatest threat on Federer's road to the quarterfinals.
No. 5 Rafael Nadal
Toughest Test: Stanislas Wawrinka
Nadal should be going in looking to win some respect from Wimbledon officials. After winning the French Open, his No. 5 seed is a clear sign that they don't believe he'll rebound from his second-round upset at Wimbledon in 2012.
The draw shapes up favorably for him to avoid that.
The toughest test for him will be getting past Stanislas Wawrinka. The Swiss contender is 30-10 this season with a tournament title to his name, and he's the most consistent of the players in Nadal's region of the bracket.
Fortunately for Rafa, Wawrinka has also struggled against him his entire career. He's 0-10 against him all time with two of those wins coming in 2013.
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