Wimbledon 2013: Top Threats to Novak Djokovic in Top Half of Men's Draw

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Wimbledon 2013: Top Threats to Novak Djokovic in Top Half of Men's Draw
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic has a relatively easy path to the men's semifinals compared to his top rivals at the Wimbledon Championship in 2013. That said, there are a few men in the top half of the draw who could potentially earn a huge upset.

While Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray duke it out in the bottom half of the draw, Djokivic's top competition includes Tomas Berdych, Tommy Haas and Juan Martin del Potro.

These men may not evoke the same level of fear as the top three in the bottom half of the draw, but they are still capable of taking Djokovic to the limit, if not capable of beating him outright at the All England Club in London. 

Here's a closer look at Djokovic's top competition in the top half of the men's draw at Wimbledon.

 

Tomas Berdych (No. 7 Seed)

Of all the men in the top half of the draw, Berdych is the biggest wild card. Nobody knows what to expect out of him from week to week. Sometimes, he looks like one of the world's best players, but he can quickly turn into a player who looks hopelessly lost.

At 6'5" and 200 pounds, Berdych's potent serve and dynamic forehand are perfect weapons with which to dominate opponents on grass surfaces.

His best showing at Wimbledon occurred in 2010, when he lost to Nadal in the men's final. Last year, Berdych lost in Round 1 at Wimbledon but bounced back to reach the semifinals at the U.S. Open a couple months later. 

Should Berdych show up and play at the top of his game, he'll be a force to be reckoned with in the top half of the men's draw.

Should he face Djokovic, he'll have some confidence after beating him in the quarterfinals at the Rome Masters earlier this year. That said, Djokovic has won 13 of 15 matches against Berdych, and it would be a huge shock if he lost to him in London. 

 

Juan Martin del Potro (No. 8 Seed)

Though del Potro has never gotten out of the fourth round at Wimbledon, the Argentinian is capable of presenting a tough challenge for Djokovic in London. He showed his worth earlier this year against Djokovic in the semifinals at the ATP World Tour Masters at Indian Wells, beating the No. 1 player in the world in three sets to get to the final. Once there, del Potro lost to Nadal in three sets.

Since that time, however, his game has taken a turn for the worst.

After struggling badly on clay for the past couple of months, del Potro looked shaky at the Queen's Club in London in his tuneup for this upcoming Grand Slam. He barely got past Xavier Malisse in the second round and then was outplayed by Lleyton Hewitt in the quarterfinals.

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Del Potro must quickly turn his game around in order to contend at Wimbledon. But if he manages to do so, he might just shock the world by upsetting Djokovic.

 

Tommy Haas (No. 13 Seed)

Haas has never lost to Djokovic on grass surfaces, winning both matches against the world's top player. He's also a two-time winner at the Gerry Weber Open, and he reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2009. 

Of his 14 career titles, Haas has won 10 on hard or grass surfaces. His game is suited to the faster pace of play those surfaces provide, and when he is playing up to his potential, he is a dangerous opponent.

Unfortunately, recent history doesn't bode well for Haas at Wimbledon. Since reaching the semifinals in 2009, he has been ousted in the first round both times he has competed at the All England Club.

That said, Haas has been playing some good tennis this season. He won the BMW Open in Munich, reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros and put up a good fight against Federer in the semifinals at Halle in his tuneup for this upcoming Grand Slam.

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 

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