Novak Djokovic definitely had a huge grin on his face when he took a look at the draw for Wimbledon.
Djokovic had a very tough draw at the French Open, having to face off against the top clay player in the world, Rafael Nadal, in the semifinals. Now, Djokovic couldn’t have asked for an easier route to the title match for Wimbledon. He won’t have to face a top opponent until the final, if at all.
Nadal is on the other side of the bracket. Roger Federer is on the other side of the bracket. Andy Murray is on the other side of the bracket. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is on the other side of the bracket. Those four are all ranked in the top seven in the world.
Opponents who Djokovic could face before the final include David Ferrer, Juan Martin Del Potro and Tomas Berdych. Those are the only players on Djokovic’s side of the bracket who would pose any sort of threat toward the top player in the world.
Djokovic has made it to the semifinals at Wimbledon in each of the last three years—winning in 2011. In 2013, Djokovic is guaranteed to make his fourth straight trip and there’s no reason why he wouldn’t advance all the way to the final too. His side of the bracket is too weak for him to falter before the final.
Outside of Djokovic, which other players got favorable draws for the Grand Slam? Here are three others who shouldn’t have much of a problem making a deep run at Wimbledon this year.
A sigh of relief must’ve left the mouth of Maria Sharapova once she realized that she wouldn’t have to face Serena Williams until the Wimbledon final. That’s the goal for every women’s tennis player these days, as Williams has been playing her best over the last few months.
Sharapova recently lost in the final at the French Open to Serena, falling in straight sets. The way the Wimbledon bracket is setup, the final match could be between the two same players for back-to-back Grand Slams. With two of the top players on opposite sides, both should have an easy time getting to the championship.
Sharapova should at least make it to the semifinals. The only big threat in her individual bracket is Sara Errani, the No. 5 seed, and she fell in her first-round matchup to Monica Puig. There are a few other ranked opponents in the bracket, but none of them should pose much of a problem for Sharapova.
Back-to-back finals appearances won’t be easy for Sharapova, though, as she might have to top No. 2 Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals. The two have never played each other on grass, but Azarenka holds a 7-6 lead on the other surfaces. Either could come away with the semifinal victory, should they meet.
David Ferrer really lucked out, falling on the same side of the bracket as Djokovic. While it obviously won’t be easy to top The Joker should the two meet, Ferrer isn’t on the side of the bracket with Nadal and Federer. Federer is the best grass player in the world and Nadal just made quick work of Ferrer at the French Open.
Ferrer has never had much success at Wimbledon throughout his career. He’s appeared in the Grand Slam 10 times and has only made it past the fourth round once, coming last year. In 2012, Murray knocked him out in four sets. Now, Ferrer has a prime opportunity to make his first semifinal appearance at Wimbledon.
The biggest threat to Ferrer in his individual bracket is Del Potro. They wouldn’t meet until the quarterfinals, if both were to advance that far in the first place. Ferrer is 6-2 in his career against Del Potro and Ferrer has won both matches on grass—the most recent coming in the fourth round at Wimbledon a year ago.
Ferrer may have a tough time making it to the final at Wimbledon, but if Djokovic gets knocked out before the semifinals, the bracket is all Ferrer’s. If the two do square off, Djokovic has the advantage. Ferrer has lost 11-of-15 matches against Djokovic and the two have never played each other on grass.
Agnieszka Radwanska didn’t get the best draw at Wimbledon, but it’s certainly a favorable one. While Radwanska is on the same side of the bracket as Williams, she wouldn’t have to face her until the semifinals. While Williams has won three of the last four titles at Wimbledon, there’s always the chance she exits early.
Li Na is the only major threat to Radwanska in her individual bracket. Na has never made it past the quarterfinal at Wimbledon, though. She hasn’t even gotten to the third round in each of the last two years at the Grand Slam. She really doesn’t play well on grass, meaning that Radwanska could defeat her, if Na makes it that far.
The bad taste in Radwanska’s mouth from a year ago also makes her a dangerous threat to the rest of her bracket. In 2012, Radwanska lost in the final match to Williams. Do you think she wants to get her revenge on Williams? Of course she does. While they can’t meet in the final like last year, Radwanska can still halt Williams’ title hopes.
Radwanska has made it to the quarterfinals in back-to-back grand slams. She is in a perfect position to make it that far again this year, if not even further. Unless she has an off match, there’s no reason why she shouldn’t make it to the semifinals, where Williams will likely be waiting for her.