Rafael Nadal won the French Open for a record eighth time at Roland Garros just a couple of weeks ago but he didn't have long to celebrate his victory. Wimbledon is nearly upon us as the draw was completed on Friday morning.
The draw tends to be just as interesting as some of the matches at times. The media presence is usually immense and there is always a ton of buzz surrounding the event, as seen in this photo provided by Wimbledon on Twitter:
While there is probably an exact science that goes into creating these brackets, sometimes it feels as though there is no rhyme or reason. The fact that Nadal and Roger Federer will have to meet in the quarterfinals should they both advance that far is a glaring example that the seedings don't necessarily favor the best players.
Serena Williams' French Open title certainly seemed to help her more than Nadal as she is the No. 1 seed on the women's side and is surely favored to win Wimbledon for the second consecutive year and third time overall.
With several surprises in both draws, however, there is no question that Wimbledon will provide an intriguing tournament over the next couple weeks. Here is everything you need to know about the men's and women's singles draws, including which players you should keep an eye on moving forward.
|8||Juan Martin Del Potro||ARG|
*Courtesy of Wimbledon.com
|19||Carla Suarez Navarro||ESP|
*Courtesy of Wimbledon.com
Top Seeds to Watch
The No. 1 player in the world tends to receive perks that others don't, and that appears to be the case for Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon. There is no such thing as an easy route to the final in a Grand Slam tournament, but Djokovic got lucky due to the fact that Nadal is seeded No. 5 at Wimbledon, according to Chris Fowler of ESPN.
There is no denying that is the case as Djokovic won't have to face one of his "Big Four" counterparts until the final at the earliest. There are obviously some pitfalls on his side of the draw in the form of David Ferrer, Juan Martin Del Potro and Tomas Berdych, but if the 2011 Wimbledon champion plays up to his potential, he'll be sitting in the final and waiting for his first true challenge to arrive.
Serena is the most dominant player in women's tennis right now and perhaps ever, so she is more than deserving of the top overall seed bestowed upon her. Williams has won three of the past four Grand Slam titles as well as gold in both singles and doubles at the London Olympics last year. At this point, it seems as though she cannot be stopped.
While Serena has a tricky draw with the likes of Maria Kirilenko, Angelique Kerber and Samantha Stosur in her quarter, as well as Agnieszka Radwanska in her half, she should be golden. The only two women who are polished and powerful enough to beat her are Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, but they won't factor in until the final.
After missing the French Open due to a back injury, Andy Murray is back in the mix at Wimbledon. Despite his absence from the latest Grand Slam, Murray's ranking was not affected as he enters Wimbledon at No. 2. It's difficult to call that an advantage, though, as he has been drawn into the same half as both Nadal and Federer, according to Sky Sports.
Murray made huge strides last year as he won Olympic gold at Wimbledon and also won his first Grand Slam at the U.S. Open. If he is going to add to his resume, though, he will have to run through an extremely difficult gauntlet. With the home crowd supporting him every step of the way, however, Murray has something that the other players don't.
Maria Sharapova has had a hugely successful career already with one title at each Grand Slam event, but if not for the presence of Serena, she could very well have doubled the amount of Grand Slam titles. Williams isn't going anywhere in the immediate future, though, so Sharapova must figure out a way to beat her if she is going to reign supreme once again.
Sharapova is seeded No. 3, which may be unfair since she beat No. 2-seeded Victoria Azarenka at Roland Garros. Whatever the case, it seems as though Sharapova and Azarenka are on a semi-final collision course for a chance to meet Serena in the final. Sharapova beat Williams to win Wimbledon way back in 2004 and she certainly hopes to do it again this year.
Apparently the ATP doesn't believe in rewarding players for Grand Slam victories as Rafa is actually seeded worse at Wimbledon despite winning the French Open. That stems from the fact that Murray is back in action, but it's an absolute farce that the convoluted rankings system allowed David Ferrer to surpass Nadal even though Nadal beat him handily in the final at Roland Garros. Now Nadal may have to go through Federer, Murray and Djokovic to win it all, according to tennis analyst Greg Rusedski.
If anyone can accomplish the feat, it is certainly Nadal. Rafa should be the No. 4 seed at the very least, though, which would have set up a much more manageable road of Djokovic in the semis and either Murray or Federer in the final. Although grass isn't Nadal's best surface, it will be time to start viewing him as one of the greatest grass-court players of all time if he is able to win his third Wimbledon title this year.
While Federer may not really have a leg to stand on after getting thoroughly outplayed and eliminated by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the French Open, being the No. 3 seed and having to face both Nadal and Murray simply to get to the final is a tough pill to swallow. A lot of fans are starting write off Federer, but they were doing the same last year until he responded by winning Wimbledon for an incredible seventh time.
Fed has a chance to surpass Pete Sampras and become the all-time winningest player in Wimbledon history, but this could be his toughest road yet. Both Nadal and Djokovic are playing incredible tennis and Murray has come into his own as well. Unless Federer comes through with a number of vintage performances, it is very tough to envision him winning Wimbledon again this year.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!