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2019 Wimbledon Men’s Singles: The Big Three Seeded 1-2-3

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in Tennis

Jun 28, 2019 · 9:58 AM PDT

Novak Djokovic smiling
Novak Djokovic won the Wimbledon men's singles title last year as the #12 seed. He was also the last #1 seed to win in 2015. Photo by Tatiana (Flickr) [CC License].
  • Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are seeded 1-2-3 in men’s singles for Wimbledon
  • That trio has combined to win 14 of the past 16 men’s singles titles at Wimbledon
  • Djokovic won last year’s tournament as the #12 seed

If Wimbledon is about anything, it’s about tradition. In this year’s men’s singles event, the oddsmakers are betting on tradition continuing.

Strawberries and cream, the all-white tennis outfits, referring to men and women as “gentlemen” and “ladies” – there are some things that just never change in Merton.

A more recent tradition is seeing the name of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic engraved on the Gentlemen’s Singles Championship Trophy at the end of the tournament. Since 2003, that’s happened 14 times (Federer, 8; Djokovic, 4; Nadal, 2). The odds predict it will be 15 in two weeks’ time.

2019 Wimbledon Men’s Singles Odds

Player 2019 Wimbledon Men’s Singles Odds
Novak Djokovic +150
Roger Federer +330
Rafael Nadal +550
Stefanos Tsitsipas +1600
Alexander Zverev +1800
Felix Auger Aliassime +2500
Marin Cilic +2500
Milos Raonic +3300
Matteo Berrettini +3300
Nick Kyrgios +4000

*Odds taken on 06/28/19. 

Tennis’ “Big Three” are listed as the top-three favorites in the 2019 Wimbledon odds. But note that the implied probability of Djokovic’s +150 odds is 40%. That is 25% greater than Nadal’s implied probability of 15%. Whereas the gap between Nadal and fourth-favorite Stefanos Tsitsipas, whose +1600 odds carry a 5.9% implied probability, is only 9%.

Not only have Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal won 14 of the last 16 titles, they’ve combined to make 21 final appearances over that span. Only once since 2003 – when Andy Murray beat Milos Raonic in 2016 – has a Wimbledon’s men’s single final not featured one of the Big Three.

Andy Murray, the lone player to break the Big Three’s stranglehold at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club with wins in 2013 and 2016, will only play men’s doubles at Wimbledon. He’s battling back from hip surgery.

Novak’s No Joke

Djokovic was returning from elbow surgery last year, and thus entered Wimbledon as the #12 seed. But the man known as The Joker laughed his way to a title.

In 2015, Djokovic was the last #1 seed to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon. In 2014-15, he was also the last champion to defend his men’s singles crown.

Djokovic is arguably back at peak powers, winning the 2019 Australian Open and three of the last four grand slams, in total. He also reached the semifinals of the 2019 French Open on clay, his worst surface.

No other men’s player is playing as consistently as him, especially in the the major events.

Roger’s Swan Song?

You have to give Federer credit. At 37, the experts are still trying to pen an exit strategy for the Swiss legend from the hierarchy of men’s tennis. And Federer just keeps on proving that he deserves membership among the elite.

Coming back from a knee injury, he romped to his eighth men’s singles title at Wimbledon in 2017. Returning this year to Roland-Garros for the first time since 2015, Federer reached the semifinals of the French Open, where he lost to clay-court king Nadal.

There are indications, though, that Federer might be slipping a bit on the big stage. Since his 2018 Australian Open win, he’s not reached a Grand Slam final in his last four events.

Federer is 95-12 all-time at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club, an 89-percent win rate. That’s his best number at any of the four Grand Slam Events.

Wimbledon Angers Nadal

Even though he’s #2 in the ATP world rankings, Nadal was dropped to third seed behind Federer at Wimbledon. The Spanish star was quick to vent his frustration at the perceived snub.

In reality, though, the facts support those in charge of the seeding. Nadal hasn’t won at Wimbledon since 2010. He hasn’t reached the final since 2011. In fact, last year’s semifinal appearance was the first time since 2011 that he’d advanced beyond the Round of 16.

Nadal wasn’t the only player moved around in the seedings due to their recent Wimbledon history. Kevin Anderson, #8 in the world but the 2018 men’s singles finalist, jumped to fourth seed. Marin Cilic, a 2017 finalist, is seeded 13th. He’s ranked #18 by the ATP.

Anyone Else Worth A Look?

Anderson’s big serve always makes him a threat on this surface. Among the young lions, Stefanos Tsitsipas is the most likely to be ready to make a major breakthrough.

It’s possible that one of the emerging stars could oust Nadal or Federer, but it’s doubtful anyone can stop Djokovic. The world #1 has been a force for the past year. His only Grand Slam loss in that time came on clay.

Pick: Novak Djokovic (+150)

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