Ranking the Wimbledon field: The five contenders who can win each title


WIMBLEDON, England — After an emotional start at the All England Club with Andy Murray’s final matches, we’ve officially reached the quarterfinals.

There have been some surprising results, injuries and upsets — including the first-round exit of defending champion Marketa Vondrousova and upsets of No. 1 Iga Swiatek and No. 2 Coco Gauff — and a mixture of favorites and relative unknowns remain in the hunt for the title in both draws.

But who has the best chance in each draw to ultimately be victorious? Here are our completely unscientific rankings of the top five remaining players in each draw:


Men

1. Jannik Sinner: Playing as the top seed in a major for the first time, the 22-year-old has certainly looked the part so far. Sinner, the 2024 Australian Open champion, was challenged in his second-round match against a resurgent Matteo Berrettini. He needed tiebreaks to win the opening two sets against the 2021 Wimbledon finalist, and then had no answers in the third set. But Sinner dug in during the fourth set and earned the 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-6(4) win behind a strong serving performance and composure under pressure.

He then responded on Friday with a clinical straight-set victory over Miomir Kecmanovic in just 96 minutes. Sinner later told reporters he felt “much better on court” than he had on Thursday and was pleased with the result.

Sinner, who won his first career grass title at Halle last month, looked even more in control with a straight-set win over Ben Shelton on Sunday. He will have his toughest test yet against Daniil Medvedev, a fellow 2023 semifinalist, on Tuesday but he certainly has seemed up to the task so far.

2. Carlos Alcaraz: After relatively routine matches in his first two rounds, the defending champion faced a familiar foe in the Round of 32 on Friday against Frances Tiafoe. A rematch of the classic 2022 US Open semifinal, No. 29 seed Tiafoe pushed No. 3 seed Alcaraz to the brink and had him six points away from an early exit during the fourth set. However, Alcaraz found a way to raise his level to force a tiebreak, and then a final set, which he dominated. After nearly four hours of play, Alcaraz emerged victorious 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2.

The match served as a reminder that he can fend off some of the toughest of opponents on any surface — and is extremely tough to beat in five sets.

“In every match that I’ve played fifth sets, I played really close or my best tennis,” Alcaraz said on Saturday. “I realized that I’m good at it and I believe that I’m going to win. I think that’s the good point for me.”

Alcaraz entered the tournament as the co-favorite with Sinner but will have to fend off a tricky Tommy Paul on Tuesday if he wants to set up a semifinal showdown with Sinner. That won’t be easy. Alcaraz has shown vulnerabilities on the grass this season and Paul is on a nine-match win streak. Not to mention, they have a 2-2 head-to-head record.

3. Novak Djokovic: It’s hard to believe that just over a week ago Djokovic’s status to play in the tournament was in doubt following his surgery on a torn medial meniscus in his right knee last month. While he has been wearing a gray knee brace during matches and his movement isn’t entirely where he wants to be, he has been dominant in his first four matches. Even when he lost the opening set to Alexei Popyrin in the Round of 32, Djokovic remained unflustered and fought his way back to win the next three sets.

Against No. 15 seed Holger Rune on Monday, Djokovic wasted no time and frustrated his younger opponent from the start by winning the first 12 points of the match. Djokovic advanced to his 15th Wimbledon quarterfinals with perhaps his most straightforward victory of the tournament, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, in just over two hours.

Playing in the opposite side of the draw as Sinner and Alcaraz, Djokovic will play No. 9 seed Alex de Minaur on Wednesday. De Minaur, who lost to Djokovic in the 2023 Australian Open fourth round, said that match was “quite the challenge” and said he wasn’t surprised to see Djokovic already back to a high level after surgery.

“Back in the fourth round playing some great tennis, looking like he never left,” de Minaur said on Monday ahead of Djokovic’s win. “It’s just what Novak does.”

If Djokovic were to defeat de Minaur, who sustained a minor hip injury during match point of his fourth-round match, he would take on Taylor Fritz or Lorenzo Musetti with a spot in the final on the line. Then he’d have a chance to compete for his eighth Wimbledon title.

Djokovic has a 9-0 record against Fritz, including most recently at the Australian Open quarterfinals, and a 5-1 record over Musetti.

4. Taylor Fritz: There’s perhaps no one with more momentum and confidence than the 26-year-old American right now. Fritz won the title at Eastbourne in the final lead-in event and staged a valiant comeback over Alexander Zverev after losing the first two sets during their fourth-round clash on Monday.

A 2022 quarterfinalist, Fritz narrowly missed out on the semifinals after losing a deciding-set tiebreak to Rafael Nadal, but two years later looks poised to take it at least one step further. He will next play Musetti on Wednesday with a chance to advance to his first major semifinal. Knowing how devastating the loss was to Nadal, expect Fritz to do everything in his power to reverse his fortunes this time around. Even Zverev seemed to think he would do just that.

“He is playing great,” Zverev said about Fritz after their match. “I think he is also going to be in the semifinals of Wimbledon. I do expect him to win in the quarters.”

5. Tommy Paul: As mentioned above, Paul is on a nine-match win streak. He won the first grass-court title of his career last month at Queen’s Club, where he defeated Musetti in the final in straight sets and had previously beaten Jack Draper, who had upset Alcaraz in the round before.

At Wimbledon, Paul has continued to look increasingly comfortable on the surface and easily dispatched No. 23 seed Alexander Bublik 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in the third round. He then advanced to his first quarters at the All England Club with another straight-set victory on Sunday against Roberto Bautista Agut. It will be an uphill battle to defeat the defending champion in the quarters but he’s beaten him before and was excited about the challenge.

“We both play a pretty aggressive style of tennis,” Paul said of Alcaraz. “He’s been playing pretty well and ultra aggressive. I mean, it’s fun for people to watch. Honestly, it’s fun to play against. I’m really excited for the matchup.”


Women

1. Elena Rybakina: The only remaining Wimbledon champion in the women’s draw, Rybakina looks to have rediscovered her 2022 form, and, with the absences and exits of many of the other top players, is the heavy favorite to win her second major title.

After a tough match in the second round against Laura Siegemund, the 25-year-old responded with a prolific performance against former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, 6-0, 6-1, and was on her way to another lopsided result on Sunday before Anna Kalinskaya had to retire with injury.

With a game well-suited to grass, and with proven results on the surface, Rybakina said she is feeling much more comfortable during the 2024 campaign than she did in 2022.

“I think before going further in the draw I was pretty nervous in 2022,” Rybakina said on Monday. “But now I feel just more confidence playing match by match. It is different. At the same time when you go on the court you are still nervous a little bit. I think now with all the experiences, I just enjoy it much more on the court.”

While she certainly has the odds in her favor, she doesn’t have the easiest path to the final. Playing in the top half of the draw, in which three major champions remain, she will first have to get past 2023 semifinalist Elina Svitolina. The two have a 2-2 career record against one another with Rybakina having won their last meeting at the French Open last month. If she can do that, either Jelena Ostapenko or Barbora Krejcikova will await in the semifinals. Two potentially tough matches to be sure, but if anyone is capable from this side of the draw, it’s Rybakina.

2. Emma Navarro: The 19th-seeded American continued her dream run at Wimbledon with an impressive 6-4, 6-3 victory over Gauff on Sunday to advance to the first major quarterfinal of her career. It was her second victory over a former major champion at the All England Club after defeating Naomi Osaka 6-4, 6-1 in the second round. She’s also dropped just one set throughout the tournament. Even Navarro seemed somewhat surprised by how well she’s fared against big-name opponents in front of large crowds.

“I’ve kind of been just way more comfortable playing on that stage than I would have thought I would have felt,” Navarro said after the win over Gauff. “I let the practice that I’ve put in and the hours of work that I’ve put in just take control I guess.”

Playing in the far-more-wide-open and inexperienced bottom portion of the draw, Navarro now has a chance to reach the semifinals. She will face No. 7 seed Jasmine Paolini, who reached the French Open final last month, on Tuesday. The winner of Tuesday’s other quarterfinal clash between Lulu Sun or Donna Vekic would then stand in the way of the final. Navarro, a former NCAA champion, wasn’t exactly a favorite entering the tournament but it now seems like a final appearance is well within reach.

3. Jelena Ostapenko: The 2017 French Open champion (and Lil Wayne’s favorite player) hasn’t reached a major semifinal since Wimbledon in 2018, but looks ready to this week. In her first four matches at the All England Club, Ostapenko hasn’t dropped more than five games in a match and her longest outing was just 69 minutes.

On Monday, against Yulia Putintseva, who upset Swiatek in the third round, Ostapenko continued to display her dominance with a 6-2, 6-3 rout. Ostapenko, the 2014 junior champion at Wimbledon, was candid about how she was feeling about her play after the match.

“I’m probably more confident and more mature on the court this tournament especially,” she said. “I kind of know what I have to do, and I’m doing it quite well, especially in deciding moments. I’m just doing the things that I’ve been doing before, like when I won [the] French Open, when I was back in top 10. Yeah, I feel like I’m doing those things better than before.”

But Ostapenko will face Krejcikova, her first seeded opponent of the tournament and fellow French Open champion, on Wednesday, and that could put her newfound confidence and maturity to the test. If she’s able to escape Krejcikova, she could make things interesting against Rybakina in the semifinals.

4. Elina Svitolina: The 2023 Wimbledon surprise semifinalist is having another momentous run this year. She stunned Ons Jabeur, who reached the last two Wimbledon finals, on Saturday in the third round — needing just 80 minutes for the 6-1, 7-6 (4) victory. And on Monday, she was even more impressive with a resounding 6-2, 6-1 win over Xinyu Wang in under an hour.

She played the match with a black ribbon pinned to her shirt in memory of the victims of the Russian bombing of a children’s hospital in her native Ukraine earlier in the day on Monday. Fighting back tears, she explained it had been “extremely tough” to play after such a tragedy.

“I have to put my head down and show up and do my best, my very best,” Svitolina said. “Every Ukrainian is using their own way to raise awareness, to raise money, to help in every possible way they can. My way is through tennis. This is what’s really motivated me today to do something. I tried to be focused on my job, tried to be focused on what I can control. Just do what I can in a way.

“I’m playing, of course, such an amazing event as Wimbledon. I have to also think about how I can use that in a way for Ukrainian people. At least with my win today, it was a small light that brought a happy moment for Ukrainian people.”

5. Lulu Sun: From relative unknown to Wimbledon quarterfinalist, the 23-year-old from New Zealand is having the tournament of her life in just her second major main draw. The seventh female qualifier in the Open Era to reach the quarterfinals, Sun shocked No. 8 seed Qinwen Zheng 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, for her first victory at a major in the first round and then silenced the Centre Court crowd on Sunday as she defeated British star Emma Raducanu in three sets.

And it’s not just that she’s won, it’s how she’s done it. Playing an aggressive style of tennis, Sun’s 52 winners against Raducanu are the most by any woman all tournament. Her fearless, yet composed, ball-striking and movement could certainly help propel her past Vekic in the quarters and into the semifinals.

A week ago, many people would have said, “Who?” when seeing her name, but now, and with every match she plays, she’s proving just how dangerous she can be (and how strong the depth of talent is in the women’s game). And Sun, who remains relatively unbothered by the newfound attention, said she didn’t find her quarterfinal run surprising.

“Playing all these players up until now, it’s just opportunity, a new opportunity each time,” Sun said on Sunday. “Yeah, I’m super grateful to be able to play another match here.”





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