From the Author

Who will win Wimbledon?

The perils of prediction be damned. I say: full speed ahead. This year my crystal ball is quite clear. If it’s wrong, then I’ll just have to get a new crystal ball. Seriously, despite all the talk of the narrowing of the speeds of court surfaces — grass, hard, and clay — grass has several unique and important characteristics. And the best practitioners have the skills and tactics to best exploit these characteristics.


Here are my top 5 men’s and women’s picks to click and, briefly, the reasons why.
CARLOS ALCARAZ — The smiling Spaniard has Federer-like generational talent with more service power, running speed, and a better backhand than Roger had. Despite his lack of experience on grass, he won Queens. His dynamic game is actually best suited for grass because its versatility will showcase his terrific volley, his improvisational talents, athleticism, and touch shots.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC — The near-consensus favorite, The Djoker will see his dream of major No. 24 and a possible calendar-year Grand Slam end in a thrilling five-set final against Alcaraz. His superb serve return, much-improved serve, and excellent tiebreaker success will help him pull out some tough, four-set matches, probably against Hubert Hurkacz, Andrey Rublev, and Jannik Sinner.
JANNIK SINNER — The heavy-hitting Italian may be the least versatile of the rising stars, but his strengths — a powerful serve, booming groundstrokes, and strong serve return — work well on grass, where short points will be the norm. He should also benefit from a relatively easy draw with Taylor Fritz, Casper Ruud, Denis Shapovalov, and Borna Coric his toughest foes before the semifinals.
SEBASTIAN KORDA — Effortless power generated by his picture-perfect strokes makes him a big threat on fast surfaces. The 6’5” American upset Daniil Medvedev 7-6, 6-3, 7-6 at the Australian Open, and the third-seeded Russian is in Korda’s quarter. Other formidable foes there include No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 16 Tommy Paul, and No. 32 Ben Shelton, but Seb has the weapons to beat them.
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME — The 22-year-old Canadian seldom plays his best at Grand Slam events, but he did make the Big W quarters in 2021. The 11th-seeded FAA is more than overdue to break a prolonged slump this season. Felix has only 13 wins and none over a top-15 opponent. But his all-court game, athleticism, and a favorable draw could take him to the quarters.
ELENA RYBAKINA — This 6’-tall tower of power recently suffered from a virus. Hence, she won just one match on the European grass-court circuit. Otherwise, the defending Wimbledon champ has had a stellar season, winning Indian Wells and Rome, and making finals at the Aussie Open and Miami. The nationalized Kazakhstani has also beaten Swiatek three times without a loss. Elena’s simple “first strike” strategy of blasting serves, serve returns, and then crosscourt groundstrokes is predictable but often unbeatable. If healthy, she’ll win another Wimbledon.
ARYNA SABALENKA — Although the hard-hitting Belarusian was banned from Wimbledon last year, she reached the semis in 2021. Aryna exemplifies “Big Babe Tennis,” and if she weren’t in the same half of the draw as Rybakina, she’d be my pick. As it happens, she’ll have her hands full with a likely fourth-round battle against very talented Karolina Muchova, the surprise French finalist.
IGA SWIATEK — The undisputed No. 1 and four-time major winner has a very easy draw before the semis with only Coco Gauff in her way. There she’ll likely face a dangerous Russian — either No. 12 Veronika Kudermetova or No. 15 Liudmila Samsonova. Iga has never advanced past the fourth round at Wimbledon, so much will depend on whether she can absorb her foes’ most potent shots, how often and effectively she volleys, and how well she deals with low shots, especially low backhand passing shots.
BEATRIZ HADDAD MAIA — The 6’ Brazilian lefty is a younger version of Petra Kvitova, who captured her two majors at Wimbledon. A late-bloomer at 27, Beatriz has defeated Rybakina twice this season. If she gets by groundstroke blaster Ostapenko in the fourth round, Haddad Maia will likely get another crack at Rybakina. Beatriz is due for a breakthrough at Wimbledon, where she’s won only four matches.
KAROLINA MUCHOVA — The 26-year-old Czech reached her first major final three weeks ago at Roland Garros, and, in theory, she should play even better on grass. However, highly athletic and skilled Karolina has a tough draw and will probably face No. 21 Ekaterina Alexandrova in the third round. Recently, on grass, the steadily rising Alexandrova knocked out Gauff, Kudermetova twice, and Samsonova.
Who do you predict will win the most coveted titles in tennis?