Men:In the lead up to the world's finest sporting tournament we have seen two results that, historically, would have typified the clay court season. Two of the world's top three players were upset in Halle. On the back of his record breaking French Open triumph, Rafael Nadal was beaten by German Philipp Kohlschreiber, whilst five time Halle champion, Roger Federer, was ousted in the final by another native, the ageless Tommy Haas. However these two results will likely bare no correlation with the outcome at SW19.
Title Contenders: As much as I would wish to claim to envisage a champion from outside the top 3, I cannot. Messers Djokovic, Nadal and Federer will, once again, occupy 3 of the 4 semi-final berths. These three phenomenal athletes are simply several classes above the rest and their domination (between them they have taken 26 of the past 28 Grand Slam titles) shall continue.
Outside Bets: For a long time I have preached that Andy Murray shall not win a Grand Slam, and until the day he does this will not change. He simply isn't good enough in this era. The two players in with a shout of disrupting the top three are Tomas Berdych and the flamboyant, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Both of these men possess enough power and dynamism in their game to hurt and inflict serious amounts of pain on anyone's game. The one who doesn't play Djokovic, Nadal or Federer in the quarter's is a shoe-in for a place in the semi-finals.
Long Shot: Milos Raonic. For sometime now I have sung the praises of this monster Canadian, he has the complete grass-court game - reminiscent of the great Pete Sampras. If he doesn't has his name engraved on the famous gold trophy this year, doubtless it will be in years to come.
Winner: Novak Djokovic (to beat Nadal in the final).
Women:In stark contrast to the men's game, the women's side is as wide open as the Grand Canyon. It takes a brave man to confidently predict the outcome of a female Grand Slam tournament. Such is the dearth in quality one can make a reasonable argument for about 15 different protagonists.
Title Contenders: Career Grand Slam champion, Maria Sharapova, is the obvious first name to suggest. She is the form player at present, destroying the field in Paris and seemingly with her injury problems behind her, she will be the player to beat. Last year's champion, Petra Kvitova, will be a daunting prospect for anyone, with her booming serve and monster forehand she will be fancied by many to retain her crown.
Outside Bets: Serena Williams should never be written off at Wimbledon, however her form coming into the tournament is far from ideal - again another player no-one will fancy. Victoria Azarenka is seeded second but has an unwanted habit of choking on the big occasion, although still a dangerous proposition.
Long Shot: Sabine Lisicki, the big serving German, made the semi-finals last year which caused something of a shock. Expect her to make her way, slightly under the radar, through the draw.
Winner: Maria Sharapova (beating Lisicki in the final).
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